Daily Archives: April 3, 2014

You don’t say

“One of the biggest supporters of this group is a man, and I sleep with him every night.”

Melissa Giordano of Kansas Secured Title, referencing her husband at a Women In Commercial Real Estate meeting Thursday

J.R. Koontz puts his building on the market

koontztwoWICHITA — A couple of days after celebrating his 40th year in business, J.R. Koontz has put his building – not his J.R. Koontz Flowers – up for sale.

“I’m downsizing,” Koontz says.

“It’s been an increasing struggle for us as well as other businesses.”

Koontz bought the 10,000-square-foot building at 633 N. Broadway in 2003. The building was built as a house and eventually became a funeral home.

He says it’s a “fabulous” space but that he wants “to get out from underneath this.”

Koontz adds that he wants “someone to love it as much as we do because it’s a great facility.”

He says after selling the building, he’ll take care of debts and relocate.

“I have an idea where I’d like to go.”

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Sweet Willy’s Hillbilly BBQ to open on South Seneca

WICHITA — Insurance salesman Randy Hare has a number of inspirations for opening his own restaurant, Sweet Willy’s Hillbilly BBQ, near 47th and South Seneca.

“I got my roots from the Ozarks and from tasting the good Carolina barbecue around,” Hare says.

willy“Plus, my wife needed a job,” he says of his wife, Pam.

Hare has been the manager at City Life Cafe, where Youth for Christ kids have a chance to learn on the job, and he says he wants to offer them another place to do that.

The Hares are planning to open Sweet Willy’s at 4628 S. Seneca in about three weeks.

“It’s just going to be a little 30-seater,” Hare says.

He says they’ll also have catering, a drive-through and a food truck.

Hare plans to smoke the restaurant’s meat in front of the restaurant in view of passersby.

“If you’re down at the Sonic, you’re going to be able to smell my smoke.”

That’s part of his plan.

“You’ve got to have something.”

Hare says he’ll have smoky, fall-off-the-bone ribs and a number of unusual offerings, such as traditional Poutine french fries with cheese curds in a brown gravy, inspired by Canadian partner.

Hare says he’s going to keep his insurance job as well.

“Unfortunately,” he says, “it’s against the law for me to give somebody a steak to buy a life insurance policy.”

Sweet Basil owner ‘overwhelmed’ with support following fire

Charli Singh in front of his fire-damaged Sweet Basil restaurant, which he plans to rebuild.

Charli Singh in front of his fire-damaged Sweet Basil restaurant, which he plans to rebuild.

WICHITA – Sweet Basil owner Charli Singh was in bed around 4 a.m. Wednesday when an alarm went off alerting him to a problem at his restaurant at 2424 N. Woodlawn.

He says he figured it was a low battery or a similar nonissue that he could take care of quickly and then “go back home and sleep.”

“I didn’t really dress for the occasion,” says Singh, who was greeted at the restaurant with firefighters battling a blaze in the kitchen.

Since then, Singh says he’s felt a range of emotions, especially gratitude. He says he’s thankful no one was hurt, and he appreciates the firefighters.

“They did an excellent job in putting out the fire.”

Singh says he was amazed at how well organized the scene was. He says that though the kitchen was “destroyed,” firefighters were able to put out the blaze before structural damage occurred. He says he’s not sure how the fire started.

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