Daily Archives: Dec. 13, 2013

You don’t say

“I said, ‘You must know a lot of angry people.’ (They) said, ‘I work at Spirit.’”

Best of Times owner Nancy Robinson on a person who bought 10 Dammit Dolls, the soft dolls angry people can safely slam on any surface to blow off steam on bad days

Vliet family sells Old Town property

UPDATED — Rich and Marni Vliet were a young couple in 1975 when they first started buying Old Town property.

“Rich began having this Old Town dream when we met,” Marni Vliet says of her late husband, who died of ALS two years ago.

First, they purchased the Looking Glass restaurant in the 400 block of East Douglas.

Then, in the mid 1980s, they began eyeing a dilapidated area of Old Town in the 900 block along East Douglas.

“We were beginning to get a feel for the frontage of Douglas,” Vliet says. “We used to sit at the Beacon and look at the block over our omelettes.”

The Vliets shared a dream and a dedication to the redevelopment of Old Town, and that included what Rich Vliet thought of as the entry point of Old Town.

“Rich was right,” Vliet says. “He said, ‘Old Town needs a face. … It needs a front door.’”

The Vliets purchased the property from 910 through 926 E. Douglas, which has 29,531 square feet over nine units. Friday, they sold it to a group called Old Town Ventures.

“I wouldn’t even characterize it as bittersweet,” Marni Vliet says. “It’s the end of a chapter for our family.”

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Delano Antique Mall to close next weekend

WICHITA — Three years after opening, the Delano Antique Mall is closing.

“People just quit buying,” says owner Steve DeThample. “All the malls have slowed down. There’s been quite a few little ones closing.”

DeThample has about 13,000 square feet at 1642 W. Douglas.

“I lost a lot of vendors because they weren’t selling,” DeThample says.

“Since, oh, the first of the year, it’s just kind of petered out,” he says. “People just aren’t spending the money right now … not for antiques anyway.”

The mall had 80 vendors at one point. DeThample says he gave the vendors quite a bit of notice that he was closing, and some moved to other malls. He says some of those vendors have already left those malls as well.

“I tried to get some people to take it over,” DeThample says of the business.

He says he had interest from some other malls, but he says his landlord won’t sell the building, and that was a condition for some potential buyers.

The mall is open this weekend, then closed through the week. It will reopen next weekend, which will be its last two days in business.

“The last couple of months, I’ve lost, oh, 10,000 grand a month, which is way more than I can afford to do,” DeThample says. “People are just scared to spend their money.”

He says customers asked for steep discounts.

“You can only give so much – or lose so much.”