Wichita Starbucks remodels continue on West Street

new-starbucks-logoThe next Wichita Starbucks to get a remodel job is the one at Kellogg and West.

That store, whose official address is 583 S. West St., will be closed to walk-in customers starting on Sunday, a Starbucks spokeswoman said. The drive-through, however, will remain open from 5 a.m. to noon Monday through Jan. 13.  The drive-through will resume normal hours on Jan. 14, and the interior should reopen the week of Jan. 19.

The remodel will fill the store with new furniture and an updated look.

Both the Starbucks at 21st and Maize and at Central and Rock have already undergone updating. Starbucks stores generally are remodeled every 10 years.

Starbucks at Central and Rock slated to reopen Thursday

A Starbucks spokesperson says that the Starbucks at Central and Rock roads, which has been closed since Sept. 29 for remodeling, should be reopened by Thursday morning.

When it does, customers will find new furniture and a new Clover brewing system, which uses a vacuum press technology.

For more information, call the Starbucks at 316-315-0662.

Starbucks at Central and Rock closed for remodeling

The Starbucks at Central and Rock — arguably Wichita’s busiest Starbucks — closed on Sunday and will remain closed until a major remodel is done.

Starbucks stores generally are remodeled every 10 years, a Starbucks employee said, and Central and Rock is up. It opened on March 7, 2003. When it reopens, it will also have a Clover brewing system, which uses a vacuum press technology that’s said to make amazingly fabulous coffee.

The store’s drive through will reopen on Tuesday, but the lobby won’t be ready before Oct. 18.

Stay tuned for updates. And fear not. Rock Road has two other Starbucks — at Harry and Rock and at 29th and Rock.

Restaurants open on Christmas Day

Mmmmmm, the flavor of Christmas Day.

The chorus of demands for our annual list of restaurants open on Christmas reached a fever pitch this year. Lots of people are either sick of turkey, craving holiday fried rice, or just don’t feel like cooking on Christmas Day.

Here it is.

This year, our amazing intern Matt made the calls and found the usual list of Asian restaurants, hotel buffets and family diners. And TWO of Wichita’s Starbucks will be open on Christmas this year.

Later today, we’ll also provide the names of several restaurants that will be open on Christmas Eve, which has been the second-most requested list by readers.

The flavors of fall have arrived

Panera's pumpkin pie bagel. Holy yum.

I always, always love it when September rolls around and restaurants start rolling out their pumpkin flavors again.

You know the long, hotness of summer is almost over when Starbucks starts serving its pumpkin spice latte again. (They brought it back extra early this year — on Sept. 1.) And more places every year are adding pumpkiny, spicy flavors to their menus. I was just in Panera the other day and noticed a PUMPKIN PIE BAGEL. Calories shmalories. I’m havin’ one of those.

Have you spotted any other places selling pumpkiny goodness? Let me know in the comments section below.

Restaurants open on Christmas

Syed Abbas plans to open his Middle Eastern restaurant Zaytun on Christmas Day.

It might seem a little bit early, but I’ve compiled my list of restaurants planning to be open on Christmas Day. The more time you have to plan, I figure, the better. Plus, I’ve already received about a dozen e-mails from people wanting to know.

As usual, the list includes an interesting mix of Asian eateries, family buffets and a few random restaurants willing to give Christmas hours a go.

There are a few new players this year: Zaytun owner Syed Abbas is planning to open and serve a Middle Eastern brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Christmas Day. And the Starbucks at 29th and Rock will open from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Christmas. It’ll be the only Starbucks in town that will be open.

Follow this link to see the full list, and if you see that I’ve missed a restaurant, e-mail me. I can still add it between now and Dec. 25.

Question of the week: Best hot drink?

Suddenly, it’s c-c-c-c-cold outside. Not quite the school-canceling cold from earlier this year, but definitely an uncomfortable cold.

Doesn’t a hot drink sound good?

This week’s question: What’s your favorite hot drink served in Wichita? Where do you get it, and how would you describe it?

For me, it’s probably a hot chai latte, frothy with sweetness and exotic spice. I like the one at Starbucks, but I’m sure it’s brewed well at some local coffee shops, too.

What’s your favorite? Answer in the comments section below.

Starbucks giving away free drinks through Sunday

I always get excited each year when the red holiday cups return at Starbucks. Why, that’s a more sure sign of Christmas than anything I know of.

But this might be even more exciting.

From 2 to 5 p.m. today through Sunday, customers who buy one holiday beverage at Starbucks can get one free. Holiday drinks include the peppermint mocha (my favorite), the gingerbread latte and the caramel brulee latte. I shot this photo of the promo sign while waiting in line at the Kellogg and West street Starbucks drive through just a few minutes ago.

Although drinking coffee after noon is generally a bad idea for me, not getting free Starbucks is an even worse idea.

Flavors of fall keep keep coming

Several local chains are putting fall-friendly foods on their menus, and I, for one, approve.

Some of the dishes are new. Others are old favorites that the hungry masses wait for every year.

IHOP's Scary Face pancake is too cute to be scary, if you ask me.

I already told you about the glorious return of the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks.

IHOP will return its fabulous pumpkin pancakes to the menu on Monday and serve them until Halloween. During that time, the breakfast chain also is offering all-you-can-eat buttermilk pancakes, and for children 12 and under, “Scary Face” pancakes made with whipped cream mouths, strawberry noses and Oreos and candy corn for decorating. On Oct. 28,  children can get a free Scary Face pancakes, and parents even can sign up on ihop.com for a wake-up call on October 28 from Count Spatula reminding them about the free scary pancake day. Bwahahahahaaaaaaaaaaa.

Panera also has added several fall items to its menu, including a roasted turkey artichoke panini, a chocolate pecan babka pastry, a cherry vanilla bagel, steak chili with cornbread, pumpkin cookies and pumpkin spiced lattes.

Know of any others?

The flavor of fall has arrived

Now if fall would just arrive, we’d be good.

The weatherfolk are promising some more seasonal temperatures by the end of this weekend, and if they know what’s good for them, they’d better follow through on those promises. I, for one, have had enough of this blazing inferno. But I digress.

One of the surest signs that fall is actually on the way is when the pumpkin-flavored coffees arrive. Starbucks‘ popular pumpkin spice latte will officially return on Tuesday, but I’m told that anyone who asks for one starting today can get one.

As of Thursday, Scooter’s Coffeehouse locations also added fall drinks to the menu, including pumpkin lattes, chai tea, caramel apple cider and more. Scooter’s has drive-up locations at 3480 N. Ridge, 7399 W. Central, 13335 W. Maple, 626 S. Andover Road in Andover and First and Main in El Dorado. There’s also a Scooter’s on the Newman University campus.

Does anyone know of other coffee shops serving up the flavors of fall?