Monthly Archives: March 2010

Mike’s Steakhouse owner Craig Gabel opens Edy Burger and has plans for more concepts

WICHITA — Restaurateur Craig Gabel, owner of Mike’s Steakhouse on South Broadway, opened a new restaurant Friday.

Edy Burger, named for Gabel’s 15-year-old daughter Edith, is at Westway Plaza at Pawnee and Seneca.

“Basically, you can describe this as Red Robin meets Chuck E. Cheese’s,” Gabel says.

He says he offers gourmet burgers and lots of games — one room for kids under 7 and another for young adults.

Edy Burger is just the beginning of what Gabel plans for Westway.

He’s negotiating for 42,000 more square feet with an option for 30,000 more after that.

Gabel is planning three restaurants — each a different concept — a sports bar and concert hall.

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You don’t say

“Based on what I can tell, you’ve got better weather than California.”

Gary Pruitt, CEO of the Sacramento-based McClatchy Co. (parent company of The Wichita Eagle) speaking Wednesday at The Eagle

State says Connie’s Cookies behind on taxes; Connie Hamilton says not true

WICHITA — Business may not be booming for Connie’s Cookies right now, but owner Connie Hamilton says it’s not so bad that she should be having tax trouble.

Still, records show she owes $17,772 in sales tax and $1,264 in withholding tax.

Hamilton says those numbers are inflated, and they shouldn’t indicate that she’s behind.

The problem, she says, started in 2008 when she switched from a sole proprietorship to a corporation.

“My tax stuff has been going in against the wrong ID number,” Hamilton says.

“They were putting it against the sole proprietor number, which is now defunct.”

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Wichita makes another list, this time for consumer spending

WICHITA — Another day, another list.

Wichita has seemed to make a lot of them in the past couple of years.

The “Today” show just named Wichita the most affordable city in the nation.

Now, a list by Bundle, a new social money comparison site, is showing exactly how much Wichitans are spending.

Bundle ranks Wichita No. 22 in the top 25 cities for annual consumer spending.

Austin is No. 1 on the list with an average spending of $67,076 per household, excluding mortgages and rent.

Wichitans spend an average of $44,810.

The national average is $37,782.

“My first reaction to that is simply its probably decent to be in the middle of that,” says Dean Headley, associate professor of marketing at Wichita State University.

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You don’t say

“We’re only one Congressional hearing away from more stupid rules.”

Jim Coyne, president of the National Air Transportation Association, speaking to the Wichita Aero Club on the ridiculousness of some airline security measures, which he joked could one day include banning underwear on planes

Community Farmers Market coming to Delano later this month

produceWICHITA — Last summer’s talk of a farmers market in Delano is turning into a reality this year.

Delano Community Farmers Market will debut April 21 “if we have our permit and all our other i’s dotted and t’s crossed,” says organizer Jim Martinson.

The plan is to have the market every Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. in the back parking lot at Senior Services of Wichita at 200 S. Walnut.

“It’s close to downtown, so people can stop on their way home from work,” Martinson says.

“We’re in the process of lining up vendors at the moment.”

A dozen vendors have shown interest so far. Monday, Martinson e-mailed 50 more.

His goal is to have the market be 75 percent food or agricultural products.

Martinson says other markets sometimes seem to sell a lot of nonfood products.

“We’re trying to go a different direction with that and having the emphasis be on food.”

There’s a meeting for potential vendors at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Central Plains Novelty in Delano at 905 W. Douglas.

No out-of-state vendors will be allowed. Martinson says that’s following a national trend.

“We’re just encouraging buy local, eat local.”

Kellogg and Oliver could one day be home to a Country Inns and Suites

WICHITA — Jeff Walenta is shopping a 65-room Country Inns and Suites for the southwest corner of Kellogg and Oliver.

“We’re seeing if anybody’s interested,” says Walenta, a broker at Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group.

“They’re a great flag,” he says of Country Inns. “They compete . . . with the others you would think of in the mid-scale segment.”

Walenta is working with his father, Don, to develop the property.

A potential hotel developer would need somewhere between $800,000 and $1.2 million in equity.

“It kind of all depends on where banks are at,” Walenta says.

“We think it’s a good fit if someone would want to do it.”

Entrepreneur Eric Schmidt’s O-Port gives guitars, violins rich, well-rounded tones

schmidtWICHITA — Fisch Haus gallery and art cooperative co-founder Eric Schmidt undoubtedly is artistic, but he’s not the musician he wants to be even though he’s practiced guitar for 10 years.

“I’d almost consider it playing, but not quite.”

His playing ability hasn’t kept the entrepreneurial Schmidt from developing a tool to help other musicians, though.

Schmidt has created the O-Port, a piece of equipment that goes inside a guitar or violin to produce a richer, more well-rounded tone.

“It’s just a big funnel,” Schmidt says. “You know, like the one you drop those coins in. That’s kind of what this thing does with air.”

Some surprises have come out of the invention, he says.

“It just happens to greatly reduce feedback when you play an acoustic guitar through a PA.”

Schmidt already has been selling the O-Port internationally through 11 distributors.

Now, he’s struck a deal with D’Addario, one of the best-known manufacturers of acoustic strings, among other things.

“They’re going to be our worldwide distributor,” Schmidt says.

He’ll also now start a push for U.S. sales through D’Addario.

Schmidt isn’t the only entrepreneurial member of his family.

His wife, Jamie Tabor, is the Chicken Poop lip balm lady.

“It just runs in the family,” Schmidt says.

You don’t say

“Invista turns ‘Biggest Loser’ into biggest winner.”

Roger Ramseyer of Invista, which gave free new carpeting to Danny Cahill, who won last season’s “The Biggest Loser” and said he would use his winnings to buy new carpet

“Today” show may give Wichita another chance

WICHITA — Larry Levich of J.P. Weigand & Sons says there’s still a chance for Wichita to get some time on the “Today” show.

As Have You Heard? reported last week, the NBC morning show named Wichita the most affordable city in the U.S., but it spent so much time talking about the cities in fifth, fourth and third places, there wasn’t time to share details on why Wichita was first.

“They were so embarrassed,” Levich says. “The whole thing is just a bummer.”

He was contacted about a house listing he has. He shot new pictures of the house and gave the show information about it.

“I even invited them to Wichita, Kansas, and told them they could meet Dorothy and Toto,” Levich says. “They laughed. They thought that was great.”

He says he’s been told “Today” will do something else on Wichita soon.

“They greatly were apologetic.”