Monthly Archives: March 2009

Soon-to-open Spangles attracts customers

spanglesThe 25th Spangles, and the second one in Salina, opens Wednesday.

As is tradition, people started lining up and pitching tents to spend the night and be the first 100 people in the door. One man got in line Monday.

That’s because Spangles gives the early birds one free value meal a week for the next year.

“It’s always exciting to open up a restaurant,” co-owner Dale Steven says.

“It’s smoother and smoother every time,” he says. “We have a lot of good managers who have been around a long time.”

A new Spangles to replace one that burned near Central and Tyler should be ready in about 45 days.

And in June, the company will start building its 27th location. It’ll be on Andover Road just south of Kellogg and Andover and will be ready about 90 days after construction starts.

Then, Steven expects to look to Western Kansas.

“That’s probably our next venture.”

You don’t say

“Don’t think he’s just faking, it’s really a heart attack.”

— Mayor Carl Brewer on what to do if he falls down tonight while playing against the Harlem Globetrotters

You don’t say

“It’s like getting your money and throwing it out the window.”

— Developer Chuck Caro, who says he feels sorry for everyone like him who had to pay to quickly remove snow from businesses Saturday only to have the sun come out and melt it the next day

BG Bolton’s gift certificates still good

If you happen to have a gift certificate for BG Bolton’s, which closed this morning, it’s still good.

Bolton’s owner Bud Gates also owns Heroes Sports Bar & Grill, and you can use the gift certificates there.

BG Bolton’s closes; Jose Pepper’s to open


Businessman Bud Gates’ “baby” is no more.

“This is the lousiest feeling on one of the best days I’ve ever had,” Gates says of closing his namesake BG Bolton’s Sports Grill today.

He sold the business to Kansas City-based Jose Pepper’s, a chain of nine Mexican restaurants.

“There’s so much to be happy about,” Gates says. “But it was my baby. It does have my initials and the town I grew up in.”

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Hmmm, was Susan Peters invited?


Please indulge me for just a minute to share a laugh over an e-mail I received.

Its subject line proclaims: “Carrie Rengers to participate in Pancake Competition.”

Breaking news!

It’s true, though. An unnamed (what, no one else has said, “Yes,” yet?) group of other “celebrities” and I will be designing, flipping and, at one point, even tossing pancakes Wednesday to promote an April 16th event to benefit Youthville.

Reporters don’t often get press releases where they themselves are the news, so that was kind of fun.

But the thought of another food competition panics me a bit.

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Alan Jackson is a PB&J kinda guy


Of all the prima donna musicians out there, Alan Jackson doesn’t appear to be one.

So says Hartman Arena manager John Nath.

Instead of crazy food requests and ridiculous dressing-room demands, Nath says the needs of Jackson and his band and crew were simple.

Jif creamy peanut butter, Smucker’s raspberry preserves and loaves of white and wheat bread were about as particular as the stipulations got.
One line in his rider even said, “Do not go to the expense of renting furniture.”

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‘A big thing’

Sandpiper Healthcare and Rehabilitation is undergoing extensive remodeling and is adding an Express Recovery Unit, which is a place the senior population can get around-the-clock rehabilitation care and then go home.

“It’s actually kind of turning into a big thing,” nurse liaison Angie Von Feldt says of the trend toward these units. “A lot of places are specializing in that now.

“It’s kind of for the population that doesn’t want that nursing home feel.”

There will be 29 beds, 15 of which will be in private rooms. There will be hardwood floors, flat screen TVs and a gym three times the size of the one the facility has now. There will be new therapy equipment, too.

“It’s going to be really nice back there,” Von Feldt says.

The unit will have its own entrance to make it more accessible to visiting families.

Sandpiper, which Skilled Healthcare purchased in April 2008, is moving its Alzheimer’s wing to make room for the new Recovery Unit.

Other areas of the building are getting a makeover, too.

“We’re revamping, remodeling, making it look a little more up to date,” Von Feldt says. “It’s just going to be great when it’s done.”

Nothing personal, dude


Don’t know if you had a chance to read my article on the Steven family last week. You’d need to set aside about 20 minutes to get through the whole thing. After all, there are a lot of Stevens. Eleven children and — I didn’t stop to count — who knows how many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, uncles, aunts and cousins.

One part of the story included a sidebar on some of those extended family members. I tried to be clear that I wasn’t including everyone, but real estate agent Gary Steven still was a little surprised not to see himself.

“Everybody’s called me and gone, ‘What’s happened to you?’ ” he says.

Sorry, Gary. No disrespect.

For the record, he’s with Prudential Dinning-Beard.

For more pictures of the family — and, alas, Gary, I don’t think you’re in them — check out our Steven photo gallery.

So long, Amarillo; hello, Pho Hot


As of late Saturday night, Wichita is once again without an Amarillo Grill.

By customer demand, Amarillo owner Danny Nguyen, who bought the restaurant at 306 N. Rock Road early this year, is converting it into a Pho Hot Bistro.

It’ll be more of an upscale version of his successful Pho Hot restaurant near Pawnee and the Canal Route.

Former Amarillo owner Alan Bundy, who founded the popular Amarillo Grill chain in 1982, brought the restaurant back to Wichita in early 2008.

Bundy sold the chain in 1996, and the new owners eventually closed all the restaurants.

Nguyen says the restaurant did all right in its North Rock space, but he says his customers were disappointed he wasn’t opening a Pho Hot.

His new concept will feature the same fresh and often healthy ingredients Pho Hot offers, and the menu will be the same for lunch — pho, noodle dishes and Vietnamese sandwiches.

But dinner will have an expanded menu that prominently features fresh seafood that Nguyen buys on weekly trips to Houston.

Dishes include some not-so-typical entrees for Wichita, such as blue crab-stuffed avocados, crab cake po’ boys and tableside hot pots to cook your own shrimp and beef.

And, unlike the Pawnee location, there will be beer and wine on the menu.

Military discounts will continue as well.

The interior of the restaurant will be remodeled, too. Nguyen plans to raise the ceiling, create a new entrance and add seating to accommodate about 100 diners.

Look for the new restaurant to open in early summer.

Nguyen says his existing location won’t change. Contrary to what some concerned customers fear, he says, “Pho Hot is not for sale.”