Monthly Archives: September 2012

You don’t say

“No, I don’t think that would be possible. Maybe with some Photoshop.”

Sullivan Higdon & Sink’s Lathi de Silva joking about the agency’s new Sheephater yoga pose (a Lotus position and two hands connecting behind one’s back), which former employee Nickki Head created and a sheep could never do

Issa brothers opening Emporia IHOP

WICHITA — A year and a half after buying their first IHOP, the Issa brothers are ready to open their second one, this time in Emporia.

“We had an opportunity, and we took it,” says Ali, who is partners in the business with his brothers Ty and Mike.

They also own Larkspur, Ya Ya’s Eurobistro, Hereford House and Heat Cigar & Hookah Lounge.

Their existing IHOP is at 515 S. Ridge Circle in west Wichita.

Their Emporia IHOP, which will open either Oct. 8 or 9, will be in the former Village Inn space at 2831 W. 18th Ave.

“We didn’t have a plan for Emporia,” Ali Issa says of locating there. “It just came up. … It was a good deal.”

He’s not sure where — or even if — they’ll open another IHOP.

“It’s hard to predict.”

Issa says he’ll spend the next month or two focusing on Emporia, although he says he’ll still continue to pop into Heat, which he also runs.

“Heat’s is doing very well,” he says.

Along with a loyal clientele, Issa says he has good employees to help him.

“We have some very good people (at) both places.”

Two Alterations By Sarah and Millers Dry Cleaners to add Golden Tuxedo rentals

WICHITA — Alterations by Sarah and Millers Dry Cleaners partners Abdul Arif and Craig Miller, who share locations, are expanding two of their businesses to include tuxedo rentals as well.

“The dynamics of having the tux business as part of the dry cleaners and the alterations is a perfect fit,” Arif says.

They’re partnering with Gary Golden who has Topeka-based Golden Tuxedo and Hygienic Golden Touch Cleaners.

“The dry cleaning business has had its ups and downs,” says JD Deines, who is with both Topeka companies.

Pairing with the tuxedo business can help the bottom line, he says.

Deines says he used to think the businesses are related like distant cousins.

“They’re actually more brothers and sisters,” he says. “It’s just worked really well.”

Deines says it’s important to measure a tuxedo correctly.

“That’s where … we found that this makes a lot of sense.”

Also, he says once a tuxedo has been rented, it has to go to a dry cleaners to be cleaned.

“It’s a good combination.”

Deines says the companies decided to share their story with other dry cleaners to expand the concept.

“So our first market that we chose is actually Wichita.”

Arif and Miller will renovate their stores at 1210 S. Rock Road and 10555 W. 21st St. to include a Golden Tuxedo at each shop.

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You don’t say

“Soooo, what time do you have to be back at work?”

Machinists international president Tom Buffenbarger after no one asked questions at the end of his speech to the Wichita Aero Club Sept. 27

Kwik Shop to open at Stonebridge

UPDATED — A new Kwik Shop is coming to the Stonebridge development at the southeast corner of 37th Street North and Maize Road.

“Our customers have spoken, basically,” says Clay Brasher, Kwik Shop’s director of real estate. “That’s the main reason.”

Kwik Shop, which is operated by Kroger, has more than 125 stores in Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska. There are 19 Kwik Shops in Wichita. Kroger-owned Dillons has a number of fuel centers at its stores as well.

“We can use the larger presence,” Brasher says.

Menards anchors the 37-acre Stonebridge development, and Sonic also opened there a few weeks ago. Kwik Shop is the third business to be announced there.

“We feel like it’s going to help us spur even more activity,” says Randy Furstenberg, CFO of Vantage Point Properties, the Stonebridge developer.

“Them going there gives us some momentum that will help us.”

Brasher says he’s not sure how big the Kwik Shop will be yet.

“We’re actually still developing our plans on the size and everything it will include inside the store.”

There won’t be a pharmacy as some Kwik Shops now have, but there will be grocery items.

“It’ll have a large offering of food products in it,” Brasher says.

Construction on the store will start this year and should be completed by spring.

“So it’ll be a pretty quick deal for them,” Furstenberg says.

Vantage Point’s Marty Moody handled the deal with Grant Tidemann of J.P. Weigand & Sons, Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate and Christian Ablah of Classic Real Estate.

 

 

 

BidKansas.com auction is back in business

Nazir Jesri, left, and his brother Ammar Jesri of Absolute Natural Stones are now running an online auction company at their store on East Kellogg.

UPDATED — Brothers Nazir and Ammar Jesri, who own Absolute Natural Stones, are reviving an online auction company they incorporated in 2009.

“We just brought it back to life,” Nazir Jesri says of Auction House LLC, which does business as BidKansas.com. “We’re starting that with a bang.”

He says “it’s like eBay, but it’s right here.”

Jesri says he used to use Purple Wave for online auctions.

“I was using the auctions to auction stone in the off season,” he says. “We lost money the first two auctions, but I kept at it.”

Eventually, he says, Purple Wave informed him that what he was selling was too small to continue trying to sell through its site.

“By the time they dropped us … we were doing really good.”

After looking for other options and not finding anything he thought would work, Jesri decided to start his own company.

“We did a little research, and we found an auction software company that leases the software,” he says.

Next, he negotiated for warehouse space to start the business. When that didn’t immediately work out, he decided to wait on the idea.

Since then, he’s decided he doesn’t need to take possession of merchandise to be auctioned, so he doesn’t need a warehouse. The business will be based at the stone company, which is at 10909 E. Kellogg.

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Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites coming to 21st and Greenwich

WICHITA — A South Dakota company is building a new Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites near the northeast corner of 21st and Greenwich.

KAJ Management of Mitchell, S.D., will break ground on the 97-room hotel in early November.

“We’re full steam ahead to start construction,” says owner and vice president Aaron Johnson.

The project is separate from the STAR bonds district that’s being created for a new athletic complex at K-96 and Greenwich.

“We would have done it regardless,” Johnson says. “Without question, the future looks very good in that area of town.”

The hotel will be within the district but won’t receive any financial assistance from it, Johnson says.

The Holiday Inn, which will take about seven months to build, will be KAJ’s sixth hotel.

Mitchell-based Puetz Corp. is the contractor.

KAJ also purchased the adjacent 88-room Staybridge Suites this summer.

MK Hospitality and DKC Development sold the 3-year-old hotel to KAJ for $8.5 million.

“It was one of the highest sales for the brand ever in the United States,” says former co-owner Dan Marak.

Marak, who is based in Shawnee, is partners in MK Hospitality with Nebraska-based John Klimpel.

“We weren’t really marketing it,” Marak says of the hotel. “We just got an offer. It was a pretty nice offer. We just couldn’t resist it.”

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You don’t say

“I thought it might actually be interesting to see which one sells the most, but I think it might be skewed a little bit because I think the elephant might be a bit larger.”

Friends University English professor Marv Hinten on the Dough-Bama and Mitt Yum-ney doughnuts at LaMar’s Donuts

AMP CrossFit Box to move to South Rock Road area next week

WICHITA — AMP CrossFit Box has been in the former YMCA near Douglas and Rock Road where a church is now locating, but AMP co-owner Noah Morford doesn’t mind having to move.

“We actually found a bigger and better facility,” he says.

On Monday, AMP will open at 8021 E. Marion, which is a couple of miles south of Kellogg off Rock Road in a warehouse area.

“It’s a easier access off Rock,” Morford says.

He also likes that it’s not far from McConnell Air Force Base and is convenient to Derby, Rose Hill, Mulvane and Wichita.

Carl Hebert with InSite Real Estate Group handled the deal for the more than 5,000 square feet.

AMP offers an array of personal training, boot camp-type classes and CrossFit exercises for all ages along with sports-specific training.

Morford describes CrossFit as a well-rounded exercise that helps with endurance, strength and flexibility.

“Basically it’s not trying to make somebody good at one single thing,” he says. “The biggest thing is we scale (exercises) to fit the needs of the client.”

Carla Whaley to reopen Carla’s in Delano

WICHITA — Part of the reason Carla Whaley closed her Carla’s Love It at Bradley Fair this spring is because her husband was ill, but she found herself pretty bored after a while.

“I was walking around not knowing what I was supposed to do,” she says.

Her husband knew the solution.

“He said, ‘Well, do what you like to do.’”

So Whaley is reopening Carla’s, this time in Delano at 605 W. Douglas between Twist and Hatman Jack’s.

“You know, my nieces come down here a lot. … They just think it’s the coolest place ever.”

Whaley agrees.

“It’s always been pretty cool.”

Something new is happening, though, she says.

“It’s the new hot spot. … There’s a rebirth again of Delano.”

Whaley says her friend “Hatman” Jack Kellogg showed her some Delano spaces, but she couldn’t find just the right one initially.

Then he pointed out that the Twist owner was hoping to downsize a bit in the space he owns next to his hat shop.

“I said, ‘Well, why didn’t you bring this up to begin with?’” Whaley says.

Other than that small transgression, she says, “He’s just been a delight to work with.”

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