Monthly Archives: June 2010

Mother Nature postpones Seafood Shop delivery

WICHITA — Seafood Shop co-owner Jessica Eberth is stunned to report that she didn’t have fresh fish to sell Saturday because either a tornado or straight-line winds destroyed the delivery truck bringing her fish Friday night.

“I thought they were kidding when they notified us,” says Eberth, whose shop is in Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn.

The delivery truck was coming from Denver. The incident happened just outside of Colby.

“Although the driver is OK, it totally destroyed the trailer,” Eberth says.

“What are the odds of that?” she asks. “You would never think out of, what, 1,500 semis rolling across I-70 that a random tornado would hit ours.”

It looks like the truck also had fish deliveries for area restaurants, too.

Eberth says that although she was floored, her customers handled it just fine.

“Everybody took it in really good spirits,” she says. “I had no complaints.”

Shanannigans owner files Chapter 11

WICHITA — Shanannigans owner Dean Bratt has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with debts of more than $1.3 million, but he says it won’t affect his business.

“Shanannigans is doing just fine,” Bratt says of the bar and restaurant at 1014 N. West St.

He says Shanannigans has two-thirds of its business back after losing it due to construction along West Street.

“This club went to nothing because of West Street,” he says. “That’s all there was to it.”

Bratt made that complaint earlier this year, too.

“You can’t stop the flow of northbound traffic . . . and not have it affect everybody on West Street,” he says. “It’s what we all dealt with for over a year now.”

He says now that lanes have reopened due to less construction, things are improving.

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You don’t say

“Need a drink…..? Us too.”

— A sign at the Hyatt Regency Wichita in an area that’s being renovated by the Harvest bar

What Wichitans want: We want to know

WICHITA — Don’t forget, you have only through the end of the day Sunday to vote in our poll of what restaurants or retail businesses you’d like to see here.

You can choose your five favorites from our list of almost 60 choices.

Vote here.

Next week, we’ll call the top 10 businesses in the poll to see what it would take to get them here. Look for the results July 4.

Frida’s Mexican Grill owner Mario Quiroz looks for new restaurant space

WICHITA — Frida’s Mexican Grill owner Mario Quiroz had planned to close his restaurant next week before moving to a new space, but he’s decided to wait at least a month.

“I’m just trying to find the right spot,” Quiroz says. “I didn’t want to stop operations in one place not having the other one ready.”

Frida’s currently is near the Thai Binh grocery store on West 21st Street, just east of Amidon.

Quiroz says the Minnesota Guys are talking to him about moving downtown.

“There’s lots of chances to relocate my business,” he says. “There’s some people who really like my concept.”

Part of the reason Quiroz wants to move is the large entertainment hall attached to the small restaurant is too big and doesn’t make enough money for him to continue operating.

Quiroz says he may have found someone to sublease that space.

When he moves, Quiroz plans to still have some sort of room for live music on a much smaller scale. He doesn’t want music to be the main focus, though.

“What I really like to do is more restaurant food.”

Special Products to move locations

WICHITA — For years, Rick Hoppe has been borrowing his neighbor’s parking lot for deliveries.

Hoppe owns Special Products, which sells medical equipment and supplies for children and young adults with disabilities.

His 4,000-square-foot site at 243 N. Mathewson has a small alley that his main supplier can’t navigate with its trucks.

That’s where his neighbor’s parking lot comes in.

“It’s just worked wonderfully all these years,” Hoppe says.

He’s been notified that the arrangement won’t work anymore, though, so Hoppe is moving to 4,600 square feet at 311 S. Laura.

Joe Verbeckmoes of Walter Morris & Son handled the lease.

Hoppe says the site is still close to major highways, so that’s good.

He’d prefer not to move from his home of more than eight years, but Hoppe says, “That’s OK. It’s about time for a change.”

Mutual Fund Store and show comes to Wichita

WICHITA — The Mutual Fund Store is coming to Wichita — on air and at Cambridge Market.

The Overland Park-based company’s business is built on its radio show, which founder Adam Bold hosts weekly.

“Our business model is a little bit unique,” says Jeff Roper, who is the franchisee opening the store here.

“Basically, 100 percent of our clients come from a call-in radio show that is on Saturday mornings.”

The show will debut in Wichita at 9 a.m. July 10 on KNSS, 1330-AM.

“We could never go to a market where we couldn’t get on the air on Saturday mornings,” Roper says.

He says the company manages $5 billion in assets with its 80 stores nationally.

Roper has stores in Fresno and Seattle and is a minority partner in a store in Harrisburg, Pa.

He says Wichita is an ideal market.

The store “does very well in Midwestern-type cities.”

The Mutual Fund Store will have 1,400 square feet at Cambridge Market, which is at 21st and Webb.

Don Piros of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

You don’t say

“I’m in the middle of a lot of intellectual capital, so I hope I don’t drag the IQ down.”

— County Commissioner Tim Norton’s comment today at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the second Airbus facility in Old Town, where a lot of aerospace engineers were in attendance

Brit Hume is the speaker for the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce annual dinner

WICHITA — Two weeks after this November’s elections, the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce is bringing in a speaker to help dissect them.

Broadcaster Brit Hume, who is with Fox News, is the speaker for the chamber’s annual meeting on Nov. 16.

“It’s just a great opportunity for us to hear from someone who lives it every day,” says chamber spokeswoman Barby Jobe.

She says Hume’s talk is likely to focus on what the latest headlines out of Washington mean for business owners here.

“We always strive to find people . . . that maybe the community hasn’t had an opportunity to hear from,” Jobe says.

Will the connection to the often polarizing Fox News keep some people away, though?

“I hope not,” Jobe says. “He’s always been a fair person. I think his experience speaks for itself.”

The chamber also is hosting a July 13 debate with Republican U.S. Reps. Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt., who are vying for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by fellow Republican Sam Brownback.

This spring, the chamber canceled a federal issues forum where Moran was going to be the featured speaker after complaints from Tiahrt’s office and some members.

Jobe says the debate isn’t related to the forum or its cancellation.

“This was always on the radar screen to do,” she says. “We feel it’s really important.”

You don’t say

“I prefer milk, but that doesn’t go as well on the sign.”

Monica Schlegel of Monica’s Bundt Cake, who sells her cakes at Intrust Bank Arena and advertises shows (such as Michael Buble today) at her Douglas Avenue store with signs such as “Buble, bundts & beer”