Daily Archives: Aug. 29, 2012

You don’t say

“I’m just grateful to be back in our old neighborhood where we started.”

Mexico Cafe Delano co-owner William Villar, who is opening Villar’s Mexico Cafe at 1860 S. Hillside where his family once had an El Mexico Cafe

Flint Hills Spas and EmbroidMe to open near northeast corner of Central and Edgemoor

WICHITA — Adam Clements of Builders Inc. has been busy doing deals on Central lately.

There are the BattleStations Gaming and Better Buy Jewelry deals that Have You Heard? reported earlier Wednesday, and now there are two more at Central and Edgemoor.

“It’s kind of been like Occupy Central,” Clements says.

At the northeast corner of Central and Edgemoor, Dave Garretson is moving his Flint Hills Spas to the same spot where he used to have his California Cooperage of Wichita hot tub store in the 1970s.

“It’s kind of ironic going full circle back into the original space,” he says.

Garretson sold hot tubs for several years in the ’70s and then sold his half of the company and moved to California in the late ’70s. In 2005, he returned to Wichita and opened the store, which he called Flint Hills Spas and Billiards, at 742 N. Andover Road.

He located there to be near where a lot of new houses were under construction, but that’s changed.

“I need to … get back where it’s a little higher traffic,” Garretson says.

He’s dropped the billiards sales and is adding pellet grills.

The store will be in 1,300 square feet where Ash-craft engraving used to be, which is a few doors down from MIF Deli.

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Better Buy Jewelry to open at Preston Village at Central and Greenwich

WICHITA — Also opening at Preston Village where BattleStations Gaming is locating is Better Buy Jewelry, which used to be in Towne East Square.

Juan Gonzales says he was forced to move because of Wright Career College’s expansion at the mall, but he doesn’t mind.

“We like the (new) area not only because I live nearby but also because we feel like it’s more secure,” he says. “It’s in a better, safer place.”

Also, Gonzales says, he doesn’t have much competition.

“There’s no jewelry stores on … this side of Kellogg and Rock Road.”

Like the BattleStations deal, Adam Clements of Builders Inc. handled this one as well.

The new store, which will also repair jewelry and watches, opens Sept. 25 and will have a grand opening Sept. 29.

Pathfinders Birkenstock to close

WICHITA — In February, Jill Dunning closed her west-side Pathfinders Birkenstock. Now, she’s closing her east-side store in Normandie at Central and Woodlawn.

“It’s kind of really sad to do that,” Dunning says. She’s owned the store for 10 years, but she says Pathfinders Birkenstock has been in the market more than 20 years total.

Lease expirations — and the prospect of signing for another five years — are what caused Dunning to decide to close both stores.

“It’s just time to move on,” she says. “I really wasn’t the retail-type person anyway.”

Dunning tried to sell the store.

“We didn’t have any takers.”

The last day of business will be Sept. 29.

The store’s going-out-of-business sale starts Saturday.

 

BattleStations Gaming to open at Preston Village near Central and Greenwich

WICHITA — A new gaming center is opening at Preston Village near the northeast corner of Central and Greenwich.

“We’re going to try to take the Starbucks experience meets the gaming industry,” says Steve Heiden, CEO of BattleStations Gaming.

The business will have Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and computer gaming along with some nonelectronic gaming, such as role-playing games.

“We want to create … the game center,” Heiden says. He wants gamers and nongamers alike to “feel warm and welcome here.”

He’ll have snacks and drinks available along with an 80-inch TV for those who might be there with others but don’t want to play. There also will be video games for sale along with PC accessories, T-shirts and miscellaneous gaming items.

Although many people have these games in their homes, Heiden says, “Maybe you don’t have a 3-D TV, or maybe you don’t have that 7.1 headset.”

He likes to use the coffee analogy to explain it.

“Well, honestly, you could make coffee at your house, or you could get it at work for free,” Heiden says. He points out that a lot of people go to Starbucks instead.

“You go there for an experience,” Heiden says. “That’s what we’re trying to do.”

Adam Clements of Builders Inc. handled the deal.

BattleStations Gaming, which will be in more than 2,400 square feet, is having a soft opening Saturday and a grand opening Sept. 7.