Category Archives: Downtown

Central Standard Brewing to open at Douglas and Hydraulic

WICHITA — Andy Boyd and Ian Crane have been home-brewing beer together for a decade, and now they want to share what they create with all of Wichita.

“It’s kind of a passion of ours,” Boyd says. He says the idea is to “make a little money at it and share (the beer) with the community.”

Central Standard Brewing will open in 4,000 square feet in a building they purchased at the southwest corner of Douglas and Hydraulic, which is near Hyde Park.

“We have to . . . basically get a conditional zoning permit, because it’s next to a public park,” Boyd says. “That’s what we’re working on right now.”

The business will have a limited food menu and five or six types of beer to start. Boyd and Crane plan to have 10 or more kinds of beer eventually.

Boyd says he wants to stress that Central Standard Brewing is not going to be a bar or nightclub.

“It’ll be family friendly,” he says.”It’s about appreciation of beer, not about drinking to excess and all that.”

Read More »

Garvey Center goes to great heights to show Shocker support

34WICHITA — Maintenance workers at the Garvey Center had to come in on their days off this weekend, but it wasn’t because of a maintenance problem.

It’s because Larry Weber, vice president with Builders Inc., had the idea to paint the number of Shocker wins on the top of the 26-story building along with changing the downtown building’s lights to appear Shocker yellow.

“I thought what better way to show … appreciation than to light up the building and put the numbers on top,” Weber says.

First was “32” on Friday.

“When they were up there painting, people were honking horns and flashing lights,” Weber says.

Then came “33” on Saturday and “34” on Sunday.

yellowThe building’s lights were changed to yellow with the help of some theatrical gel. Weber says his maintenance crew has a theatrical background.

He says thanks to social media, people from as far away as Australia have commented on the display.

“So it’s getting some worldwide play, but then it’s a world-class team, right?”

Weber says he “of course” will continue to have the numbers repainted to reflect each win. He won’t say what he’s going to do after the final number is up.

“That’s going to be a surprise.”

Designers Expo owner plans to reorganize instead of expand

WICHITA — Just as Janelle King is having to move her Workroom and JK Design because of the Domestic Laundry sale, neighboring Designers Expo has a change of plans as well.

Kathy Haines was prepared to expand her store, which sells residential decorative hardware and flooring, into the former ACI Design Studio space at the Domestic Laundry building. She was close to signing a lease when the building sale suddenly came about.

“We had been talking about it since the moment they decided they were closing down next door,” Haines says. “We are so crammed on top of ourselves.”

Like King, Haines is taking a positive approach, though.

“I said, ‘Well, I’ll probably save myself $5,000 a month,’” she says. “It’s probably not a bad thing in the long run.”

Designers Expo opened in 2005 and moved to 1409 E. Douglas in late 2006. Haines says business is great.

“We never had a recession,” she says. “The niche market was definitely the place to be when the housing market fell apart.”

Now that the store isn’t expanding, Haines says it may be time to reorganize to gain some more space. She says that will be a challenge, though.

“We’re always busy,” she says, adding, “and that’s not a bad thing either.”

Janelle King on the hunt for new Workroom and JK Design space

UPDATED — As the Workroom nears its first anniversary, designer Janelle King is unexpectedly searching for new space.

The Domestic Laundry building, which is at 1425 E. Douglas just east of Old Town, has a new owner who wants her space.

King says that’s not a bad thing on several levels.

“Now we know exactly what to look for in round two,” she says.

For instance, her current 2,400 square feet is not large enough. King says she needs between 2,500 and 3,500 square feet for what she calls home tech textile fabrication, such as custom drapes, pillows and bedding.

Also, she says, “Honestly, despite being on Douglas, we still don’t have the greatest visibility.”

King says she’d like to remain downtown and is eyeing several sites.

“I love the central location as well as just the culture and vibe down here.”

Read More »

Mr. Diggs Dwelling & Co. to be open every weekend starting in April

WICHITA — Customers dig Mr. Diggs Dwelling & Co. so much, Annette Shankle is expanding her store’s hours.

“You know, we never envisioned being to this point, but due to the wonderful support of Wichita, it’s grown to be able to do this,” she says.

Mr. Diggs opened two years ago at the northeast corner of First and St. Francis to sell furniture, home decor, art and lamps in 5,500 square feet of what Shankle calls “warehouse-esque” space. Some of the items are new, and some are used.

Initially, store hours were only one long weekend a month. Shankle then expanded hours from Tuesday through Saturday one week a month.

Starting April 3, Mr. Diggs will be open Thursday through Saturday every week.

“It gives them more flexibility,” Shankle says of customers.

Read More »

Domestic Laundry building selling again

FILE  The Domestic Laundry building at 1425 E. Douglas. (Sept. 18, 2012)UPDATED — The Domestic Laundry building is so popular, it’s selling for the second time in less than two years.

“Yes . . . surprisingly enough,” says Transitions Group owner Bill Jackson. “Someone else wants it worse than we do.”

Jackson and six employees bought the building at 1425 E. Douglas just east of Old Town in September 2012.

“We never had any intent of buying it to sell it,” Jackson says. “We love the building and love the community along there.”

Jackson says he understands the buyer wants the building’s first floor space fronting Douglas for a showroom and then will use third floor space for offices.

It looks like Joe Hayes is buying the building for his Open Road Brands business, which creates reproductions of nostalgic signs and other Americana memorabilia.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

Ambassador Hotel closer to possible Autograph Collection by Marriott deal

WICHITA — Last fall, Have You Heard? reported that the Ambassador Hotel may become part of the growing Autograph Collection by Marriott.

At the time, Paul Coury, chairman of Tulsa-based Coury Group, said that he was looking into a soft brand concept.

He didn’t confirm that the Autograph Collection by Marriott was one of them. Nor is he confirming anything now.

However, it looks like the deal may be getting closer. There are still a few hurdles to go, though.

The soft brand trend allows boutique hotels to retain their independence but align themselves with the power of a large chain.

“We’re not where we originally hoped to be by now,” Coury said in September.

“I don’t think we did as good of a job as we needed to to get the major demand generators exposed to our product.”

He was referring to groups and businesses that can commit to annual contracts with hotels, often at the start of each new year.

“It’ll be fine,” Coury said. “It’s going to be a great property for us, and it fits well into the market we’re trying to develop.”

Look for more news soon.

Two state agencies sign at Garvey Center

UPDATED — The state has completed two more leases for agencies that will be leaving the Finney State Office Building.

The Kansas Department of Health & Environment and the Kansas Human Rights Commission will be moving to the Garvey Center.

“We were just really impressed with the spaces we visited,” says Todd Fertig, a spokesman for the Department of Administration. “They fit a lot better with what these specific agencies needed.”

In June, Have You Heard? reported that nine state agencies, including more than 700 employees, will leave the Finney building when the state’s lease expires on Sept. 30.

KDHE will take the entire seventh floor of the R.H. Garvey Building at 300 W. Douglas. That’s 10,566 square feet.

The Human Rights Commission is taking 1,800 square feet on the second floor.

Fertig says the commission is a smaller agency with a limited budget.

“The Garvey Center was able to really work with them to … kind of retrofit the space so it was really what they needed at a very affordable rate.”

Larry Weber, who handled the deal for Builders Inc., says he’s “excited to have them here and remaining in downtown.”

Both spaces are areas that Harrington Health has been in or been using for storage, Weber says.

All but a couple of the agencies that either are in or have been in the Finney building have made or are close to making deals for new space.

The largest of those agencies and the one to spur the move, the Department for Children and Families, is close to finalizing a deal at 2601 S. Oliver where the U.S. Postal Service has had a remote encoding center.

Toni D’s Deli & Catering to leave Carriage Parkway and consolidate at Toni D’s Too

WICHITA — Almost three decades after opening at Carriage Parkway, Toni and Dan Shadid are closing their Toni D’s Deli & Catering and consolidating their business into their family’s Toni D’s Too downtown.

“I’m just transferring the catering business down there plus … taking care of (that) catering business,” Toni Shadid says.

“Just” makes the move sound a little less substantial than it is, though.

“It’s like losing your baby,” Shadid says of leaving the center on East Central just east of Edgemoor.

“That’s probably the hardest part of the whole thing,” she says. “It was just time. It’s time.”

There are a few reasons for that, she and her husband say.

First, Fred Cohlmia, a family member who has an ownership at Toni D’s Too in the Epic Center, is taking some time off from running it.

“I’m moving down there to take over Fred’s catering jobs,” Toni Shadid says.

The Shadids also will run the deli at Toni D’s Too and plan to eventually revamp the menu.

Toni Shadid says she’ll be able to add more to the Toni D’s Too catering.

“They don’t work events,” she says. “We do.”

She also takes care of rentals and does room set-ups.

“I’ve been doing that forever,” Shadid says. “I can continue to take care of those people down there and continue to take care of my people who are all up this way.”

She says that’s how it was when she opened her Carriage Parkway business almost 27 years ago.

“When we were first here, we used to do all the downtown.”

When she started her business, Shadid says her only catering competitors were Antoine Toubia at the Olive Tree and Simply Elegant.

“That was it,” she says. “We were just the newbies.”

A lot has changed since then.

Read More »