Monthly Archives: April 2012

You don’t say

“I get tired of getting my picture taken with hard hats, hair nets and goggles.”

– U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran’s joking response when asked why he wasn’t wearing a hard hat at Bombardier Learjet’s groundbreaking ceremony today

Luxury Nails Spa & Massage changes hands

WICHITA — For years, Thao Nguyen’s friends and customers have encouraged her to open her own place to do massage and nail care.

Finally, she’s done it.

Nguyen has purchased Luxury Nails Spa & Massage at the West Lake center at 119th Street and Maple where she used to be an employee.

Today is Nguyen’s first day in business, but excited customers were already popping in on Sunday before she officially was open.

 

O’Malley’s Irish Pub opens with large selection of beer, whiskey

WICHITA — The new O’Malley’s Irish Pub opens today in the former Boomers space near 31st Street South and Meridian, and owner Rob Crandell isn’t shy about how great it’ll be.

“It’ll definitely be the best Irish bar in Kansas,” he says.

“A lot of places say they’re Irish bars but only have a couple of bottles of whiskey,” Crandell says. “For the Irish theme, I’m going to have 40 different Irish whiskeys and 40 different Irish beers.”

He plans a total of 150 bottles of beer and 20 on tap. The taps won’t be done until Wednesday.

“We’re kind of opening a little prematurely,” Crandell says.

He also plans pub food, including some Irish dishes eventually.

Crandell used to own Doobley’s on West Street, which closed about five months ago, and the Doobley’s at 2415 W. 31st St. South.

That Doobley’s had only 2,000 square feet, and the new O’Malley’s space has 3,500 square feet.

Crandell wanted more space for a dance floor – he plans to have DJs and karaoke seven days a week – so he decided to move.

“We just packed it up and moved everything next door.”

Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee Laurie Williams to move to the Garvey Center

WICHITA — Reluctantly, Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee Laurie Williams has to move her office.

“When I moved here, I really had hoped to not have to move again,” she says of her 2,300 square feet at 225 N. Market.

“I love this space and its proximity to my courthouse, but my caseload has grown, and I’m just out of room.”

Williams is moving her office to 5,800 square feet at the R.H. Garvey Building at 300 W. Douglas.

The new office will allow for more files and employees.

Williams, who makes recommendations on whether Chapiter 13 plans should be approved and then administers them, has almost 2,900 cases.

Currently, she has 12 employees.

“I hope to add two more,” she says.

Larry Weber represented the Garvey Center in the deal, and Patrick Ahern of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group represented Williams.

The new office will be ready in late summer.

You don’t say

“Oh, tell me about it … ”

Sullivan Higdon & Sink cofounder Al Higdon’s joking response to comments about so many women being finalists for the 2012 Marketer of the Year Award and dominating the marketing community at large

Beau Monde Spa and Boutique to expand at Comotara Center

WICHITA — Michele Wheeler began contemplating expanding her Beau Monde Spa and Boutique at Comotara Center more than a year ago.

With the entry of six new national competitors in the market, though, she figured she better wait before she made the investment.

She’s not waiting anymore.

“I just decided that it was the right time,” Wheeler says.

She’s adding 2,000 more square feet to her almost 6,000-square-foot space at the center at 29th and Rock Road. That’s where Eccentricity was before moving to part of the former Olive Tree Bistro space.

“I knew we had a great clientele,” Wheeler says.

Still, it was daunting when a new Sephora opened at Bradley Fair and two more opened within JC Penney stores. There also are two new Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance stores, which are at NewMarket Square and Eastgate Plaza, and a Bare Escentuals at Towne East Square.

“I had to wait kind of wait and see what was going to happen,” Wheeler says. “We just had to stay true to our game and let everybody go check it out.”

She thinks Beau Monde has continued to do well in part because customers have “gotten behind that ‘shop local.’”

Also, she says, “It’s a little more personal attention when you come in here.”

In addition to the spa, Beau Monde offers makeup and skincare products.

Wheeler was prompted to finally take the extra space for a couple of reasons.

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You don’t say

“I notice as I get closer to retirement, they keep saying he will make short comments or brief comments.”

Wichita State University president Don Beggs after being introduced at Thursday’s Cooperative Education breakfast

Ernie Biggs Dueling Piano Bar opening in former Gaslamp Grille & Lounge

WICHITA — The deal is still somewhat in the works, but it looks like Ernie Biggs Dueling Piano Bar is coming to the former Gaslamp Grille & Lounge near Central and Rock.

“We were divided on that spot or something downtown,” says Jay Hickman.

Hickman and Daniel Bryant are partners in the chain.

There are three Ernie Biggs locations in Missouri — Branson, Kansas City and Springfield — and one in Little Rock.

The Wichita Ernie Biggs will open May 9.

Gaslamp owner Whitney VinZant, who couldn’t be reached for comment, may or may not be a partner in Ernie Biggs.

“We don’t have all that finalized yet,” Hickman says. “We’re trying to work out a deal right now with him and that spot.”

Hickman says there’s no question Ernie Biggs will happen, though. A new sign went up today.

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Healy Biodiesel to expand, allowing production to triple

WICHITA — Healy Biodiesel, a 5-year-old Sedgwick company, is a few weeks away from moving into new space that will allow it to triple its production.

“We make biodiesel from oils – used cooking oil primarily,” president Ben Healy says. “We are producing probably … about a quarter-million gallons a year currently.”

The biodiesel can be used in cars and trucks.

With a new plant in a Sedgwick industrial park at 250 Industrial Drive, Healy says he expects to be able to produce a million gallons of biodiesel a year.

So what’s that mean for the company?

“A lot more headaches,” he says, perhaps only half joking.

“We’re going to need to add employees,” Healy says.

He’ll also need to add more used cooking oil clients, “which is the backbone of our business.”

Healy particularly will look to Wichita restaurants for help with that.

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Helen Galloway earns her Uncommon Citizen title

WICHITA — She could barely reach the podium – her head just peeked over the top – but First Place owner Helen Galloway was a commanding presence as she accepted the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Uncommon Citizen award Tuesday night at the Beech Activity Center.

“And all that trash you saw tonight — half of it’s true,” she said after a video of her life and work was shown.

Between getting emotional herself – “I’ll only cry for 10 to 15 minutes,” Galloway said – and perhaps making a few in the audience cry as well, she was a laugh a minute for the rest of her acceptance speech.

“Oh, God!” a horrified Galloway declared when seeing herself on a live video. “Tonight I look 200 up there.”

Chamber chairman Walter Berry stood nearby to present Galloway her award, and she used him as her straight man as she chatted on.

“Walter, how much would you pay me to go home?”

Eventually she did exit the stage because, as she told the packed crowd, “You know more than I ever wanted you to know.”