Daily Archives: Aug. 2, 2013

Vacation … all I ever wanted

OK, that’s not all I ever wanted, but it’s what I’m looking forward to right now. See you on Aug. 12!


Luca Italian Kitchen closes; YO-B to open

UPDATED — Melad Stephan has sold his Luca Italian Kitchen.

Another downtown restaurateur, Nabil Bacha, took possession of it this afternoon.

“We wanted to bring something a bit different,” says Bacha, who owns Cafe Bel Ami at 229 E. William.

He considered doing something possibly called Bel Ami Bistro, which would have been similar to Stephan’s popular Uptown Bistro that was at the entrance to Old Town Square before Luca.

Bacha decided that’s too much like what is already in Old Town, though.

“They’re all competing against each other,” he says of sit-down restaurants there. “There’s just too many.”

Bacha decided to go another route with yogurt, custard and one really, really tasty burger, which he says will be similar to the popular In-N-Out Burger on the West Coast.

The name is tentatively YO-B, for yogurt and burgers.

Read More »

A-OK Enterprises sues Joseph Hollander & Craft over incorrectly filed lawsuits

WICHITA — Bruce Harris and his A-OK Enterprises have sued Joseph Hollander & Craft, a past attorney for the company, but no one with the law firm is disputing wrongdoing.

“We knew eventually we were going to get real embarrassed about this, and the time has arrived,” says attorney Steve Joseph.

“We screwed up.”

The issue is over lawsuits that the firm filed to collect from A-OK customers who defaulted on payday loans. The suits were supposed to have been filed under a payday loan statute. Instead, Joseph says they were filed under a worthless check statute. The bank commissioner penalized A-OK $20,000 for the mistake.

Harris doesn’t have a comment on the situation.

“It’s understandable how this would happen unless you look at this from hindsight,” Joseph says. “The attorney responsible for it isn’t with us any longer.”

He says attorney Michael Priddle was fired over the incident.

“Under the law, he was our employee at the time, and we’re responsible …,” Joseph says.

Read More »

Tire Store adds full-service auto repair and becomes Tire Store Auto Care

WICHITA — The Tire Store, which has been in business since 1977, is expanding its services and changing its name to reflect that.

“We’ve always done small-scale automotive repair,” says general manager Mark Love. “But it was never advertised.”

Now, the store is adding full-service repairs, so the name is changing to Tire Store Auto Care.

Love says some of the store’s customers – especially women – complain about other auto repair shops not being truthful with them.

“We just hear a lot of horror stories,” he says.

His company decided to capitalize on that “because so many customers trust us with their wheel and tire work.”

The store, which is at 1458 S. Broadway, is converting a warehouse to add additional repair bays. It will now have six bays instead of two. There are also three tire bays to continue to the store’s traditional work.

You don’t say

“Great service, great food at a great price – just like the King Air.”

– New York City resident Kenny Dichter, founder of Wheels Up (which just placed an order with Beechcraft for up to 105 King Airs) on his favorite Wichita restaurant, Abuelo’s

Former Il Ponte partner to open Gyros and Paninis near Via Christi on Harry

UPDATED — Former Il Ponte partner Zahra Amro is about to be back in business.

Il Ponte, which had been at 3101 N. Rock Road since 2010, closed earlier this summer.

“Business wasn’t doing that well,” Amro says. “I don’t know if it was the location.”

Her new restaurant, Gyros and Paninis, will be more approachable than the more formal Il Ponte, Amro says.

“It’s going to be more of a deli,” she says of taking favorites from the Il Ponte menu.

“The customers appreciated the sandwiches more so than the other items we were offering.”

The restaurant will be at 1555 S. Bluffview, which is next to Via Christi on Harry.

Amro says Via Christi and Wesley Medical Center employees were some of Il Ponte’s most frequent customers. She says she’ll also still offer catering, which Amro says was a hit with pharmaceutical reps.

Gyros and Paninis will seat about 45 people but mostly focus on take-out business. There will be fish, chicken, beef, schwarma and fattoush salads, Amro says.

“The quality of the food is going to still be the same.”

Yummy’s Carry-Out to open in one-time Pig In Pig Out BBQ space

WICHITA — A former popular restaurateur is reopening in what used to be the home of another popular business.

Mary Hardeman, who owned Oasis Supreme in the 1980s, is helping her daughter, Cynthia Richard, open Yummy’s Carry-Out in the former Pig In Pig Out BBQ space at 1935 S. Hydraulic.

“It just seemed to be a very marketable area,” Hardeman says. “To get started it just seemed to be the right location.”

Pig In Pig Out moved to 13th and Washington in 2004.

Yummy’s will be take-out only for now, though Hardeman says she’ll eventually add patio seating, which Pig In Pig Out once had.

The restaurant, which Hardeman thinks will open by the second week of August, will serve fast food such as hamburgers, hot dogs, fish, chicken and weekly specials.

Hardeman says she’s bringing back her “famous Comeback sandwich … that the people just really love.”

She says the fish sandwich with a special rub and sauce always was a hit with her past customers.

“That will get their attention,” she says. “They know what that’s about.”