Monthly Archives: July 2012

You don’t say

“We never actually worked anything out was the problem.”

– Former heavyweight world champion Ross “The Boss” Puritty, who wants people to know he is not affiliated with the new Title Boxing Club

Global PDR Solutions goes local with work at three new Wichita sites

WICHITA — After traveling the world, the owners of Wichita-based Global PDR Solutions are now going to concentrate on paintless dent repair and other work here.

“Basically what we’ve always done is just traveled and chased hail storms,” says Brian Patton, who is partners in the business with Hamendra Bhakta and Scott Dietz. “We just never concentrated or focused our energies here.”

That’s changing in part, Patton says, because “we’re starting to get a little older.”

The company is opening three new Wichita sites.

That includes a 1,600-square-foot corporate office at 764 N. Tyler, which is near Central and Tyler, that will have room to pull a car into for quick work.

“We can fix it right on the spot,” Patton says.

Don Piros of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal for the space, which Global PDR Solutions will move into this weekend.

A second site opened four weeks ago at 5600 W. Central, which is on the northeast corner of Central and I-235.

And four years after buying a 3,000-square-foot building downtown at 160 N. Kansas, the company has now opened there as well. Hail storms had kept the owners too busy to do it before now.

Patton says next the partners want east-side space.

“We’ve got our eye on a nice big building out there.”

Patton says their plans include more than hail repairs for the new shops.

“Our ultimate goal is to open them up as body shops in the near future.”

Qdoba Mexican Grill to open at least two restaurants on east and west sides

UPDATED — Restaurateur Eric Estes is bringing a new franchise to Wichita:

Qdoba Mexican Grill.

“We’re really impressed with … their culinary attitude (and) approach to food,” Estes says.

Estes Enterprises has 20 A&W and Long John Silver’s franchises in Kansas, including six of the seafood restaurants in Wichita.

Denver-based Qdoba, which was founded in 1995, has about 600 restaurants in 42 states.

Initially, Estes plans to bring Qdobas to Wichita’s east and west sides.

“Our plan is to have the first unit open by the end of ’12 or the very beginning of ’13,” he says.

The east-side Qdoba will be built first.

Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons is helping Estes with the deals, which aren’t yet finalized.

Wink Hartman II of Ink Construction is the contractor.

Read More »

KU sports store to open at Eastgate Plaza

WICHITA — The same company that has Lids sports cap stores in Towne East and Towne West Squares is bringing a KU store to Eastgate Plaza at Kellogg and Rock.

No one with Nashville-based Genesco is talking, but work is under way at the store, which will sell officially licensed KU merchandise.

It’s not clear when the 2,000-square-foot store will open.

It’s taking part of the former Souper!Salad! space at Eastgate.

Andy Boyd of Walter Morris Cos. represented Eastgate, and Christi Royse of J.P. Weigand & Sons represented the tenant.

You don’t say

“It’s a sad day because Wichitans have nowhere to celebrate it. Don’t you think?”

– An e-mail from Stephen Clark II, who helped land Whole Foods, about National Cheesecake Day Monday (yes, he’s working on getting Cheesecake Factory, too, but calls it a long shot)

Mitchell Theatres buys Colorado theater

UPDATED — On the heels of entering New Mexico to expand its chain of theaters, Mitchell Theatres has now added a fifth state: Colorado.

The company purchased Skyline Cinema in Dillon, Colo., an eight-screen theater that serves the Summit County resort community. That includes Breckenridge, Silverthorne, Frisco, Copper and Dillon.

This makes 11 theaters and 81 screens that the Mitchell family owns. The family, including Brian Mitchell and his siblings Brent, a lawyer at Martin Pringle, and Kendra Ramsey, who lives in Texas, is a farming family that bought its first theater in Newton six years ago and has been steadily acquiring new theaters ever since.

The Colorado acquisition was completed the Monday after the July 20 shootings in an Aurora theater, which is about 80 miles from the Dillon theater.

Brian Mitchell says while he was in Colorado for the purchase, he drove to Aurora to visit a memorial to the victims.

“It’s a surreal feeling,” Mitchell says. “Your heart goes out to the families, but it’s also inspiring because you’d visit with people around the memorial.”

He says he contacted each of his family’s theaters regarding security after the Aurora shootings. Mitchell said he instructed managers to hire extra security officers if they felt they were needed, and some did. He says the theaters are still allowing costumes at shows, but not full masks or fake weapons.

“You didn’t want to eliminate the experience of dressing up for Batman, but you want to make everybody feel safe.”

Read More »

You don’t say

“I’m ready for (an) ice storm.”

College Hill Deli owner Ali Yassine on how he’s had it with the heat this summer

Whole Foods Market to open in Wichita at the new Waterfront Plaza

UPDATED — A new phase of the Waterfront development will be the home of Whole Foods Market when it arrives in Wichita next year.

“It’s very big for us,” said Stephen Clark II, who is managing the project, of landing the organic and natural food chain.

“It could be beneficial for the whole market,” Clark said. He said retailers such as Whole Foods Market and the new Cabela’s that entered the market earlier this year attract other big names.

“The more of that you can get, the more interest there is from others.”

Clark’s father, Steve Clark, and fellow Waterfront developer Johnny Stevens are building a new 70,000-square-foot retail center called Waterfront Plaza on the northwest corner of 13th and Webb Road, which Stephen Clark says is part of the larger Waterfront development on the northeast corner.

Whole Foods will anchor the development with a 30,000-square-foot store that Clark said will open in November 2013.

“We just feel that it’s really going to pair well with the community,” said Ben Friedland, executive marketing coordinator of the Rocky Mountain region for Whole Foods Market.

“One of the things that we’re most excited about is we’re a very decentralized organization, which allows us to build stores that are very specific to the communities in which they live,” he said. He said the chain partners with local producers who meet Whole Foods Market standards to sell their items so the store is “going to be endemic to the community, and it’s going to take on its local flair and its local flavor.”

“We’re just really excited about the abundance of local products available.”

Friedland said the Austin-based chain, which has 325 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, has been looking at Wichita for a couple of years.

“It’s another feather in the cap of Wichita for bringing the big names that wouldn’t touch us two to five years ago,” said Don Piros of Landmark Commercial Real Estate. “It’s the domino effect. You bring one or two here, and the rest think, geez, maybe we should be here.”

Piros is handling leasing at the remaining 40,000 square feet at Waterfront Plaza in addition to retail and office leasing within the larger Waterfront area east of Webb Road. That includes a new 4.3 acre area under development north of Chester’s Chophouse & Wine Bar where two new office buildings are slated to be under construction soon.

Piros said he’s close on a few potential Waterfront Plaza tenants. Clark said landing Whole Foods helps.

“People want to be next to Whole Foods, and we expect a lot more activity out there.”

Read More »

New bakery and deli to open on North Broadway in former Pizza Hut space

WICHITA — It looks like the former owners of Kim Huong are opening a new business near where their pho restaurant used to be.

No one with the business could be reached for comment, but there’s now a sign on the former Pizza Hut building next to Little Saigon near 10th Street and North Broadway.

One sign at a drive-through for the business advertises banh mi, which is a Vietnamese sandwich, and other sandwiches as well as something called kimlan.

Other signs at the business advertise a bakery and deli.

It’s not clear when the business will open.

Taco Tinga to open in former Dolci & Joe’s

WICHITA — Diners soon will once again be able to find tacos at 3425 East Douglas.

That was Taco Tico’s home years ago before Breezy’s and then Dolci & Joe’s opened there.

Now, Angel Varela and M.M. Karim are opening Taco Tinga there.

Varela used to own the La Hacienda grocery at 31st and Hillside and the La Picosa restaurant within it.

His new restaurant will be similar to a Chipotle Mexican Grill in that customers will walk in and select ingredients from a counter featuring various fillings for tacos, burritos, sandwiches and quesadillas.

Unlike Chipotle, there will be some ready-made items as well, such as chili rellenos and enchiladas.

Initially, Taco Tinga will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Later, breakfast will be available, too.

The restaurant opens Aug. 1.