Monthly Archives: December 2011

Across Time and Page scrapbooking store to open at Cambridge Market

UPDATED — Another new scrapbooking store is coming to Wichita.

Carmen Ned is opening Across Time and Page in Cambridge Market at 21st and Webb.

Earlier this month, Kathryn and Jeffrey Welch told Have You Heard? that they’re opening Kat Scrap Fever in Clifton Square in College Hill.

A scrapbooking store is a big departure for Ned, who has almost 30 years of HR experience.

When the company she was working for here was purchased by another company, Ned’s position was eliminated.

“My husband brought to my attention that WSU was having a new ventures program,” Ned says.

She attended to learn how to do business planning.

Ned says Timothy Pett, the director of Wichita State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship, was instrumental in her decision to start Across Time and Page.

“He actually liked the idea,” she says. “He saw that it was just a viable business idea and just encouraged me to move forward.”

The store will be in almost 2,000 square feet between Sports Time Fan Shop and Chelmsford Tea & Gifts.

Scott Harper with Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

“It has been a hobby of mine,” Ned says of scrapbooking, “and I always noticed that there wasn’t a store in the northeast area.

She says she’ll have space for 20 people to work on projects or have a scrapbooking party. Ned also plans to offer classes along with “just the latest and greatest scrapbooking merchandise.”


Rock Island Cafe to reopen, this time on the east side

WICHITA — A former Rock Island Cafe manager is bringing back the restaurant, this time on the east side.

“Just bringing back the Rock, that’s what I’ve been saying,”says Kirsten Teague.

The restaurant, which was open from 1985 until the mid-1990s, was next to Union Station in the former Rock Island Railroad baggage terminal. That’s the building that became home to the original Tanya’s Soup Kitchen.

Teague has been working on leasing space on North Rock Road.

“It’s kind of like a divorce to me,” Teague says of negotiations. “Here’s what I want, here’s what you want, now can we meet in the middle?”

It’s looking like she can’t meet in the middle on the place where she’s been negotiating, but Teague says, “I’ve got Plan B.”

Teague says she ran Rock Island Cafe after Sabrina Parker bought it from founders Chris Farha and Janet Cohlmia.

Parker, who owns Merle’s Place and the Walt’s All American Bar and Grill on West Central, isn’t involved in the new restaurant.

“She’s just my moral support,” Teague says.

She describes the new Rock Island as a gourmet sandwich shop with “weird combinations that are not normal.”

For instance, she’ll serve chicken salad with almonds and pineapple in pita bread.

“It’s not like all the sandwich shops in town,” Teague says. “I have people who still remember what we did.”

Read More »

You don’t say

“That’s why I own that liquor store – because I was hanging out at Harry’s. Aren’t all good ideas like that concocted in a bar?”

R&J Discount Liquor owner Jeff Breault on Harry’s Uptown Bar & Grill

D’Sozo chef now owns the vegan restaurant and is renaming it after himself

WICHITA — Some diners might fear d’Sozo, the vegan restaurant and market at 1812 S. Seneca, is closed for good.

It is, but not to worry.

The restaurant is taking a break for the holidays, and Chef Miguel Larcher will reopen it Jan. 3 under a new name.

He’s the new owner of the restaurant, so he’s naming it Miguel Larcher for himself.

“Everything is basically the same,” says former owner Larry Cook. “It’s just a name change.”

Cook still owns the building and all of the restaurant’s equipment.

“You know, I’m a developer, and that’s all I do,” he says. “I’m just trying to do … my thing that I do best.”

Larcher grew up in Martinique, where he attended culinary school at age 16. Eventually he attended another culinary school in Nice, France, before coming to the United States 20 years ago.

Cook says it makes sense for Larcher to own the business.

“He’s the chef that has been running the whole show.”


Longtime owner of Harry’s Uptown Bar & Grill dies

WICHITA — One of Wichita’s most well-known – and possibly well-liked – restaurateurs is gone.

Gary Cocking, the longtime owner of Harry’s Uptown Bar & Grill near Douglas and Hillside, died Monday after a battle with cancer.

“The guy knew probably as many people in Wichita as anybody,” says Darrell Leason, a commercial real estate and investment broker.

He says Mr. Cocking’s way with people is what made him such a good businessman.

“He was excellent with people – never met a stranger … and had a great memory for people’s names and faces.”

Cocking grew up working in his family’s restaurants, such as Wilbur & Susie’s near the stockyards on 21st Street, and he opened his first place – the Embers – in the late ’60s.

He went on to own the College Inn and the Rodeo, among other places, and manage businesses such as Nirt & Girty’s and Carlos & Wong’s.

“He knew how to operate a bar and how to make it a good place to hang out,” says Jeff Breault, who owns R&J Discount Liquor, which is just down from Harry’s.

“He made that … ‘Cheers’ atmosphere.”

Businessman Max Cole, a close friend of Mr. Cocking’s from childhood, says he was someone you could see from across the room and know “you’d like to meet him and be around him.”

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Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches coming to 21st and Maize Road area

WICHITA — At long last, the west side is getting its own Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches restaurant.

“We wish we had a location on the west open two years ago,” says franchisee Matt Brane.

He’s president of Bushwood Investments, a partnership of three Wichitans who own 29 Jimmy John’s restaurants in Kansas and Texas.

So far, the group has three Jimmy John’s here, including two North Rock Road sites and one just north of Central and Hillside.

Now, the group has a contract on space next to Applebee’s on 21st Street just west of Maize Road. The deal hasn’t closed yet, but it’s expected to soon, and the new restaurant should be open by late spring.

Finding west-side space has been a challenge, Brane says, but not due to a lack of space.

“There’s tons of in-line space available on the west side,” he says. “We’re selective about where we go.”

Brane says, “Our mission is to develop Class A real estate with freestanding drive-through locations. Those are more difficult to find.”

The Central and Hillside Jimmy John’s and the one at 340 N. Rock Road have drive-throughs. The one at 3300 N. Rock Road does not.

Brane says his group is looking for another west-side site for a second restaurant there along with one downtown. Nothing is close yet.

The west-side Jimmy John’s site isn’t the only real estate deal Bushwood Investments has been working on.

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Third Expert Auto Center to open, this time on the east side

WICHITA — Drivers on East Central have been noticing the demolition of some quadraplexes between Oliver and Edgemoor and been wondering what’s going on.

Expert Auto Center owner Faissal Abou-Faissal is preparing to build his third mechanic shop there.

“It’s probably going to be our biggest,” he says.

Abou-Faissal opened his first Expert Auto Center in rented space at 13th and Meridian in 1997. He eventually bought that building and added new space there.

In 2004, he opened a second shop at 100 S. Baltimore in Derby.

Abou-Faissal says he’s opening an east-side shop for customers from that area who currently have to drive longer distances to see him for service.

“We have lots of customers who come from the east side of town,” he says.

The new center, at 5222 E. Central, will have eight bays and a lube center.

“Basically, it will be a drive-through,” he says of the lube bay.

Construction will take several months.

“We’re hoping less than five months,” Abou-Faissal says.

He’s not sure if he’ll open any future Expert Auto Centers.

“Anything is possible.”

Abou-Faissal says his business is strictly word-of-mouth.

“We base our business on our relationships with customers and take care of them like they’re family.”


You don’t say

“It’s kind of a leap of faith.”

Fox Ridge Restaurant owner Greg Davis on how supportive customers convinced him to keep open his Newton restaurant, which he’d planned to close this week after a tough 2011

Eric Fahnestock resigns as president of his late father’s former company

WICHITA — Eric Fahnestock has resigned as president of Fahnestock Heating & Air Conditioning, which does business as Fahnestock Plumbing, HVAC & Electric.

Fahnestock has been in that position since 2006 and also has a minority interest in the company.

He’s not talking about the reason for his resignation, but it appears to be related to his efforts to purchase majority shares of the company from the estate of his late father, George Fahnestock.

“It’s more complicated than that,” says Gary Austerman, the attorney for the estate’s executor, Fahnestock’s widow, DeAnne Fahnestock.

She was Eric Fahnestock’s stepmother.

Austerman won’t go into details about negotiations over the purchase.

“I really can’t speak to that,” he says. “It’s private business.”

He says, “We’re just trying to have a very simple transition.”

For now, Eric Fahnestock continues to work at the company on an as-needed basis.

“I want the company to succeed, and I care about all the employees, and if they need me for something, I’m more than happy to help them,” he says.

“Business is sometimes a tough game, but you have to take the high road.”

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Part of the former Big Dog Motorcycles space downtown is under contract

WICHITA — Part of the former Big Dog Motorcycles space at 1520 E. Douglas is now under contract.

No one involved in the deal is talking, but it looks like there’s a contract on the 20,000-square-foot warehouse space near Douglas and Hydraulic. That’s to the east of where Big Dog’s 60,000-square-foot showroom was.

The tract under contract includes an almost 2,000-square-foot office building in front of the warehouse and the land up to the corner of Douglas and Hydraulic. The list price is $850,000.

The deal has not closed yet, but it may soon.

Intrust Bank foreclosed on Big Dog in April, and founder Sheldon Coleman Jr. dissolved the corporation.

He then started a new company, BDM Performance Products, to supply parts, accessories and gear for more than 25,000 Big Dog motorcycles.

The operation is based in Big Dog’s former service and research and development buildings and the former Johnstone Supply building next to where the company’s headquarters was. That property is not for sale.

Jeff Walenta and Scott Salome of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group have the listing on the former Big Dog campus, which they’ll sell or lease.

That includes 101,000 square feet and is listed for $4,020,000, though it now looks like there won’t be a package deal.