Monthly Archives: April 2014

You don’t say

“I’m taking the new follow I’ve received from @Cheesecake as a “Yes, we are coming to Wichita, the 49th-largest US city.” #ICT”

– A tweet from Derby resident Vaughn Fry (@VaughnFry) on his hope for a Cheesecake Factory

New Covenant United Methodist Church purchases Delano buildings

WICHITA — New Covenant United Methodist Church is going to expand in Delano, but not until Al’s Old & New Book Store owner Anita Siemer finds new space for her store.

1710, foreground and 1712 and 1718 W. Douglas. (April 30, 2014)“The move is going to hinge on Anita at the bookstore,” says Cathy Holley, who is pastor of the decade-old church. “We’re going to wait it out until she finds the right place to be.”

The church has purchased the 5,000-square-foot building that’s home to Al’s and Signlab.net at 1710 and 1712 W. Douglas. It also bought the 3,000-square-foot storefront where it currently meets at 1718 W. Douglas.

“We’re doing this because we do want to stay connected in the Delano community,” Holley says. “The community is very important to us.”

Holley says the church needs a larger worship space and the ability to serve more members.

“Right now we just don’t have room to grow,” she says. “The configuration of the building we’re in now doesn’t allow us to do any renovations.”

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SignLab.net to move within Delano

WICHITA — It was February when Chris Ridder told Have You Heard? that he was opening SignLab.net in Delano. He didn’t expect to have more news this soon, but then, he says he didn’t expect his landlord to sell his building either.

“Four days after I moved in, everybody and their brother told me, ‘You know, that building is selling.’”

Ridder was not pleased at first, but now he’s OK with the move because it’s allowing him to double his space.

“Had I not moved here at the beginning, I guess this wouldn’t have happened, so I guess there’s a silver lining,” Ridder says.

He’s moving from 2,500 square feet at 1712 W. Douglas to 5,000 square feet at 1011 W. Second St., which is a block east of Seneca.

SignLab.net sells banners, posters, aluminum signs, vehicle displays and real estate signs, among others.

The new store, which should be ready Thursday, will be near Ty’s Diner. Ridder has a habit of locating his young business near burger places.

“I’m across from Wimpys Burgers right now.”

Look for news later today on what’s moving into Ridder’s first Delano space.

You don’t say

“If you’re on TV, put it on your anchor desk so everyone can see it.”

Matt Cecil, director of WSU’s Elliott School of Communication, on the alumni mugs he gave to seniors at the school’s awards banquet Monday night

Sabai Spa & Salon in Derby’s Spring Creek to become Revive Spa and Salon

WICHITA — Jennifer Peterson is a Prudential Dinning-Beard Realtors agent, but when she heard her favorite spa was closing, she decided to get into that business as well.

Peterson is taking over the Sabai Spa & Salon in the Spring Creek shopping center at Madison and Rock Road in Derby and renaming it Revive Spa and Salon. The salon is an Aveda salon.

“I just saw a really good opportunity in the salon,” Peterson says. “I’ve been a client there for probably five years and just hated to see it go away because it felt like this area in Derby and the surrounding towns really needed something like that.”

Peterson will continue to sell real estate as well.

She says she’ll offer the same services Sabai has offered, including hair, makeup, massage, nails, facials and skincare.

“Pretty full service” is how she describes it.

Peterson plans to remodel the salon’s 3,000 square feet.

“We’re going to give the interior a little bit of a facelift,” she says. “Freshen it up.”

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Qdoba Mexican Grill to open in Yen Ching Chinese Restaurant & Club space

UPDATED — It turns out Qdoba Mexican Grill is what’s going to open in the space Yen Ching Chinese Restaurant & Club will be vacating at Central and Rock, and it will be unlike any other in the national chain.

“Central and Rock Road is a great intersection,” says restaurateur Eric Estes.

He plans a special theme for the site.

“Qdoba was going to kind of let us step out a little bit on this,” Estes says.

He says the interior will celebrate Wichita’s aviation and military history.

“That’s kind of what shaped Wichita,” Estes says. “It’s part of the Wichita DNA. … We kind of have this inspiration, if you will.”

The restaurant will have an aviation theme and feature a tail and propeller from a 1941 AT-6 Texan.

The theme is important to Estes, who says his grandfather was working as a riveter at Boeing for his first job when he received orders to go to Italy in World War II.

“It just kind of shapes everything we do,” Estes says of the heritage.

It was summer 2012 when he first told Have You Heard? he’d be bringing Qdobas to the state.

Qdoba is similar to Chipotle Mexican Grill in that customers order from a counter with a number of protein, vegetable and salsa selections for burritos and tacos.

Estes says there are a lot of healthy options, such as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes, along with kids’ meals.

His first Qdoba opened in Hutchinson in June, and Estes says it’s doing well. Another is under construction in Hays.

Estes says work on the east-side Qdoba will start in June, but he’s not sure if the restaurant will be in the same building that was home to Yen Ching for 30 years or if he’ll build a new one.

“We’d love not to demolish it,” he says. “We like to repurpose buildings where we can.”

He adds, though, “If we do repurpose it, then all we’d be repurposing is four walls.”

Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Look for an August or September opening. After that, Estes hopes to open another Qdoba on the west side, though he hasn’t started looking for a site yet.

You don’t say

“Any speaker coming to Rotary is going to have a hard time topping that.”

Tammy Allen of Allen, Gibbs & Houlik on Ginger Hardage of Southwest Airlines, who rewarded everyone who listened to her speak with a $50 travel voucher

Hassan Ballout to open Albero Cafe in former Bocconcini Italian Eatery space

WICHITA — A new Italian restaurant is opening in the former Bocconcini Italian Eatery space near Central and Oliver, and many Wichitans will recognize the owner.

“I’m going independent,” says Hassan Ballout, who has been at Bella Luna Cafe on East Central for a decade.

“I’m going to open my own little show.”

Ballout is Lebanese, but he says, “I love Italian food.”

He plans to call the restaurant Albero Cafe.

Ballout says “albero” means “tree” in Italian.

“My last name, Ballout, means oaks, an oak tree,” he says.

Also, Ballout says, his daughter and niece like the name, so that won over some others he was considering.

In addition to working at Bella Luna, Ballout has also worked for the Hyatt Regency Wichita and Latour Management.

“You can only grow so much with any company,” he says.

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Yen Ching closing for good this time

WICHITA — Yen Ching Chinese Restaurant & Club, which has been at 430 N. Rock for three decades, has had a history of closing for periods of time that make customers think it’s closing for good.

This time, it is.

The restaurant’s last day in business likely will be May 15.

“After 30 years … we need to rest a while and then think about what’s the next step,” says Cathy Chang, who owns the business with her husband, Tom.

That could mean they will reopen elsewhere.

“We’ll think about it.”

Chang says their lease is up, and their landlord wants the space. She hears it may be for a Mexican restaurant. Chang says there’s a chance the building will be demolished and replaced.

The Changs have started to tell diners they’re closing, and Cathy Chang says they’re expressing their disappointment.

“We’re very sad about it, too.”

Central Standard Brewing conditional use permit denied, but business will still open

WICHITA — Andy Boyd of Walter Morris Cos. has been in the real estate business for a decade, but he’s been learning a new side of it lately.

Boyd and Ian Crane have home brewed beer together for a decade. Now, they’re opening Central Standard Brewing in 4,000 square feet in a building they purchased across from Hyde Park not far from the southwest corner of Douglas and Hydraulic, but they’ve faced opposition from some in the neighborhood.

“Dealing with the government and neighbors is tough,” Boyd says. “It’s tough when you’re dealing with emotions.”

When Boyd first told Have You Heard? about his plans in March, he says he didn’t realize the park would trigger a need for a conditional use permit to allow live music at the business along with more alcohol sales than food sales.

“The park is kind of why we bought the building in the first place, kind of bringing nature into our setting,” he says.

The planning commission had a tied vote over the permit on Thursday, which means it’s denied.

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