Monthly Archives: September 2011

You don’t say

“No Wizard of Oz, no pixie-dust financial engineering . . . turns horribly risky investments into Triple A (properties).”

—  Texas A&M University real estate economist Mark Dotzour on the state of the commercial credit industry in Wichita and elsewhere

Former Players and Brooklyn’s owner to open Shoeless Joe’s Old Fashioned Burgers and Phillys

WICHITA — Brooklyn’s Chophouse & Brew Tavern has been closed for less than two months, and owner David Chaffin has filed bankruptcy, but he’s already opening a new business.

“You know how it looks on the surface,” says Chaffin, who understands that people naturally will have questions.

“Basically, I was all but getting ready to leave town,” he says of searching for a new job.

Then he says he was approached by a group of investors and the landlord for Clear Lakes, the center on 21st Street near Amidon where Jimmy’s Egg was most recently.

Chaffin says they want him to open a new restaurant where Jimmy’s was.

“I don’t have anything to bring to the table but me,” Chaffin says he told them.

That was OK.

He’s now working to open Shoeless Joe’s Old Fashioned Burgers and Phillys, a lunch and dinner restaurant with a full bar that will be open seven days a week.

“Basically it will be a version of what Players was years ago,” he says. “You know, going back to the small, simple and fun.”

Players Sports Bar & Grill is the bar Chaffin opened in 1984 near 21st and West streets. He then built a larger building at 6200 W. 21st St. and moved in 1999.

Chaffin changed the concept to Brooklyn’s last year after the business suffered in the down economy.

“The problem we had in the other building was it was way too big for this economy.”

Chaffin says he’s content to be “a glorified employee for a while.”

“They’re putting up the money, and I work,” he says. “One day I will own the place again.”

Chaffin says he looks at Shoeless Joe’s as going back to his roots in a 4,000 square-foot space.

“It looks like sometime mid-November we’ll have that bad boy opened up.”

Junk in the Trunk Clothing to move within Delano

WICHITA — Aimee McCarter is packing her Trunk and moving from one Delano address to another.

“We’re moving actually to the heart of Delano,” she says.

Her Junk in the Trunk Clothing, which is a plus-size resale shop for men and women, opened in 800 square feet in December at 805 W. Maple.

“We actually grew out of our store within a month of opening,” McCarter says. “We need a plus-size store.”

In November, she’s moving to 2,000 square feet at 728 W. Douglas, which is where Savage Threads once was.

In addition to clothing sizes extra large and up, Junk in the Trunk also sells jewelry and accessories.

“We’ve become successful,” McCarter says, “so we’re moving up.”

Dolci & Joes faces tax warrant and reorganizes

WICHITA — The Sugar Sisters aren’t the only ones reorganizing.

Another restaurant that has had some struggles but is working through them is Dolci & Joes in College Hill.

The restaurant at 3425 E. Douglas is almost $21,000 behind in state taxes.

Co-owner Josh Crowe says he’ll have it paid within a month.

He says he’s “just kind of reorganizing it all and addressing back issues, essentially.”

Crowe has a new partner, Benjamin Juhnke.

As the restaurant prepares to enter its third year in November, Crowe says they’re “just dealing with little blemishes that had occurred in the first two.”

“A large part of it was just in the organization and the operation of the company.”

He’s made changes such as having table service instead of having customers order at the counter. Crowe says he’s addressed speed and efficiency issues as well.

He says customers who have been to the restaurant in the past “would notice some dramatic changes” if they come now.

Crowe says Dolci & Joes also is making a bigger push with corporate and catering clients.

“We’ll go where our patronship is,” he says.

“We’re looking forward to the years to come.”

You don’t say

“Hint: You’re not in Kansas anymore. Welcome to Vegas!”

– A large sign in the baggage claim area of the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas

Safelite AutoGlass to move 25,000-square-foot space on the east side

WICHITA — Safelite AutoGlass is leaving downtown for a new 25,000-square-foot warehouse at 8804 E. 34th St. North near K-96.

“It’s a better, more visible location,” says Randy Randolph, vice president of real estate and market development for the Ohio-based company.

The company currently is at 701 E. Murdock.

“When they put the overpass in, it really cut the visibility of our location down on Murdock,” Randolph says of the train overpass that was built a few years back.

Safelite will be the first tenant in the new space on East 34th Street.

“It needs to be built out,” Randolph says.

The company likely will move in January or February.

The new building mainly will be a warehouse for Safelite.

“It’s also where we’ll dispatch our mobile technicians,” Randolph says.

About 90 percent of the company’s business here is with mobile technicians repairing or installing new glass in cars at customers’ homes or offices.

Safelite is in all 50 states.

“Wichita’s always been a very good market for us,” Randolph says.

“We think it’s a positive move forward for us, and we’re looking forward to getting in the new home.”

Innovative Vein Solutions expanding Winfield

WICHITA — Innovative Vein Solutions is expanding again.

Physician Paul Cheatum opened his first clinic in 2009 at the Village at Greenwich at 21st and Greenwich.

About nine months ago, he expanded with a satellite office in Hutchinson. Next month, he’s adding one in Winfield at Winfield Medical Arts.

“We’ll be offering all of the normal services we offer here, particularly the varicose vein treatments and spider vein treatments,” Cheatum says. “Eventually we hope to take some aesthetic services down there as well.”

He’s planning to expand to western Kansas next year.

Cheatum says the expansions should save a lot of his customers a drive.

“It’s nice to be closer to them so they can get services more conveniently.”

Sugar Sister Kelli Sykes to reopen Sugar Sisters Bakery in Delano

WICHITA — The Sugar Sisters are back.

Kelli Sykes is reopening Sugar Sisters Bakery, this time in Delano, with a little behind-the-scenes help from her sisters Kristine and Katie.

The sisters closed their original Sugar Sisters Bakery & Cafe near Central and Oliver in January after struggling financially and with service issues for three years.

“I learned from our mistakes the first time,” Kelli Sykes says.

“My sisters kind of gave up (and) wanted to pursue their dreams, but I still wanted to do a bakery,” she says.

“In high school I went to Kapaun, and everyone called me Betty Crocker (and) Mom. They all wanted me to open a bakery. That’s kind of where my dream started.”

The new business will be in 1,200 square feet at 917 W. Douglas just down from Club Billiards.

Joey Ritchie and Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Sugar Sisters mainly will be a bakery but will have some lunch items as well and seating for about 10.

Sykes says her bierocks will be a staple.

“Anyone who’s had them has been instantly addicted.”

She’ll also serve chicken salad, quiche and some deli items such as cold pasta.

Since the other business closed, Sykes says she’s been doing special orders and has been receiving great feedback.

For instance, one drug rep orders about 100 cupcakes a week.

“She says every time she takes them somewhere people go crazy,” Sykes says. She says fans of the restaurant have “been going nuts since we closed.”

For those who weren’t fans or were disappointed by a previous experience, Sykes says, “I would invite them to give me another chance.”

Read More »

You don’t say

“I thought someone asked how much I weigh. He asked if I’d been to NuWay.”

— New Wichita Eagle president and publisher Kim Nussbaum, speaking to the Wichita chapter of the Public Relations Society of America on Tuesday

Sit @ Thai Express closes

WICHITA — Sit @ Thai Express in the former Taco Shop space on Central near Oliver has closed.

Owner Nikki Phumsawarng says there were internal management problems.

“They cannot improve for me . . . so we decided to close.”

Phumsawarng still has Sit @ Thai Bistro on 21st Street near Ridge Road. That restaurant, which is larger than the Express version, opened in 2009.

Phumsawarng hopes to open another restaurant concept and is looking for new space.