Daily Archives: Oct. 3, 2013

Wheat State Distilling opens; can’t sell liquor until goverment is back in business

WICHITA — The government shutdown is now affecting drinking in Wichita, at least when it comes to the new Wheat State Distilling.

“We’re supposed to be firing up the boilers tomorrow morning,” says David Bahre, who is opening the business with his wife, Kim.

Though production should start Friday – Wheat State will produce a variety of gin, vodka, whiskey and rum, though not all at once – the Bahres can’t sell their products until the government approves their label.

“So we can’t sell a drop until the government reopens,” David Bahre says. “If you can believe it. We’re that close.”

The bureau that approves the labels also has a 30-day backlog, he says.

“I don’t know when the government will reopen, but whenever they do, it will set us back however many days they were shut down” plus the backlog, Bahre says.

The Bahres, who are from Wichita, live in Wamego.

Wheat State is in 3,200 square feet at the southwest corner of 37th and Hydraulic.

David Bahre has a degree in milling science, which is the process of turning grains into products, from Kansas State University. He says he’s been a business owner since he was 19. He has bought and sold a number of restaurants and has other business interests as well.

Bahre thought finding a distributor might be a challenge.

“We thought that was going to be one of the hardest parts,” he says.

When Have You Heard? reported the business was opening, though, the calls started coming.

“Some of them even called my mother looking for us,” Bahre says. “All of the largest ones in the state are interested in us.”

He says he hasn’t made a deal with one yet, but he’s already “had a hell of a run.”

Now that the business is starting, Bahre says he welcomes visitors for tours. He’s not ready for the official kickoff just yet, though.

“There’s just no point in having a grand opening until … we have something to sell.”

You don’t say

“I’m going to drop off a baked bean can and a string tomorrow … so we can chat later in the day.”

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers co-owner Scott Redler teasing City Council member Pete Meitzner about his antiquated BlackBerry

Winter Bazaar set for Dec. 8 at Century II

WICHITA — Former OnionTree owner Bridgit Yinger is planning another Winter Bazaar for December, and she thinks it’ll be so big, she’s moving it to Century II.

Yinger held her first bazaar to promote handmade goods in 2011 at Abode Venue to make it convenient for shoppers and “eliminate the barriers that buying locally intrinsically has.”

“It was pretty much a line out the door from the moment we opened,” she says.

There was an issue with enough room for shoppers to move, so Yinger says Century II makes sense.

The event will be from 3 to 7 p.m. – one hour longer than last time – on Dec. 8.

This year, Yinger is inviting local boutiques to participate in addition to people who make their own items to sell.

“I’m just looking for boutiques that have a local flair,” Yinger says.

She had 60 local vendors last time and hopes for 75 to 100 this time.

Yinger plans to transform the space.

“It’s not going to feel at all like a convention hall.”

As before, Yinger plans a cash bar, live music and local art. There also will be food trucks in Kennedy Plaza.

“So it’ll be a party,” she says. “It’ll be fun.”