Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lawrence grocer in Driver’s seat

By The Herald Staff | 10/18/2013

A Lawrence grocery store owner recently purchased a once-prominent Ottawa sports bar.

During a Thursday Absolute Real Estate auction, Jim Lewis, owner of Lawrence’s Checkers Foods, paid $190,000 for the parcel of land at 222 E. Logan St., Ottawa, which includes the 7,900 square-foot building that was previously Driver’s Sports Bar.

Lewis, who is a 1964 graduate of Ottawa High School, said he had discussions about opening the building as a sports bar and restaurant, but right now is taking things slow.

“I’ve talked to a couple of different people about turning it back into a sports bar and banquet facility downstairs,” Lewis, who’s a grocer of 48 years, said. “There is an 1 acre lot to the west [on the land] that could maybe be used for entertainment like mini golf. Right now we are just doing baby steps. I’m getting experts in [the restaurant business] to give me guidance.”

There’s no set date for opening the business yet, Lewis said, and he will not take possession of the building until mid-November.

“We will evaluate the situation, and explore the possibilities,” Lewis said. “I think it has a lot of potential.”

For more on this acquisition, check The Herald’s Weekender edition.

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