I only just noticed that the banner which used to hang in front of the old Napoleon Bakery building at 706 Westport Road, announcing a new tenant, the Kansas City Bread Company, is no longer flapping in the breeze. That's because the Kansas City Bread Company is no longer going to open in this location. The plan to open the new bakery had been the dream of master baker Roberto Luna, formerly with City Bakery, but the deal fell through.
"The tenant couldn't obtain the financing to open the retail side of the business," says Jeff Berg, senior vice president of the Lane 4 Group, owners of the building. "Until two weeks ago, the tenant was still using the commercial kitchen in the building to bake bread for his wholesale operation, but currently, the building is literally walk-in ready for a new tenant."
For many years, the original Napoleon Bakery & Cafe — operated by the Schanzer brothers — was an iconic venue in Westport, serving wonderful lunches (the price included dessert) and a beautiful array of pastries and freshly baked breads. After Larry Schanzer passed away, pastry chef and restaurateur James Holmes purchased the business in 2008. A couple of years later, Holmes moved the bakery to Overland Park — and several other ill-fated locations since then.
Tonight the R Bar is celebrating its second anniversary. It's also available for sale.
Joy Jacobs, the owner of the two-year-old R Bar restaurant, saloon and entertainment venue, has listed the business for sale on Craigslist, asking price $200,000. We're pretty sure the building isn't included in the deal.
The Craigslist ad says potential buyers must be preapproved for a loan prior to negotiations and that Jacobs, who is raising a baby, Hudson Fite Jacobs, with her partner, Lisa Morales, "is getting out of the business to spend time with my family ... it was great fun, but would rather have a life."
There were all kinds of rumors buzzing around the restaurant community last week that a franchisee for Minneapolis-based Buffalo Wild Wings had signed a lease for the former Chili's Grill & Bar location in Westport at 554 Westport Road. The venue has been sitting empty for nearly a year.
It's been a long, long time since anyone ordered a cheeseburger in this long-vacant building, on the southwest corner of Linwood Boulevard and Troost. But back when it was a Katz Drugstore, there used to be a snappy lunch counter. The structure, which dates back to the mid-1930s, still has some fabulous Art Deco details. Wouldn't it make a great restaurant today?
This vacant location actually has a less interesting history than the land it stands on. Nearly a century ago, it was the site of the old Bodine's All-Night Drugstore. That's right, Walt's dad.
Fat City traveled to Lawrence yesterday to see what was going on in the restaurant scene on busy Massachusetts Street -- including the still-closed Jefferson's Restaurant -- and noted more empty restaurant storefronts than we recall seeing in a long time. The casualties included the Teapouro Tea & Espresso shop, above, and a burger joint, Jo Schmo's, among others.
|The old Merchant's Bank Building could become a boutique burger bar?|
The dark-brick, two-story building at 1513 Grand has been on the market for nearly two years. For many years, it was the site of the Willy Cafe, which served Chinese and Thai food. Most recently, it's been Thai Paradise.
The price tag -- $400,000 -- is firm. Why? Because the building's owner, Dale House, is committed to the purchase of Thai Paradise as part of the deal.
Looking to open a new restaurant in Lawrence, Kansas? Lawrence realtor Kelvin Heck -- with Grubb & Ellis -- is looking for you. Heck is listing the location at 2176 East 23rd Street that was formerly occupied by Don's Steakhouse.
The building is now being rented out to antique dealers, but when the restaurant was in its heyday, in the 1970s, it was considered one of the best steakhouses in Lawrence, favored by sportswriters who traveled the "Big Eight" beat.
Heck says that plenty of people have looked at the location, "but no one is building new restaurants these days."
|Bring on a chuckwagon buffet!|
The restaurant, designed in a handsome Western motif, still sits empty. In this economy, perhaps Town Center Plaza should shake off its hoity-toity image and encourage a low-cost western-style steakhouse to move into the space. Maybe a Golden Corral?
But Oldham might have been too far ahead of its time.
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