A Spotlight on Downtown Olathe

Vin Parazin, Staff Writer

With so many different areas around Olathe North for shopping and dining, it’s easy to forget about Downtown Olathe. However, this area is proposed to change significantly. The former library, which stood across the post office on E Park St, was demolished to make way for new apartment buildings. The former Johnson County Courthouse, which is succeeded by a new building just across the street, is planned to be demolished in March. Despite these changes with public buildings, private businesses continue to operate downtown.


What’s Open Now? 


Cherry Street Nutrition 


Cherry Street Nutrition, which opened just last July, offers a wide range of meal- replacement shakes and teas. When I went, I got a 16 oz. Sweetheart (Strawberry and Lemon) Tea. At first, I was surprised by how sweet it was (it was sweetened with Stevia), but it tasted great and was very easy to drink quickly. The experience was also very safe in this time of COVID-19, as everybody in the store was wearing their masks. Compared to Prana Nutrition in southern Olathe, the prices are cheaper. I strongly recommend this place to anybody who wants to try out healthy teas or shakes. 


Junque Drawer Boutique 


Owned by the wife of Olathe North’s very own Mr. Stern, Junque Drawer is a boutique inside a refurbished three-story home built in 1920. There is a wide variety of gifts and accessories, ranging from mugs to soap. The atmosphere is very cozy inside, and the inventory is organized and well-stocked. In addition, everybody at the store was following COVID-19 protocols. If anybody is looking for memorabilia for their friends, I suggest checking this place out. 


Park Street Pastry 


Park Street Pastry is located in the same building as Cherry Street Nutrition, and its menu consists of a variety of baked goods. I decided to stick to something classic, such as a cinnamon roll. I definitely made the right decision! It was firm on the outside, gooey on the inside, and it had delicious pockets of cinnamon sugar. The cream cheese frosting was a delicious addition as well. As with the aforementioned businesses, everyone who was not seated was wearing their masks and following COVID-19 protocols.


What’s Coming? 


Future City Square

With the new courthouse opening on January 4th, the old one will be demolished. Numerous proposals by the city of Olathe suggest that a new city square will replace the old courthouse, filled with sculptures and trees. 


New Library 

After the old library was demolished, a temporary location was set up in the strip mall near Red Crow Brewing on W Santa Fe. A new library, however, has been proposed to be built north of the Civic Center Park between N Chestnut and Water streets. The development is set to feature a restaurant and a rooftop patio in addition to the library. 


New Apartment Buildings 

With the old library now demolished, construction of new apartments has already begun in its place. These apartments, developed by Indianapolis firm Milhaus, will feature a pool, gym, and a coffee and tea bar, among other amenities. The development was also originally supposed to include apartments that would replace a parking lot on the southwest corner of Chestnut and Santa Fe, but according to the KC Business Journal, many businesses were against it because it would take away parking space. The development, known as Arello, will be completed sometime next year.