Category Archives: Bradley Fair

You don’t say

“My only problem with Bradley Fair is they continue to attract new tenants that attract my wife.”

Jerry Gray of J.P. Weigand & Sons speaking at the company’s annual real estate forecast on Tuesday

The almost 100-year-old Brick’s to close at Bradley Fair

UPDATED — A Wichita shopping tradition is coming to an end.

Brick’s, once a downtown staple and more recently a shop at Bradley Fair, is going out of business.

“It is a store that’s been around Wichita for a long, long time,” says Cathy Erickson, vice president of Laham Development.

Herman Brick started the store in 1916. His son, Adolph, took over the business upon his father’s death in 1940. Two years later, Adolph Brick married Ellen Gordon. She asked her brother, Russ Gordon, to help with the business in 1944. Gordon took it over in 1960, and his namesake son owns it today.

“They’ve been a great addition at Bradley Fair for almost 10 years, adding to the local flavor,” Erickson says.

Now, she says, “They want to focus on family and some other things.”

A 1992 story in The Wichita Eagle said the men’s and women’s clothing store was the last major retailer to leave downtown. It once stood where Century II is now. The store was at Piccadilly Square at Central and Rock Road before moving to Bradley Fair.

Erickson says she’s not sure of a closing date yet.

She says the store will leave 4,200 square feet when it departs.

“We always have a list of people that want to be (at Bradley Fair), and we have already started conversations with those people,” she says.

Today, though, is about saying goodbye, Erickson says.

“We wish them well, and they’ll be missed. It’s a sad day.”

Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates expands its production kitchen while fielding questions

WICHITA — Beth Tully of Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates has more news this week along with some reassurance for customers.

First, the news.

Since opening her production kitchen at 3540 N. Comotara in 2008, Tully says she hasn’t had any neighbors next door. She decided to move into that 2,500 square feet, the bulk of which she did Monday.

“It is appalling actually to think all the stuff we moved next door used to be in this 2,500 square feet,” Tully says of her existing space.

The new space will be dedicated “to a couple of projects that we’ve always just done on the fly,” Tully says.

Shipping has been handled at Cocoa Dolce’s Bradley Fair store where there’s a mere 400 square feet of production area behind the retail portion of the store.

“It’s amazing we were able to do it that way for as long as we have,” Tully says.

As of Nov. 25, shipping will be done at the new space.

Tully also will use the additional space to help with her new Cocoa Dolce that’s opening in the Prairiefire development in Overland Park in 2014.

“That’s just in anticipation of everything that’s coming down the road next year,” Tully says.

She has paused to step back and admire the organization that the new space allows.

“Look how grown up this looks,” Tully says. “This is no fly-by-night deal anymore.”

Even though Tully is expanding, some customers are concerned she’s closing.

This week, she took down the Cocoa Dolce sign at the Bradley Fair store in anticipation of a new sign with her new brand.

“We have had people actually pull up in front of the store … and come in to find out whether we’re closing,” Tully says. “I’ve got this little group of people panicked. None of us dreamed taking the sign down would indicate to anyone that we were leaving.”

After the stucco is repaired and painted, the new sign will go up, most likely late this week or early next week.

“We are not closing,” Tully says. “We are not going anywhere.”

 

Expanded, remodeled Amy’s Hallmark to reopen on Saturday

WICHIA — Amy’s Hallmark, which has been closed since Tuesday, is celebrating its grand reopening at Bradley Fair on Saturday with additional space and lots of new merchandise.

“The whole inside of our store is completely redone,” says store manager Matt Bikus.

The store has expanded from about 3,500 square feet to 4,200 square feet. Bikus says Hallmark is taking part of the former Franklin Covey space. Randy Cooper’s Fine Jewelry took the rest of it.

“We knocked an entire wall down to expand the store,” Bikus says. “We’ve got some awesome new card lines and awesome new gifts.”

He says the store has doubled its stationery line.

“Stationery is a big one for us.”

Bikus says there’s a 25 percent increase in cards, too.

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Randy Cooper’s Fine Jewelry, College Hill Cleaners open in new Bradley Fair stores

WICHITA — Two of Bradley Fair’s original tenants, Randy Cooper’s Fine Jewelry and College Hill Cleaners, are now open in their new homes at the east-side development.

They moved to make room for Loft, formerly known as Ann Taylor Loft, which is now under construction.

When the jewelry store and cleaners opened at Bradley Fair in 1990, they were in the original 28,000-square-foot building there. Now, the development has a large mix of local and national tenants in 280,000 square feet.

College Hill Cleaners owner Fred Ortiz says his new store, which is between Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza and Sami Halaseh Salon, is “absolutely beautiful.”

He says its granite counters, tile floors and 24-hour drop box make it his best store yet.

“Without a doubt.”

Randy Cooper’s is now in a larger space next to Amy’s Hallmark, which also is remodeling and expanding.

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Loft to open this fall at Bradley Fair

WICHITA — Finally, Bradley Fair can reveal the reason behind its game of musical chairs, business style.

Loft is coming to the center at 21st and Rock Road this fall.

“We have been working with them for quite some time,” says Cathy Erickson, vice president at Laham Development.

“It’s been one of our most-requested stores,” she says. “We do listen, and we do appreciate when our customers give us their … input on what stores and restaurants they would like for us to have at Bradley Fair.”

Formerly known as Ann Taylor Loft, the women’s clothing store is something of a hipper younger sister to Ann Taylor. There are 500 of the stores nationwide.

The store will locate between Talbots and Bella Luna Cafe where Randy Cooper’s Fine Jewelry and College Hill Cleaners are vacating.

Randy Cooper’s is moving to where Howard’s Optique used to be. Howard’s moved from its freestanding space to new space between Sephora and Jason’s Deli in the first round of moves to prepare for Loft.

College Hill Cleaners is moving to where Origins used to be.

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Beth Tully to open second Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates in Overland Park

UPDATED — Beth Tully is taking her second step toward what she perhaps only half jokingly calls world domination.

The Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates founder is opening her second store, this time in Overland Park’s Prairiefire development on West 135th Street between Nall and Lamar avenues.

“We’re going to think of Wichita as the hub and that this is the first spoke in the wheel,” Tully says.

Yes, that means she’s already thinking of other potential regional stores, though none is in the works yet.

“I think you only double the complexity of a business once, and this is it,” Tully says.

The idea, she says, is to create a template that can be reproduced.

“We’re basically going to do kind of a tweaked version of our lounge here,” Tully says of her Bradley Fair store.

Tully and her husband, Jay, opened their Wichita store in 2005 in Siena Plaza at 37th and Rock Road and then moved to Bradley Fair in 2009.

Tully says she has long thought about a second store.

“The honest truth is probably in our first year of business, way when I shouldn’t have been have been thinking of having a second location,” she says.

She knew that “as a really baby business” she couldn’t realistically do a second store then.

“We’re kind of a sophomore business now,” Tully says. “We’ve finally gotten over the hump.”

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Randy Cooper’s Fine Jewelry and College Hill Cleaners to move within Bradley Fair; new national retailer coming soon

WICHITA — The latest round of musical chairs — business style — is almost over at Bradley Fair.

“The first piece of the puzzle was moving Howard’s Optique, which we did at the end of last year,” says Cathy Erickson, vice president at Laham Development.

Howard’s moved from its freestanding space to new space between Sephora and Jason’s Deli.

Now, Randy Cooper’s Fine Jewelry is moving into the freestanding building that Howard’s left. Amy’s Hallmark shop already is there.

Cooper’s impending move has been one of the worst-kept recent retail secrets, but now that it’s happening, she’s eager to talk.

“I am so thankful that George Laham has given me this opportunity,” she says of the center’s developer.

“I probably wouldn’t have stepped out on my own and done it,” Cooper says. “It just makes it so much more convenient for our customers to visit.”

Her new space will be 4,000 square feet, which is about 20 percent more than what she has now.

“So we can grow and be a better store and offer new lines and offer more of some lines that we have,” Cooper says.

College Hill Cleaners also is moving. It’s taking 1,300 square feet where Origins used to be and will have a new after-hours box for customers to drop off items needing cleaning.

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Versona Accessories opens in Bradley Fair

WICHITA — Versona Accessories opens Thursday in 7,500 square feet next to Fresh Market at Bradley Fair.

In November, Have You Heard? reported that the store would take the last of the former Ultimate Electronics space.

Versona, which is owned by North Carolina-based CATO Corp., sells jewelry, sunglasses, handbags, scarves, belts, footwear and hair accessories.

There are about a couple of dozen of the stores nationally.

Versona joins Fresh Market, Soma Intimates and Apricot Lane Boutique as new additions to Bradley Fair in the last year.

Also, Howard’s Optique relocated next to Sephora to make room for another new tenant.

This has been a much-wanted store for Bradley Fair and a certain segment of the shopping market, and shoppers won’t have to wait much longer. Keep an eye on this space in the next week or two for the news.

Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates expanding into its first nonchocolate line: macarons

Pastry chef Kelly Peterson prepares a pan of macarons for baking.

WICHITA — If Beth Tully’s Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates was in Europe instead of Kansas, she likely would already be selling macarons.

Tully calls the French pastry a “classic European chocolatier product,” and she’s going to add it to her Bradley Fair store beginning Wednesday.

“I’m always trying to figure out what we can do in that space to make it more interesting,” Tully says.

It’s her first foray into a nonchocolate offering.

“They’re really different than most pastries,” Tully says.

She’s hired pastry chef Kelly Peterson, who used to have Velvet Cream Bakery, to help her create the macarons.

“I’m mainly the taster,” Tully says.

Peterson says macarons, which are pronounced with a long ‘o,’ have a silent “s” and are not to be confused with macaroons, are particularly tricky to make.

She says everything is mixed by hand, and a chef must be careful not to mix the meringue too long or hold the pastry bag at the wrong angle or the macarons don’t turn out correctly. The oven temperature and the amount of time the pastries sit before going into the oven must be exact as well.

Tully says she’s been seeing the pastries at specialty food shows for several years and been intrigued.

“I said, ‘Oh, my god, I’ll have to do these.’”

Then she heard how difficult they are to make.

“It’s like, ‘Bring it on, and let’s try it and see.’”

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