The heart of Lawrence, Kansas is downtown on Massachusetts Street. According to the City of Lawrence, Massachusetts Street obtained its name because the Lawrence founders were from Massachusetts.
Now, there are about 90 stores on Massachusetts Street, or “Mass Street.” These stores include downtown shopping, dining and entertainment. Click on the infographic below to see a collection of the stores offered downtown. These stores are considered some of the top places to visit on Massachusetts Street.
For those of you who have been to Massachusetts Street before, be sure to visit new businesses like Hot Box Cookies and Mass Street Soda and keep an eye out for new businesses each year.
Top new businesses in Lawrence:
Hot Box Cookies
One new business on Massachusetts Street is the only made-to-order cookie delivery shop in Lawrence. Hot Box Cookies began in Columbia, Missouri, but recently opened a new location at 732 Massachusetts St. in August of 2013. Their slogan is “Custom Baked- Delivered Late.” This business delivers cookies until midnight Sunday- Thursday and until one a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Hot Box Cookies offers fresh baked cookies until midnight or one a.m. in Lawrence. Photo by Cassidy Ritter
The idea for Hot Box Cookies came from a group of college students in Columbia who felt a need for late night cookie delivery. The business did well at that location and the students decided to expand to another college town: Lawrence.
“There was not a cookie delivery service [in Lawrence] and I know college students don’t really like to leave so our late night cookie delivery business was a perfect fit for a college town,” said Zac McIntyre, general manager for the Lawrence location. “I just think Lawrence is Mass. Street so it just had to be on Mass. Street.”
However, being a new business provides a challenge. McIntyre said that they find it hard to get the word out about their Lawrence location.
McIntyre said they also struggle to remind the community that Hot Box Cookies delivers late at night. He said that most people who have been in the store don’t know they deliver late either.
The most popular cookies are the chocolate chip, cookies and cream and red velvet, said McIntyre. The cookies and cream cookie contains Oreo cookie pieces, white chocolate chips and regular chocolate chips.
Cookie prices range from $1 to $1.25 for specialty cookies. There are also “Ice Cream & Icing Sandwiches” for $3.25, “Frozen Cookie Dough Pucks” for $1, shakes for $4.50 and cookie sundaes for $4.75.
Mass Street Soda
Rows and rows of soda can be found at Mass Street Soda. If you can’t find what you are looking for ask Thompson or Baysinger. Photo by Cassidy Ritter
How nice would it be to travel around the country and around the world trying local sodas? Matt Baysinger and Luke Thompson, owners of Mass Street Soda, did just that. Upon their travels, they researched what it would be like to bring soda from around the world to Lawrence. After about four years, the two opened Mass Street Soda on April 8, 2014.
Mass Street Soda provides customers with sodas ranging from two dollars to four dollars for bigger bottles. Its sodas are from 10 different countries and almost all U.S. states with the exception of Alaska. There are some sodas customers can’t get enough of and others that people only try once like the beef jerky soda. There are also several sodas that sold out within the first few days of being open, said Thompson.
Mass Street Soda offers a variety of sodas. Regular size bottles are $2 and larger bottles are $3.50. Photo by Cassidy Ritter
“One was Butterscotch Beer that looked similar to a Harry Potter butter beer,” said Thompson. “It’s not butter beer because it’s not licensed but that’s what it’s made to look like. There’s one called Lennonaid that looks like a socialism soda because it has a hammer and sickle in the front and Lennon on the back…. Then there’s a North Carolina cherry drink called Cheer Wine that people love, especially from the south.”
Customers can also find seasonal sodas inside.
“It’s just like beer where some of these small bottlers will only produce one or two sodas and maybe they only make it this month so once we sell out of it we can’t even get it for another year,” said Thompson.
“We’re constantly trying to find new sodas,” said Thompson. “People come in and ask us for a soda and if we don’t have it then we will try to find it somewhere.”
The official grand opening of Mass Street Soda will be in June. For more information be sure to check out Mass Street Soda on Facebook.
Best restaurant: Free State Brewery
According to the survey used in the infographic, Free State Brewery is the best restaurant on Massachusetts Street. Free State Brewery also won best restaurant for Best of Lawrence in 2013.
Chuck Margel, owner of Free State Brewery, talks about how Free State Brewery started in 1989 and the environment he and his employees strive to create for its customers.