By Kevin Collison
The space formerly occupied by Thou Mayest is about to be reincarnated by the pioneering prince of East Crossroads entrepreneurs, STRETCH.
STRETCH, the sculptor who launched the revival of the area when he opened Grinders in 2000, has taken over the space at 419 E. 18th St. and plans to open what he’s calling “Chances Social” in early March.
“You can call it Thou Mayest 2.0,” he quipped. “They had a great concept and we want to keep riding it with the same flavor profile.”
That means light breakfast fare, baked goods, a full-service bar and plenty of coffee drinks. Hours are expected to be from 6 a.m. to late, 11 p.m. or midnight, “depending on what we’re doing,” STRETCH said.
By that, he was referring to other components of his East Crossroads empire including the original Grinders at 417 E. 18th, Grinders West, 415 E. 18th, and his popular outdoor music venue behind them, Crossroads KC.
His wife Rebecca Ederer also has operated Beco Flowers at 1922 Baltimore in the Crossroads Arts District for 18 years.
In the meantime, Thou Mayest is close to finding a new home for the popular gathering place and roasterie that closed in late December.
El Hondo Bo Nelson released a statement last week saying the venture is weighing options on various properties for landing a location for a new and larger flagship store.
Last weekend, Thou Mayest opened a cafe in the Family Tree Nursery in Shawnee.
“Our second project is still very secret but we can say it will be taking us us back down to the East Crossroads,” Nelson said his statement.
“This new concept will continue to provide a stimulating and engaging community space for people to connect but will also encourage ‘out of the cup’ thinking around the concept, creation and consumption of great coffee beverages.”
STRETCH said these are “vital and dynamic” times for the East Crossroads with the addition of many new businesses, microbreweries, a soon-to-break-ground major apartment project at 19th and Oak and the potential Keystone Innovation District.
Still, like many areas of downtown, parking is a challenge. STRETCH noted he lost the leasing rights last August to a 60-space gravel lot across the street from Grinders.
“It’s exciting to see it all grow,” he said, “but we have some neighbors restricting parking here…they have new ideas not coming to fruition.”
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