Augusta Municipal Airport manager hopes to have restaurant at airport

WICHITA — Augusta Municipal Airport manager Lloyd Partin’s latest hope for the airport is a restaurant.

“Most people fly with some sort of intention in their trip,” he says. “It gives people a reason to fly, especially for leisure reasons.”

Partin says the idea would be to lure people flying in for the proverbial $100 hamburger but also attract people driving in from around the area.

He says it’s about giving “another reason why the airport is important.”

Partin says the car rentals that the airport added are used more by nonfliers than those flying in.

There’s a hurdle to a restaurant, though.

“The primary issue right now is having access to a sewer line,” Partin says. “That’s the critical component.”

He says a microsewage treatment plant is a possibility, as is getting a line extended from Andover.

“We were discussing the possibility with the city of Andover,” Partin says. “We’re still working on that and still having discussions with them.”

Ideally, Partin would like a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“That would be my goal,” he says. Having a full-service menu “would be a real benefit.”

“It would be a good location for something like that.”

Partin says he’s spoken with potential operators but doesn’t have anything waiting on the back burner. He says there’s interest, though.

“I think a restaurant, from the airports that have one, is kind of like icing on the cake,” he says. “It brings it full circle in terms of providing a reason for people to get out and fly.”

MakeICT will remain in Delano for now

WICHITA — When Bluebird Arthouse closed in late May, MakeICT had to scramble a bit to make sure it would still have a place to operate.

The group had been subleasing space at Bluebird, which was on West Douglas just east of Seneca in Delano.

Now, with help from the Knight Foundation Fund of the Wichita Community Foundation, MakeICT has a new lease at the address along with money to help pay for it and utilities for six months.

MakeICT formed in 2012 as part of the international Makerspace movement and recently was granted a nonprofit status.

“It’s this very cool thing that sometimes I think I’m too old to understand, but I’m trying,” says Shelly Prichard, president and CEO of the Wichita Community Foundation.

“It’s very loosely defined,” she says, “… which is part of what my personality has trouble with.”

Makerspaces are types of community centers that also have tools to help with all kinds of creativity.

That could be a wood shop, machine shop, art studio or science lab. Currently, MakeICt members can share a 3D printer, a foam cutting machine, PCs, CNC machines and other equipment and tools.

“It’s mostly about creation, whatever that looks like,” Prichard says. It’s things that aren’t necessarily connected … except by the idea of creation and community.”

Though she teases that she may be too old for it, Prichard says MakeICT actually is for people of all ages, backgrounds and interests.

“It’s not just a technology focus. It’s also the idea of community and coming together.”

Prichard says the idea of people with common interests coming together in a community to make things might be something people see on TV, “but it’s here in Wichita, and it’s happening.”

Along with help for rent and utilities, MakeICt also received money for new equipment and will have help for future planning and development.

“The part I’m excited about is the creation of a business plan,” Prichard says, “… just for sustainability so that they can grow and figure out a way to continue having this impact.”

She says the idea is for a business model to support the nonprofit idea.

Prichard says the goal is to get MakeICT a little closer to downtown, but she’s not sure where it may wind up after its lease in Delano expires.

“Hopefully that’s what the business plan will determine.”

You don’t say

“I usually like to start by asking if there are FBI officials in the house. Probably not, but they’re probably listening.”

Matt Cecil, director of the Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State University, talking at Rotary Monday about his book “Hoover’s FBI and the Fourth Estate: The Campaign to Control the Press and the Bureau’s Image

2 Attics Antique Mall and Estate Liquidation Services to downsize

WICHITA — In 2011, Kirby Melugin told Have You Heard? he was expanding his 2 Attics Antique Mall and Estate Liquidation Services to make more room for vendors.

Now, he’s downsizing his space near 61st and Hydraulic in Park City to give himself a little bit of breathing room.

“When it’s just me, it’s just kind of hard to take care of everything,” he says.

In addition to having the store, Melugin says he’s been doing a lot of on-site estate sales.

He says he’s decided to keep the 5,000 square feet he added in 2011 because it’s a little larger than the space he originally opened.

“The main thing is, we’re not closing. We’re just downsizing.”

After Labor Day, Melugin is going to start closing the store on Mondays and Tuesdays. Now, he’s open seven days a week.

“I need a day off,” he says.

“I’m going to work smarter, let’s just put it that way.”

You don’t say

“I would have said it anyway.”

Redbird Flight Simulations owner Jerry Gregoire, noting that Cessna Aircraft representatives were at Farnborough instead of the Wichita Aero Club Thursday when he discussed what happens when accountants take over aviation companies

Ribbit Computers owner to start chain of fast casual Mediterranean restaurants

WICHITA — Alex Harb has good news and bad news, depending on your perspective.

Last fall, the Ribbit Computers owner and new Golden Corral franchisee told Have You Heard? he was considering bringing Jack in the Box to Wichita.

He’s decided not to do that, but Harb instead is going to open a fast casual Mediterranean restaurant in September.

Meddys will open in the former Jimmy’s Egg space at Harry and Rock.

“I believe that there’s a need for a fast casual Mediterranean food,” Harb says. “It’s not fast food.”

Meddys, which is kind of a nickname for the Mediterranean, will serve chicken and beef shawarma, kabobs, salad, hummus and falafel. Harb says meat will be off a spit.

“There’s nothing like it in town,” he says. “It’s extra work.”

Harb says he’s purposely keeping the menu simple.

“We’re not trying to be everything for everyone.”

Harb, who entered the restaurant business with a Raymore, Mo., Golden Corral earlier this year, says he plans to do four Meddys in the Wichita area over the next five years.

“Everybody is leaning towards the healthier food,” he says.

That’s part of the reason Harb says he decided to do Meddys instead of Jack in the Box.

“There’s plenty of places that are serving just hamburgers and tacos and everything that Jack in the Box serves.”

Harb says he likes the traffic around Harry and Rock.

“It’s pretty good exposure,” he says. “I think this location will do very well.”

Marty Johnson to return to radio with ‘Mondays with Marty’

WICHITA — When Marty Johnson of Johnson’s Garden Centers announced he was ending his radio show in early 2013, he said, “It’s time to do something else, like ride my bike on Saturday mornings!”

Now, he’s figured out a way to do both.

Johnson and his son, Jeremy, will be on KQAM, 1480-AM, from 5 to 6 p.m. on Mondays.

The previous show was on KNSS, 1330-AM, for the better part of three decades.

The new show will be called “Mondays with Marty.”

“It’ll be kind of the same format as before,” Johnson says. “It’ll draw a different audience than the Saturday morning audience.”

Johnson says he and customers missed the show.

“We heard comments,” he says.

Johnson, an avid bicyclist, does not think the new show should interfere with his riding.

“No, in fact … I’ll be able to ride to the station.”

You don’t say

“Saw a woman at a technology conference yesterday wearing a t-shirt that read, ‘We’re taking the SH out of IT.’”

Mike Masinelli of Adtran, speaking at a Thursday meeting of IT professionals that High Touch Technologies sponsored

Crazy Jay’s Furniture & Sleep Shop to move to Parklane Shopping Center

WICHITA — Call him crazy, but J Williams is once again moving his Crazy Jay’s Furniture & Sleep Shop.

Crazy Jay’s is currently in about 14,500 square feet at Lincoln and Woodlawn. It’s moving to 15,000 square feet at the Parklane Shopping Center at Lincoln and Oliver in September.

This will make the fourth place the business has been since it opened in 1997 as Crazy Jay’s Bed Shop at 13th and Waco.

“What’s prompted the move (is), really, in my opinion this part of the neighborhood has really kind of died off,” Williams says.

He says a few businesses, including a diner, left the area. Williams says he’s now the primary anchor at the center he’s in.

“It’s just that there’s not a lot happening,” he says.

Williams started with 11,000 square feet at his existing space and added 3,400 square feet after Tuesday Morning moved.

“We’re kind of a happening business, and we need to be where things are happening,” he says. “It’s just kind of a logical move.”

At Parklane, he says he likes that Rent-A-Center and Basham Rent To Own also are there.

“We’re anxious to get on with the move,” Williams says.

He says the stockroom at his new space will be on a separate floor than the showroom, which is a step up from what he has now.

“The thing I never liked about this really is the stockroom is visible from the showroom.”

He says that created a warehouse feel, “which we don’t really like.”

Williams says the store, which is open seven days a week, will open in its new space around the third week of September.

Don Piros of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

“Once we get this situated, I am considering a west-side mattress-only concept,” Williams says. “I’d kind of like to go back to our roots.”

He says the west side is where he lives, and it makes sense to open a store there.

“There’s a lot of stuff going on out there.”

Costco files application to build at the northeast corner of Kellogg and Webb Road

platUPDATED — Wichitans have been waiting a long time, but there’s now confirmation from Costco that the company is coming here.

The chain filed a development application to build a new store at the northeast corner of Kellogg and Webb Road.

“They’ve put in for their plat approvals,” says John Schlegel, director of the Wichita-Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Department.

“They’re moving on getting things started because the plat would be the first step.”

You can view the plat in detail here.

Costco has no comment, though. A representative says Costco chairman and cofounder Jeff Brotman is the only person authorized to speak for the company. Brotman’s assistant says he’s traveling and can’t comment.

Have You Heard? first reported that Costco was interested in the Beechcraft property in 2012. No one with Costco or Beechcraft would confirm the company’s interest until Beechcraft’s then-CEO Bill Boisture inadvertently confirmed it during an interview with Aviation Week last July. The same day, Aviation Week changed its online story to say a big box store – not Costco – was coming.

The subdivision committee of the Wichita-Segwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Commission approved the plat Thursday. It will go before the full commission on Aug. 7. After that, the Wichita City Council must accept any easements or road right of ways before Costco can proceed to build.

It looks like the deal for the Beechcraft space hasn’t closed and may not until all city approvals are finalized.

The Costco confirmation comes as Sam’s Club, a direct competitor, opened its third store in Wichita. The chain already had stores on West Kellogg and on North Rock Road. A new one opened Thursday at 29th and Maize.

Schlegel said Costco’s plat does several things.

“They’re creating a property description, an address (and) showing where the easements will be,” he says. “They have to show where they’re going to make connections to the public utilities, how drainage will work for the site and where they will get access to the adjacent streets.”

Costco’s address will be 9700 E. Kellogg.

Look for more information on the new store soon.