Look at the major facelift on tap for a large downtown constructing; an update on efforts to add rooftop dining to … – Lawrence Journal World (weblog)

I as soon as went to a costume social gathering with out realizing it was a costume social gathering. The opposite company spent all evening making an attempt to determine what 1980s character I used to be. I ponder if the large constructing on the southeast nook of 10th and Massachusetts streets feels a bit like that.

The constructing, which for years housed the timeless Orient Cafe, has a facade that's a little onerous to peg — perhaps futuristic 1970s or barely outdated 1980s. I might say that it doesn’t fairly slot in with downtown Lawrence’s design, however then I’m reminded that the Egyptian-model, former Masonic Temple constructing is throughout the avenue. So, something lower than a pyramid doesn’t fairly slot in.

Regardless, you might have observed that development fencing has been put up round the constructing. That's a signal that a major facelift is about to start for the constructing because it prepares to develop into residence to one new restaurant and tries to appeal to one other.

“In the 1970s, the constructing was like a mini-mall,” stated Jeff Shmalberg, who leads the native group that owns the constructing. “The facade nonetheless seems like that. It was that means earlier than we purchased it. We by no means actually appreciated it, however we labored with what we had. We're prepared to make it appear to be it matches a little higher for downtown.”

The brand new design, which was created by Lawrence-primarily based Adams Architects, received’t be a full-on historic look, however it should substitute a few of the stucco with brick, will add new awnings, new lighting and a number of other different options.

Renderings of a new facade for the building on the southeast corner of 10th and Massachusetts streets. Courtesy: Adams Architects.

Renderings of a new facade for the constructing on the southeast nook of 10th and Massachusetts streets. Courtesy: Adams Architects. by Chad Lawhorn

The Shmalberg group — it's the household that owns the Scotch Dry Cleansing enterprise in Lawrence — is freshening up the constructing because it seems to discover a new tenant for the constructing. The Military recruiting heart will stay in the nook spot of the constructing, and so too will Snort Out Loud, the youngsters zone enterprise that has area alongside the 10th Road frontage.

However the spot that when was occupied by The Orient and later by Ted’s Taphouse and Oh Boy! Fried Hen is empty. Shmalberg stated the group is open to a number of tenants however is courting restaurant customers for the three,000 sq.-foot area.

“It has a massive kitchen and ceilings that go up 16 or 18 ft excessive,” Shmalberg stated. “It might be nice for a little brewery or any sort of restaurant.”

As we now have reported, one other portion of the constructing does have a new restaurant tenant scheduled to open. Shmalberg stated Stonewall Restaurant and Pizzeria is scheduled to open in about three weeks. It's going into area that beforehand housed Jerusalem Cafe and KC Smoke Burger.

We reported on the restaurant’s plans in March. Joe Kieltyka and enterprise associate Joel Cundiff are opening the enterprise. Kieltyka has a historical past in the Lawrence restaurant enterprise. He operated a non-public membership known as the Carriage Lamp in The Malls procuring heart greater than 30 years in the past.

Folks could also be extra conversant in Kieltyka, although, via his time in the Johnson County space the place he operated the Stonewall Inn off of Pflumm Street. Again in March Kieltyka instructed me the Lawrence restaurant would offer New York-model pizza, but in addition would have a meat-and-potatoes model of menu that would come with each day specials akin to fried hen, pork chops, some seafood and different dishes that had been common at his former Lenexa restaurant.

So, preserve an eye out for that.

As for the constructing renovation, Shmalberg stated the metropolis has already permitted the constructing allow. Work ought to start as soon as the brick mason arrives on the job in the subsequent few days. And, simply for the heck of it, right here is a piece of trivia about the constructing. Shmalberg says it really dates again to the early 1900s. He’s a bit unclear on what its unique use was, however he has seen a photograph of what the constructing was used for prior to changing into a mini-mall. Guesses? A fuel station. Apparently the constructing was configured a bit in another way. It had a in another way angled nook, and fuel pumps had been simply off the intersection of 10th and Mass.


• Whereas I used to be chatting with Shmalberg, I additionally acquired an update on what may very well be an even larger sport-changer for downtown Lawrence: rooftop dining.

I reported in November that the downtown restaurant Ramen Bowls had filed plans to set up rooftop dining at its constructing at 125 E. 10th St. The Shamalberg group owns that constructing, and Jeff Shmalberg has been one in every of the driving forces behind the concept of rooftop dining. At present, the idea doesn’t exist in the downtown district.

Since November, Shmalberg has been studying why it doesn’t exist in downtown. To do it in a means that meets metropolis codes and hearth laws, it's costly.

“We're on our third look at that so far as from a structural and architectural standpoint,” Shmalberg stated. “I feel we're getting a little bit nearer to it being possible.”

Ramen Bowls, at 125 E. 10th St., has filed plans with the city to expand its operation to incorporate rooftop dining.

Ramen Bowls, at 125 E. 10th St., has filed plans with the metropolis to develop its operation to incorporate rooftop dining. by Nick Krug

The constructing dates again to the early 1900s, and its roof received’t help the further weight of rooftop dining, however its partitions can carry a better load. So the plan has been to construct a metal construction above the roof and place a deck atop that new construction. Shmalberg discovered the metal construction, with out the deck, was going to value greater than $100,000 to construct. That led to architects going again to the drafting board. He stated a subsequent plan has minimize the prices in about half, however it's nonetheless underneath assessment.

“However we’re nonetheless working on it,” he stated. “They (house owners of Ramen Bowls) are nonetheless keen about it, and I'm too.”

He stated Metropolis Corridor officers even have been open to the concept.

“However they've been holding us to sure requirements,” Shmalberg stated of the metropolis regulators. “If we do it, they know others will need to do it too. It has to be performed proper. It truly is all a matter of arithmetic.”

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Look at the major facelift on tap for a large downtown constructing; an update on efforts to add rooftop dining to ... - Lawrence Journal World (weblog)