Monthly Archives: June 2011

Until then …

I’ll be on vacation until July 11.

If you have business scoop, please e-mail me, and I’ll be in touch when I return.



New owner of Liquid Sun will relocate and possibly expand at Clifton Square

WICHITA — Alicia Dixon manages the Walgreens in Derby, but she’s always known she wanted her own shop.

“I have just always had a fire to run my own business,” she says.

So she’s purchased the Liquid Sun spray-tanning salon near Central and Webb and is moving it to Clifton Square in College Hill.

“It will help me draw from both sides of Wichita,” Dixon says. “It just has a unique feel.”

She also thinks that being near similar businesses, including two massage places and a couple of salons, will help draw customers.

“It’s in our ‘beauty row,’ ” says Clifton Square owner Jo Zakas. “That’s a new name. . . . Isn’t that cute?”

Dixon is already thinking of expanding within her first year by growing into a day spa or adding a boutique in addition to offering tanning.

“It is just kind of a good stepping stone for me.”

‘Old Town West’ may become the ‘Coleman District’

WICHITA — When downtown consultants with Goody Clancy discussed the area where the Coleman manufacturing plant used to be at the southeast corner of Second and St. Francis, they dubbed it Old Town West.

“We’re afraid . . . that it will be called Old Town West now forever,” says downtown dweller and Wichita State University marketing professor Cindy Claycomb.

“We think that it ought to be called the Coleman District.”

The plant is now razed, and Coleman and the Rotary Club of Wichita are planning an urban park there.

There are plans for other business and residential developments nearby, and the city is redoing St. Francis to make it a two-way street and adding landscaping along it. The Coleman outlet and museum is there as well.

“That could be a nice corridor,” Claycomb says of the whole area.

She was part of a group of people who helped name the Redbud Trail instead of simply referring to it as that new bike path where the railroad tracks used to be.

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China Star Super Buffet campy commercials attract attention and a nomination

WICHITA — Sometimes commercials are so bad they’re good.

That was the idea behind a series of television commercials for Wichita’s China Star Super Buffet, one of which is in the running for the Independent Film Channel’s LoCo Awards.

The awards, which are designed in part to promote the new “Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings” show, will honor the best and most bizarre late-night commercials and their stars.

China Star, which is on Central just west of I-235, made the commercials with the help of Fox Kansas.

“Their goal in this one was designed to be campy so it would make . . . it stand out above commercials and not blend in with average commercials,” says Jeff McCausland, vice president and general manager of Newport Television, which operates Fox and My TV Wichita.

A former Fox employee stars in the commercials, which feature him singing and chatting about China Star.

In one scene of the nominated commercial, he sits in an easy chair that’s reduced to a miniature size and flies over the buffet offerings.

“It’s like the buffet’s right in my house!”

The ads have proven popular, and not only in Wichita.

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You don’t say

“In Kansas, we pop a beer and sit on the back porch to watch.”

Kroger CEO David Dillon, speaking at the Rotary Club of Wichita today, on his reaction to coworkers the first time severe thunderstorm sirens (not tornado sirens) sounded at the company headquarters in Cincinnati

Squeezer’s Palace is gone before it’s ever back, but a newly named “goody shack” will take its place

WICHITA — Feelings of 1970s peace and love are part of what inspired Kirk David to reopen Squeezer’s Palace, but less-than-happy feelings on the part of the former Squeezer’s owner are causing David to change the name.

“When I first thought of this, for me it was a distant memory,” David says of reopening the Riverside “goody shack.”

“I even wondered if anybody would remember it.”

He checked and found there were no claims to the name. David then intended to try to contact the original Squeezer’s owner, but Have You Heard? called first and publicized the story.

Squeezer’s Palace founder EdgarBuddyCurry isn’t pleased.

“It seems wrong,” says Curry, an investor still living in Wichita. “It’s going to be disappointing for people who expect it to be Squeezer’s Palace because it probably isn’t going to be.”

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First two Wichita Mooyah sites should be open by late fall

WICHITA — In January, Have You Heard? reported that a Mooyah franchisee, who didn’t want to be named yet, is looking to bring seven of the hamburger restaurants to Wichita.

Now, the franchisee is talking, and he doesn’t mind sharing his name or his plans.

Twin Peaks franchisee Rusty Rathbun and his five Wichita partners, who do business under the name Le Grande Tetons, have a second company called the Udder Group to develop Mooyah sites.

The Dallas-based chain sells third-pound hamburgers, French fries, hot dogs and shakes among other things. It also bakes fresh buns daily.

“We are moving ahead,” Rathbun says. “Moooving ahead.”

He says he hoped to start with two Wichita sites but may wind up with three.

“I may have to take three to get two,” he says of a deal with one potential landlord.

He and his partners initially planned to be the franchisees for each site, and they may still run one, but now they’re looking for franchisees for the other potential Mooyahs so they can keep their focus on Twin Peaks.

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Could Whole Foods be a possibility for Wichita in the next few years?

WICHITA — It may not happen next year — or even the next few years — but there’s hope Wichita could one day have a Whole Foods Market.

The grocery chain ranked No. 6 in a 2010 Wichita Eagle survey of what Wichitans want.

A Reuters story this week quotes Walter Robb, co-CEO of the Austin-based chain, as saying he expects there to one day be 1,000 Whole Foods stores nationally.

Currently, there are about 300.

The story says, “The upheaval in the commercial property market has created opportunities for companies looking to expand, and Whole Foods has identified locations where it ‘can put some bets down and take advantage of that.’ ”

Robb added that the company has “some contingency plans so that if we needed to, we could slow down.”

We’ll let you know if it looks like the company might take a bet on Wichita.

You don’t say

“We’re always looking at properties next door to us, but you can’t force someone to sell.”

Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin, quoted in Vegas Inc, when asked if he’s looking to buy more properties on the Strip

Cinnabon to open at Towne East Square

WICHITA — You might feel like you’re in an airport this fall if you’re shopping at Towne East Square.

There’s a new Cinnabon — the shop that seems to be at most large airports these days — opening there in October.

The Atlanta-based chain, which was founded in 1985, is known for its aromatic, hot-out-of-the-oven cinnamon rolls in addition to other baked goods and beverages.

There are more than 800 of the franchised sites worldwide. Usually, they’re found in high-traffic spots, such as malls and airports.

The Towne East Cinnabon will open in the former Nuts 4 You spot by the food court and children’s play area.

Nuts 4 You is now in the former AT&T space on the upper level near Sears.