Site work for La Madeleine French Bakery & Cafe bound for Central Texas Marketplace could start as early as Friday, according to a partner in the venture who said he hopes to get the restaurant open by December.

Dan McReynolds, a Waco attorney and businessman, said a 4,800-square-foot La Madeleine will anchor a 12,200-square-foot center adjacent to the La-Z-Boy furniture store in the Marketplace at I-35 and West Loop 340.

“We believe the balance of the space will accommodate two users, possibly a retailer and another restaurant,” McReynolds said.

He would like to attract a dining establishment where customers get involved in the preparation of their food or the selection of ingredients, he said.

“For example, there are pizza concepts that allow you to customize your pies, though I’m not necessarily saying I will place a pizza parlor there,” said McReynolds, who is collaborating with Waco businessman Gordon Robinson in bringing Dallas-based La Madeleine to Waco.

McReynolds said he considered all high-traffic retail locations in Greater Waco “because we were willing to go anywhere,” and that Central Texas Marketplace looked most promising due to its proximity to I-35.

He said he has chosen an Austin-based general contractor to build the strip center that will include La Madeleine, but continuing negotiations would not allow him to identify the company.

Bass Pro merger

Bass Pro Shops’ proposed $5 billion purchase of Cabela’s is evolving into a marathon of regulatory wrangling and lawsuits.

Cabela’s Inc. agreed in a filing Monday to grant the Federal Trade Commission’s request to give the agency until Wednesday to consider the merger, according to an article by The Hill, a news outlet that tracks lawmaking and regulatory developments in Washington, D.C.

Cabela’s in 2013 opened a 42,000-square-foot “outpost” store at Central Texas Marketplace, calling it an economy-sized version of the retail sites it once developed that ranged in size from 70,000 to 250,000 square feet.

“In its filing, the company said the FTC requested a longer timeline that would ‘enable the FTC staff to brief the FTC commissioners on the merger and to address any questions the FTC commissioners may have,’ “ according to The Hill.

The FTC typically analyzes industry mergers to gauge their potential negative impact on competition in the marketplace.

Cabela’s, which is facing four class-action lawsuits related to the merger filed by shareholders, hopes to finalize the merger with Bass Pro Shops within three months, according to The Hill. Combining the companies would create an outdoors-gear chain with almost 200 U.S. locations.

Hurts Donut rumors

Several email messages have appeared on my computer from people convinced Waco is going to get a Hurts Donut Co. location. They claim to have heard from reliable sources that the Springfield, Missouri, based chain has included Central Texas in its plans for expansion.

Confirmation has remained elusive, but Hurts has opened a shop in Frisco, its first in Texas. Could Waco be far behind?

Hurts Donut specializes in offbeat doughnuts, according to a report by the Dallas Observer. In Frisco, it sells sweets dubbed Bubblegum and Oreo Cheseecake. It sells a White and Nerdy doughnut topped with Nerds candy. The Fred Flintstone is topped with Fruity Pebbles cereal, and the Bart Simpson is “chocolate cake covered with white icing covered in heaps of crumbled Butterfinger,” according to the Observer.

Hurts Donut claims to remain open “25 hours a day, eight days a week,” so access should prove no problem if it does sweeten a local corner.

Brown House Cafe moving

The Brown House Cafe, owned by longtime local restaurateur Danny Brown and his wife Laurie, is moving from Main Street in McGregor to 9110 Jordan Lane in Woodway, next to Premier ER & Urgent Care.

It will occupy space formerly filled by a Fuego Tortilla Grill location.

“We hope and plan to open in Woodway on July 6th,” the Browns wrote on Facebook. “We would like to thank those people that have supported this decision and encouraged us along the way. We love the new location. It is so easy to get to. Great parking and a modern, new building with more seating and a huge kitchen. So excited to serve you at the new location next Thursday.”

The Browns specialize in country cooking that includes chicken-fried steak and sides, onion rings, salads and sandwiches.

Livingstone to speak

Baylor University President Linda Livingstone will speak at the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce’s mid-year membership luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 10 at the Lee Lockwood Library, 2801 W. Waco Drive.

Tickets are $20 per person, and chamber membership applications are being accepted.

Sponsors include H-E-B and Community Bank & Trust.

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