Monthly Archives: February 2014

Warren Theatres in Wichita may benefit from Broken Arrow theater upgrades

Check out Bill Warren’s picks for this year’s Oscars.

 

WICHITA — Broken Arrow may be the future home of Bill Warren’s latest theater, but whatever new features are popular in the more than $40 million complex may eventually be added to his Warren Theatres here.

“If some of the ideas work like we think, yeah,” Warren says.

He compares each of his new theaters to a new Mercedes Benz.

“You still know it’s a Mercedes. It still has the same look, but there are all these improvements,” Warren says. “You always try to keep up. You always try to be innovative.”

He won’t share what those innovations are yet, though.

“No, because we’re actually working on some patents.”

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PB&J Restaurants considers Burnt End BBQ for Wichita

WICHITA — Kansas City-based PB&J Restaurants, the company that brought YaYa’s EuroBistro and Newport Grill to Wichita, is looking to possibly bring a new concept as well.

“It’s our new barbecue concept,” says PB&J’s Paul Khoury.

Burnt End BBQ opened three weeks ago near 119th and Metcalf in Overland Park.

“It’s fast casual,” Khoury says. “It’s doing well.”

If it remains successful, he says that “just like we always do, next stop is Wichita.”

“Wichita’s a great restaurant town. People like to eat out in Wichita.”

Khoury says there are good income levels here to support restaurants.

“Look at how many restaurants that have come out of Wichita, too,” he says of chains such as Pizza Hut and Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers.

PB&J, which no longer owns the YaYa’s here, debuted its Newport Grill seafood concept here.

It’s now opening another Newport Grill on May 1 at the new Prairiefire development on West 135th Street between Nall and Lamar avenues. The restaurant will be one space down from where Wichita’s Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates is opening its new store.

Newport Grill has “just been very successful in Wichita,” Khoury says.

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You don’t say

Wichita State’s #31, Ron Baker, scores career-high 31 points as Shockers go 31-0 on 3-1.”

Angie Elliott of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, sharing with colleagues what headline she dreams of seeing in The Wichita Eagle on Sunday

Old RV no longer parked at Wal-Mart

After a year of looking at this camper, shoppers at the 13th and Oliver Wal-Mart won't have to see it anymore.

After a year of looking at this camper, shoppers at the 13th and Oliver Wal-Mart won’t have to see it anymore.

WICHITA — Ah, the power of the press. It may be even bigger than Wal-Mart.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Have You Heard? reported on an old RV that management at the Wal-Mart at 13th and Oliver has been unsuccessful moving for almost the entire year the store has been open.

“Man, that would be a perfect little travelin’ trailer,” says Wichita resident Kelvin McClish.

So he went to see the store’s manager on Thursday, but the camper already was gone.

“I guess it just took putting it in the paper,” McClish says.

It appears that’s the case.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Betsy Harden says management had been trying to find someone to tow the camper with no luck.

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You don’t say

“My business serves everyone. Except most Kansas legislators. Them, I reserve the right to spank and send home early.”

– A Facebook post by Pixel Time owner Skyler Lovelace, referencing three controversial (and failed) bills

Rita’s Italian Ice to open next to east-side Five Guys Burgers and Fries in a month

WICHITA — The sign for Wichita’s first Rita’s Italian Ice went up Thursday next to the Five Guys Burgers and Fries near 29th and Rock Road.

“We are actually in Philadelphia right now finishing up our training on all these wonderful treats we’re bringing to town,” franchisee Jeff Miller says of himself and his brother, Jay.

“We’re on target for no later than the 27th (of March) to be open.”

As Have You Heard? reported in October, each Rita’s will be its own business but will be done in tandem with Five Guys restaurants.

“We’ve already had a lot of interest from people who have moved from this area,” Miller says of Wichitans from the Philadelphia area, where Rita’s is based.

The chain sells custard and flavored ice that almost has a creamy texture.

“We are just so excited about this product,” Miller says. “It is fantastic stuff.”

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Huffington Post names Gella’s Diner & Lb. Brewing Co. a must-do for Kansas visitors

WICHITA — Arizona has the Grand Canyon, Louisiana has the French Quarter, and Kansas has . . . Gella’s Diner & Lb. Brewing Co.?

The Huffington Post has published a list of the “ONE” thing visitors to each of the 50 states must do while there, and the downtown Hays business made it.

“One day, Gerald Wyman’s wife told him to please stop brewing beer in their kitchen,” the Huffington Post writes. “A few years later, Wyman had a charming-yet-modern storefront and a Gold World Beer Cup Award for his Oatmeal Stout.”

The publication recommends a sample of the No. 6 Oatmeal Stout.

In a statement, Wyman said, “We are thrilled to represent Kansas and look forward to toasting travelers with pints of Oatmeal Stout.”

You don’t say

Wal-Mart may want this RV to disappear from in front of its store near 13th and Oliver, but note how the camper's colors match the store's.

Wal-Mart may want this RV to disappear from in front of its store near 13th and Oliver, but note how the camper’s colors match the store’s.

“They would love to have that camper gone.”

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Betsy Harden on an old RV, which management has had no luck getting rid of, that’s been parked for about a year in front of the chain’s store at 13th and Oliver

Outreach Inc. seeks site for new Wichita Meal Packaging Center

UPDATED — Outreach Inc. an Iowa-based nonprofit that organizes volunteers to pack meals for the hungry, is on a tight deadline to open its new Wichita Meal Packaging Center.

First, though, it has to find space for it.

“We’re getting to that point of having our location where it will be a fixed base where people can come,” says Rick McNary, vice president of strategic partnerships.

Outreach Inc. has been operating in Kansas for a year and a half without its own space.

“Wichita will serve as a hub for us to do our mobile meal packagings,” McNary says. “The Wichita base will be able to supply … the Midwest.”

McNary says he is seriously considering three Wichita sites but is open to others. The building needs to be at least 10,000 square feet and have ample parking. He says he’d like the space to be near Wichita State University or downtown.

“The challenge with downtown is finding a facility that would have the adequate parking because we’ll be bringing in thousands of volunteers.”

He anticipates 15,000 people will come to pack meals in the new center’s first year.

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El Agave Mexican Restaurant on North Rock Road to move, but not far

UPDATED — El Agave Mexican Restaurant is moving, but not far.

The restaurant, which opened in September 2011, is at 3320 N. Rock Road where Top China Buffet, Monterrey Mexican Grill and Red Hot & Blue once were.

In a month or two, El Agave will be moving to the spaces formerly occupied by Rock Island Cafe and Wazabz at 3236 N. Rock Road. That’s across from Hooters.

Owner Luis Zambrano says the new space has “a better location and a better rent for us mainly.”

He says the new El Agave will be about the same size as the current one.

“We’re already started doing some work at the other spot.”

Zambrano says business has been doing fine since it opened.

“It just keeps getting better.”