Monthly Archives: October 2009

What will happen with the Barrier’s property?

WICHITA — A Barrier’s question that won’t be answered for a while is what will happen with the property at the northeast corner of Douglas and Oliver.

There’s the jewelry and gift store and the office behind it.

It’s owned by Big River LLC, and the late Jay Barrier’s probate estate it its sole member.

The administrator will decide what happens with the property at a later date.

Is the Barrier’s liquidation sale legal?

WICHITA — A couple of readers had a question after seeing this week’s item about Barrier’s liquidation sale, which starts Monday.

Barrier’s filed bankruptcy Oct. 23, and a judge this week approved the liquidation sale.

Marsden Brothers Promotions of Idaho is conducting the sale and plans to bring in new merchandise to sell as Barrier’s stock is depleted.

The readers wondered if this is against the law.

According to Wichita code section 3.32.070, during such a sale it’s unlawful to sell merchandise that’s not regular stock at the store or to replenish or add items during the sale.

However, according to the city attorney’s office, in this case the bankruptcy court’s order would prevail.

If anyone wanted to challenge that ruling, a complaint would have to go through the bankruptcy court because it has jurisdiction.

You don’t say

“The more I drank the cheaper the room got.”

Ron Coleman of Coleman Materials on the benefits of staying at an all-inclusive resort in Las Vegas

House of Schwan expands products lines and has plans to expand its building, too

WICHITA — House of Schwan, the Anheuser-Busch InBev distributor for Wichita, is expanding.

The company is breaking ground in December on a 31,000-square-foot addition to its 58,000-square-foot building at 3636 N. Comotara, where it’s been since the early 1980s.

Operations manager Mike Daniel says the reason for expansion is all the new product lines House of Schwan now carries.

“Exclusivity has just gone away,” he says of carrying only one brand. “I think everyone just looked at their markets and looked at all the different things out there that we can carry.”

Two years ago, the company began carrying energy drinks.

In the last 12 to 14 months, House of Schwan started carrying vitamin waters, flavored teas and milk. It also now offers a lot of craft beers.

“Why not have it all on one truck?” Daniel says.

He says most of the drinks are going to the same place, such as convenience stores.

Daniel says the new lines are still a small part of House of Schwan’s overall business, but their sales are growing.

“It’s going great.”

West-side Chill closes; east-side location makes adjustments

WICHITA — The west-side Chill Gelato & Coffee near 21st and Maize has closed.

“It was just not enough business,” says Sudha Tokala, who owns the east-side Chill at the Waterfront.

A friend of Tokala’s opened the west-side Chill in December. Once summer ended, Tokala says business dropped off dramatically.

Her Chill isn’t in danger of closing, but Tokala is adding food back on her menu and changing the name to Chill Gelato, Coffee & Deli in an effort to get more business.

She used to have sandwiches on the menu, but her gelato business was so good, she couldn’t keep up with both.

So she began concentrating on only gelato and coffee.

“Back when the economy was fine, that was more than enough,” Tokala says.

Then the economy tanked.

“I guess that’s the first thing people cut is the coffees,” Tokala says.

Look for sandwiches and soups on her menu in about two weeks.

“I’m hoping that will help me . . . through the winter.”

You don’t say

“Doggone, we’ve been under contract many times. This one almost got away, too.”

Star Lumber’s Chris Goebel, who’s finally closed a deal on his 11.4 acres at Central and Maize, where Wal-Mart now plans a Neighborhood Market

La Mesa Mexican Restaurant is closed

WICHITA — After not quite nine years in business, La Mesa Mexican Restaurant has closed.

Co-owner Mario Quiroz says his restaurant, which was at 6960 W. 21st, couldn’t weather the economy and new nearby competition.

“I don’t see the end,” he says of the recession.

And when Senor Tequila opened at 21st and Tyler recently, Quiroz says his business immediately dropped by 20 percent.

“People really want to go and try the new business in the area,” he says.

Winter is always La Mesa’s toughest season, Quiroz says, so he decided to try and lease or sell his space rather than fight to stay open.

He’s getting the 6,500-square-foot building ready to put on the market.

Quiroz still co-owns Frida’s Mexican Grill at 1580 W. 21st just east of 21st and Amidon.

“Frida’s is getting much better,” he says of business.

He says the 2,200-square-foot restaurant, which also has a 5,000-square-foot party room, is more manageable, especially with fewer employees.

“It’s easier to make it work.”

Green Acres is expanding its deli

WICHITA — When Green Acres opened in Bradley Fair almost 16 years ago, it had a 4,000-square-foot deli.

Four years ago, it expanded to 10,000 square feet.

Now, it’s expanding again.

“Business is really good right now,” says Barbara Hoffmann, who owns the store with her husband, John. “We’re really having a huge demand for a lot of different things.”

One of those things is gluten-free products, like cookies, cakes and pizzas.

“There’s another demand, and that’s sugar-free —amazingly so,” Hoffmann says.

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Cinnamon’s Deli to join Five Guys and Long John Silver’s near northwest Lowe’s

WICHITA — A third restaurant is joining Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Long John Silver’s Freshside Grille in front of Lowe’s near 29th and Maize.

Cinnamon’s Deli will open in 2,400 square feet next to Five Guys, which will anchor the south end of the strip center there.

Long John Silver’s anchors the north end.

Central Park Place Retail is developing the 8,960-square-foot center.

Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate and Christian Ablah of Classic Real Estate are principals in Central Park. Cook Construction is the builder.

They broke ground on the project Wednesday.

At a time that not many strip centers are under construction — and many are sitting empty — Ablah thinks “the exciting tenants that we have with this kind of location” is why he and Saville are able to proceed with theirs.

The center is 81 percent leased. There’s 1,680 square feet left to lease, and Ablah and Saville are open to either a restaurant or retail.

Look for the new restaurants to open in early 2010.

Tweet of the week

Norm Macdonald came in and ordered a carrot juice! How cool is that?”

— A Wednesday tweet on Twitter from Zumo Juice & Java (@zumo_juice) in Bradley Fair about MacDonald, who is appearing at the Loony Bin this week