Monthly Archives: November 2010

You don’t say

“Chances are few New Yorkers think about places like Kansas, but at some of New York City’s A-list restaurants . . . there’s no place like it.”

— A recent report on Creekstone Farms beef by Tyler Mathisen on CNBC’sPower Lunch,” which has generated a lot of inquiries at the Arkansas City company

Wesley Medical Center drops Associated, hires Rowley and Ablah for advertising

UPDATED — It was at about this time last year that Wesley Medical Center took its advertising account from Howerton and White, which had it for about five years, to Associated.

Now, Wesley has jumped from Associated to the new Rowley and Ablah agency.

No one with Wesley Medical Center, Wichita’s second-largest hospital, would comment on the switch.

Jeff Ablah and one-time Associated CEO Bruce Rowley (who wasn’t at Associated when it had the Wesley account) formed their new Rowley and Ablah agency early this month, and Ablah says landing Wesley shows “tremendous trust.”

“Obviously, we would wear it as a badge of honor to have a client such as them. There’s no question about that.”

Two Associated representatives also are commenting.

“We’re proud of the work we’ve done for Wesley over the last year,” says Shawn Steward, Associated’s director of public relations.

He says Wesley representatives indicated the agency helped the hospital “make great strides.”

He’s not sure why the hospital chose to switch agencies.

“They honestly didn’t give us any direction in the notification.”

Read More »

Internet entrepreneur Tracy Alan Norris buys east-side former Circuit City building for new headquarters

UPDATED — Some alert readers have noticed lights on in the former Circuit City space on East Kellogg lately.

The building has been empty since Circuit City left years ago.

There’s a new owner of the building, but he’s not ready to say much yet.

Tracy Alan Norris, who owns iFurn.com and PainReliever.com, said in an e-mailed statement that he bought the 40,000-square-foot building at 8405 E. Kellogg, which is near the entrance to I-35.

He’ll use the building as his corporate headquarters and to house his company’s warehouse.

Norris is a former chiropractor who practiced here for 20 years until selling his clinic in 2006 after having success with his online ventures.

His iFurn.com has been selling home and office furniture since 1998.

PainReliever.com has been selling pain relief products since 1997.

Norris plans to open a new venture at the new space in 2011. He’s not sharing details just yet, but Norris says he promises to share the scoop with Have You Heard? when he’s ready.

Norris currently has an office in Legacy Park at 21st and Webb, which is now for lease — which Norris would prefer — or sale.

The 5,600-square-foot building is on about an acre and has what Norris calls “relaxing pond views.”

It’s where he had his chiropractic office and where he has his headquarters for his online businesses until January when he moves.

Norris says there are four treatment rooms, two large offices, a spacious waiting room and conference and break rooms.

He’s asking $795,000. If you’re interested, you can reach Norris at 316-239-6302.

You don’t say

“Until our expansion we had to keep our fabrics in the bathroom so you can imagine how much better it is to be able to view them now!”

Sharon Nelson of Nelson Designs in an e-mail about her new expansion at the Shops at Tallgrass

Full Moon Pub and Grub to open on South Seneca next month

WICHITA — Charlie Badeen and David Allan are at it again.

The owners of Dudley’s Sports Bar and Grill, Mulligan’s Pub and O’Brien’s Irish Pub are opening a new sports bar, this time in a new part of town.

“We have never been down south,” Badeen says. “Everyone kept asking us, ‘When are you coming down south?’ Well, now we’re coming.”

They’re opening Full Moon Pub and Grub at 2804 S. Seneca. That’s where Yogi’s Bar & Grill currently is.

The more than 6,000-square-foot space holds 220 people.

“It will have a full menu very similar to the menu at Dudley’s,” Badeen says of hamburgers and traditional bar fare. “It will have our pizza, as normal.”

That’s the popular pizza Mulligan’s and O’Brien’s also have.

There also will be pool tables, dart boards, video games, foosball and about 20 televisions.

Tuesday is Yogi’s last day in business. Full Moon will open in a couple of weeks.

Ruby’s Art Market to help young artists learn the business side of art

WICHITA — Retired art teacher and high school counselor Janice Thacker thinks there are a lot of potential young artists in Wichita, and she wants to help them.

“I know there are some talented kids here, and they just need an outlet.”

So Thacker wants to create an open-air market for students and others to sell art east of Grove on the southwest corner of 13th and Green streets. She’s attempting to rezone the land from residential to commercial.

“The idea is to have students learn the business end of art because many people see art as an extra, and there’s really a market for them to develop business skills,” Thacker says.

For instance, she says artists could create cards, scarves and jewelry, duplicate them and sell the merchandise at the market.

“They start to see there’s a market for (art) as business.”

In addition to helping students, Thacker says the idea is “to kind of help to change the climate of the area.”

Read More »

Happy T-Day

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I’ll be back Monday.

You don’t say

“This is like coming home.”

Rob Burton, the new vice president and market manager for Clear Channel Radio Wichita, who previously was in Wichita managing Journal Broadcast Group from late 2003 to summer 2007

Press wine bar to open Tuesday

WICHITA — At long last, Melad Stephan’s new Press wine bar is going to open in his former Sabor space at the Waterfront.

There were the usual construction and equipment delays that prevented the business from opening a couple of months ago as planned. Mostly, though, Stephan blames himself.

“You know, I change my mind so many times,” he says. “So I drove them crazy from colors to light to everything.”

Most of the changes are now complete.

“I might change my mind about some of the bar stools, but I think I’m set to open on Tuesday.”

Lone Star Business Solutions to close, leaving no Lone Star offices in Wichita

UPDATED — As of mid next year, there will no longer be any Lone Star operations in Wichita.

“There was a decision to wind down . . . the management offices here in Wichita,” says Jan Dietrich, chief operating officer of Lone Star Business Solutions.

That office is part of the Dallas-based Lone Star Funds, which in late 2006 bought the group of restaurants that Wichita’s Jamie Coulter once owned.

Lone Star Funds is a global investment firm that happens to share the name of the restaurant group’s flagship business.

The group’s restaurants include Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, Texas Land & Cattle Steak House, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House and Sullivan’s Steakhouse.

Management at those restaurants made the decision to outsource the services Lone Star Business Services has been providing, which includes handling payroll, accounting and human resource functions.

Last year, Lone Star Funds moved the restaurant management offices from Wichita to its Dallas headquarters.

Lone Star Business Solutions remained in Wichita at the Wichita Executive Centre at 125 N. Market.

Now, its services will be handled by InfoSync Services in Wichita.

“After careful consideration, it was determined that this was the best decision given the company’s efforts to streamline operations . . . and invest in other aspects of the ongoing business — that being the actual restaurant concepts,” Dietrich says.

“We’re optimistic that InfoSync will have an opportunity to look at hiring some of our people that are being impacted by this decision.”

That’s about 50 people.

“We regret the impact to the employees,” Dietrich says. “There’s a lot of good, long-term, dedicated employees, and they’ve worked hard.”