Correction: The soft opening date has been changed to November 13. This change occurred after the publication of this article.
The Homestead Kitchen and Bakery has been a part of Baldwin City for the past four years. But, next month the business will be unveiling a brand new sister location right next door: the 8th Street Burger Shop.
The space had originally been home to the restaurant Joy Garden. When its doors closed earlier this year, Homestead owner Lori Gardner saw an opportunity with the storefront left behind.
“A couple years ago, we thought about a second Homestead location somewhere else in a different town,” Gardner said. “We just put the idea on hold since it wasn’t a good fit. Then Joy Garden closed and next door became available, and we knew there was an archway opening between the two spaces that was original to the building. We thought we’ll knock that out.”
Work on the current Burger Shop location has been in production for the past couple of months. While Gardner plans to use some of the space to further expand the Homestead kitchen, she wanted to make use of the second storefront.
“I feel like every small town needs a really good burger joint,” Gardner said. “We are going to hand grind our meat so it’s really good and fresh. We’re going to have specific burgers, a vegan option, a black bean burger. It’s going to be upper scale, maybe for a small town, but at a reasonable price.”
While the doors haven’t opened yet, Baker students are looking forward to having another restaurant open up. Part of the reason is to have more dining options available in their small college town.
“I think for the size of Baldwin City, the restaurant options aren’t awful, but they sure are not great,” Junior Maxx Bradley said. “I like the breakfast options like Homestead and Jo’s Diner, and I liked having Stone Creek Subs. The fast food chains Sonic, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Subway aren’t bad. But there are very limited options, especially once it starts to get later in the evening.”
Other students, such as Freshman Anna Wesselowski, are looking forward to how another local restaurant could impact their community.
“I’m from a small town where we have people drive just to go eat at places. I think if we had more, that could bring more people to Baldwin,” Wesselowski said. “Burger joints usually are very interactive and very fun places. It helps for small towns to have good, local businesses to interact with the community.”
The 8th Street Burger Shop is planning to have a soft opening on November 6, where a select number of patrons can come in and try the new restaurant while the kinks are still being worked out. Though some parts of the restaurant are still being finalized, Gardner is certain in her goals for the restaurant.
“Just like I had the same goal for Homestead, my goal is that [the Burger Shop] could be a family oriented and positive hangout,” said Gardner. “Just a very uplifting place where you can walk in and leave feeling good.”