Daily Archives: Aug. 3, 2012

Robert Gates to speak at chamber’s annual meeting on Nov. 12

UPDATED — Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is going to be this year’s speaker at the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting.

The meeting is at Century II on Nov. 12, which is when Veteran’s Day is observed. The chamber plans to honor members of the military from the area, including McConnell Air Force Base, at the event.

Gates, a Wichita native who has served under eight presidents, is likely to get a far friendlier reception in his hometown than another former defense secretary did.

The chamber invited Donald Rumsfeld to be its speaker in 2007 and then cancelled his appearance. That followed some criticism of his selection. The chamber never commented on why it cancelled or if ticket sales were slow.

This years tickets, which can be ordered here, range from $10 for general admission to $115 for dinner and reserved seating.



Former castle-like building on West 13th is transformed to the delight of neighbors

WICHITA — A former eyesore along West 13th Street has been transformed, and passersby are wondering what’s going on.

The building at 3020 W. 13th no longer shows any traces of a turret or anything else castle-like, which it was once known for.

There were various bars and restaurants at the building through the years, including the Paradise Restaurant & Club where someone was murdered in 2002, but it’s been vacant for some time.

Owner Don Cary, who also owns All Things BBQ, bought the building in 2005 to use for one of his other businesses. He didn’t end up needing it, though, and would like to sell or lease it.

A broker suggested Cary improve the appearance of the building, which Cary admits was not too attractive.

It’s “just completely changed,” he says. “The big tower’s gone.”

The 4,800-square foot building has a new roof and exterior walls, and the parking lot has been refinished.

Cary says the inside is empty and ready for someone new to come along and finish it.

You don’t say

“We’re ready to rock and roll.”

– An exhausted Larry Harmon, whose west-side Larry’s Bud’s Sports Bar & Grill is now open in the former Brooklyn’s Chophouse space

CVS to open at 13th and Maize Road

WICHITA — CVS still isn’t talking about its entry into the Wichita market, but it has signed a deal for a store at the southwest corner of 13th and Maize Road.

In an e-mail, CVS director of public relations Mike DeAngelis said, “We have no comment at this time regarding possible store locations in Wichita.”

Nor has the Rhode Island-based chain of pharmacies commented about other sites that Have You Heard? has reported are possibilities.

That includes the southwest corner of Harry and Hillside, the northeast corner of Central and Oliver and the northwest corner of 21st and Amidon.

Classic Real Estate’s Christian Ablah and his father, Don, represented CVS in the 13th and Maize Road deal.

J.P. Weigand & Sons and NAI John T. Arnold Associates represented the property owners.

Construction should start soon. Look for the store to be open within six months.