New stores will be opening in the Lawrence Shopping Center soon, putting a big smile on local residents' faces.

If you've driven by recently, you've noticed that the shopping center, located at 2495 Brunswick Avenue (across from Colonial Bowling and Entertainment), is getting a much needed facelift. According to Centraljersey.com it will be completed in March and new stores, Plato's Closet and City Electric, will be opening soon.

A few of the stores that have already opened include Pet Value, New Jersey Camera, and my favorite, Cafe Du Pain bakery. Their quiche is the best I've ever had.

More good news. The old Huffman-Koos furniture store is being torn down and construction on the new LA Fitness building should be starting in a few months. Cooper Pest Control has also taken over the old Retro Fitness building near the Princeton Pike entrance of the shopping center.

The big question on local residents' minds is what will be replacing the Acme, which closed its doors in August. The hope is that it's another grocery store, since the next nearest ones aren't that close...Risoldi's in Hamilton, ShopRite in Mercer Mall, or Wegman’s in the Nassau Park Pavilion in West Windsor. The new owners of the shopping center, JJ Operating Inc., are “working diligently” to replace the former grocery store with a new grocery store, saying, “We understand how important a grocery store would be both for local residents of the community and our other tenants within the shopping center,” Agreed. I had to drive 20 minutes for a packet of taco seasoning last week. I was not happy. Lol.