Category Archives: Closings

Longtime shop L.J. Pracht Co. slated to close; executor hopes to keep it open

WICHITA — Wichita may be losing another one of its oldest retail shops.

Perhaps not unexpectedly, L.J. Pracht Co., a one-of-a-kind wrapping store that also sells jewelry making supplies at 1500 E. Douglas, is slated to close on April 25.

Owner Jim Pracht III died more than two years ago.

However, Willi Richert, executor of Pracht’s estate, isn’t willing to make the store’s closure final yet.

“What is it Mark Twain said? His passing was greatly exaggerated,” Richert says.

“Hopefully, we’ve got a couple of different people who are showing interest, and maybe we can continue. That’s been my hope from the start.”

Pracht’s grandfather opened the store on Main Street in 1923.

“It’s been an integral part of the city for a lot of years – almost 100 – and you hate to see a business like that close down,” Richert says.

“It’s a unique store that reflects a different time, but it’s still a necessary product that they sell.”

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Hair Factor Barber Shop closes after 56 years; contents to be sold at auction

WICHITA — Janice Chambers is in the antiques business, but when it comes to selling the contents of her husband’s barbershop, she’s decided to let Hudson Auction handle it.

“He never threw anything away,” Chambers says of her husband, Don, who owned Hair Factor Barber Shop for 56 years.

“Oh, it was horrible.”

Don Chambers closed his barbershop after business March 21.

Most recently, the shop was at 1923 S. Hydraulic, although Chambers often made house calls for those who couldn’t visit him and volunteered to cut the hair of veterans.

Janice Chambers says it took three 18-foot trailers to move the contents for the April 6 auction. The 1 p.m. auction will be at 2009 N. Mosley.

There are all kinds of barbershop items for sale, including a couple of revolving barber’s poles.

“Everything under the sun you can imagine,” is how Janice Chambers describes what’s for sale.

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Ginger Lily Boutique to close at Clifton Square but will keep on truckin’

WICHITA — Ginger Lily Boutique owner Holly Daley has decided to close her Clifton Square shop and keep on truckin’ instead.

Daley first opened her fashion truck in May of 2013. It was such a success, she decided to open a traditional shop, too.

“I wanted to try a storefront, but I feel it’s the best decision for me to get back out on the road, back to where I started,” Daley said in a release. “I want to see the city again!”

She also plans to begin selling online at www.gingerlilyboutique.com.

Ginger Lily will remain open at Clifton Square at 3700 E. Douglas through April 30.

The release says that in addition to scheduled appearances, Daley will take the truck to public events as well.

The release said she “has become acquainted with some of the local food trucks and they often work together and provide an unmatched outdoor experience for foodies and fashionistas alike.”

 

OfficeMax on West Kellogg closing due to merger

WICHITA — Stores are starting to close following the merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax late last year.

The OfficeMax on West Kellogg will close on May 31.

“It’s due to the merger,” says supervisor Lynn Bradley.

She says 16 stores will close in the district that includes Kansas. California, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Utah and Las Vegas are also in that district.

“We’re not sure if there will be more to come or not,” Bradley says of more closures.

She’s not sure how the other OfficeMax and Office Depot stores in Wichita will be affected.

Bradley says everything in the West Kellogg store will be sold by the time it closes, and that includes displays.

“The only thing that will be left in the store will be the lights.”

Ernie Biggs may reopen this weekend

WICHITA — Ernie Biggs, the dueling piano bar near Central and Rock Road, is temporarily closed.

“We closed this past weekend and the previous weekend,” says Jay Hickman, an Arkansas-based partner in the business.

Hickman and Daniel Bryant along with two silent partners have bought out their Wichtia-based partners, including Whitney VinZant.

That meant a change in names on the liquor license, which means the business is temporarily without one.

“We decided to not risk it and closed it up,” Hickman says. “It’s tough. … It’s just out of our control right now.”

VinZant previously had the Gaslamp Grille & Lounge in that space.

He “got us in that spot, which has turned out to be an incredible spot,” Hickman says. “Business is excellent in Wichita.”

He says it was the goal from the beginning to eventually buy out the Wichita group.

Hickman says he hopes to reopen the business this weekend.

“We’re looking forward to getting back open, I can tell you that much.”

Sasnak Management closes 17 Carlos O’Kelly’s restaurants — none in Wichita — in repositioning move

UPDATED — No Wichita Carlos O’Kelly’s are affected, but Wichita-based Sasnak Management has closed 17 of its Mexican restaurants in order to reposition the company.

“It’s been gut wrenching,” says president Jon Rolph.

However, he says, “We have 22 strong locations moving forward.”

Rolph says some of the company’s restaurants across nine states were too big, some weren’t in the right places, and all weren’t performing as well as the ones the company is keeping.

“That’s where these decisions were born out of,” Rolph says. “We just decided to face the pain all at once rather than just drip, drip, drip.”

Rolph says he’s looking a decade out in his planning.

“We said, you know … let’s make the hard decisions and set this company up so we can pour our money into where we’re growing. I know it’s strange to hear that when you’re closing stores it’s part of your growth strategy … but that’s true in this scenario.”

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You don’t say

“I guess this does not bode well for my administration.”

– PR consultant Doug Oliver’s comment on the closing of Brandon Steven’s car wash, where Oliver was mayor on Foursquare

Dennis Wilkie wants to sell Grand Chapel

The Grand Chapel at 828 north Broadway is for sale. (Mar.5, 2014)WICHITA — Like hosting parties? Planning weddings? Need a place to do it?

Dennis Wilkie has a deal for you. He’s selling his Grand Chapel at 828 N. Broadway, where he’s been hosting weddings and other events in the former First Church of Christ, Scientist.

“It’s quite a place to operate if you’re a socialite or wanting to be,” Wilkie says.

He says it’s a chance to “get paid to be host of the party.”

“That’s not my cup of tea.”

Wilkie, who operates other businesses, says the Grand Chapel didn’t do well unless he was running it on a day-to-day basis.

“I just don’t have time to run the place myself,” he says. “I was just going in circles. I was trying to find someone to run that business the way I would.”

The 1917 building has 18,000 square feet and seating for more than 600 people in the former sanctuary. There’s also a reception hall, dance floor and bar area.

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Despite appearances, Knipp’s still in business; Brandon Steven’s car wash isn’t

WICHITA — What looked to be the Knipp’s car wash on North Rock Road between 13th and 21st streets has closed, though it hasn’t been a Knipp’s for some time.

“Years ago it used to be ours,” says Todd Knipp. “For some reason they never took any of our signage down.”

Brandon Steven owns the car wash and says he had to close it to have more room for his Super Car Guys.

“We need the space so bad,” he says.

“It’s too bad,” Steven says. “I love that car wash.”

He’s referring customers to Joe’s Seat Cover & Carwash, which his uncles own.

There’s a Knipp’s store on Harry just east of Southeast Boulevard that sells automotive appearance products and also offers detailing services. It does not have a drive-through car wash, though.

“This year starts our 40th year,” Knipp says. “I hope to make it another 40.”

Metro Grill owner explains departure

WICHITA — Metro Grill owner Michael Gonzalez wasn’t available last week to discuss why he abruptly left his restaurant at the Waterfront, which his landlord said he gutted on the way out.

“There was more to it than what they said, of course,” Gonzalez says.

“I’ve been so depressed for the last couple of weeks, but life goes on.”

He says there were a number of issues that caused him to leave.

“I was expecting volume like Andover,” Gonzalez says of his former restaurant there, which someone else now owns.

He says his lunch and weekend business was great, but the rest of his sales weren’t enough.

“That was just too much of a high rent to sustain,” Gonzalez says. “But I gave it a shot.”

He says parking became a bit of an issue with the new Firebirds next door to his restaurant. Also, Gonzalez says his landlords disappointed him by not putting his restaurant on a billboard near Kellogg and Rock Road as he says they promised. He says he had been working with them to lower his rent and then received a 10-day notice to leave.

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