Category Archives: Downtown

Done deal: Jimmy’s Egg to open by Tanya’s Soup Kitchen

WICHITA — He’s still working on some city permitting, but otherwise Wink Hartman Sr. has a done deal for a new Jimmy’s Egg to open in the same building as Tanya’s Soup Kitchen.

“We’ve already demolished the space,” Hartman says. “We think we’ll for sure be open in September.”

In early May, Have You Heard? reported that Hartman wanted to put his fifth Wichita Jimmy’s Egg in Phil Ruffin’s Sunburst Plaza at 1725 at the southeast corner of Douglas and Hydraulic.

Hartman previously said he thinks there’s room for another breakfast and lunch place in the area, where the Donut Whole is also across the street.

“After that, we are looking at the possibility of downtown Topeka and possibly Emporia,” Hartman says. “We’re going to take a hard look at downtown Topeka.”

He says a breakfast-and-lunch concept makes sense for the state’s capital, where there may be more workers in the area in the morning and around lunch than later in the day.

Hartman may not be done with the Wichita area either.

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Brothers & Co. to move to Kress Building

WICHITA — Brothers & Co. is moving to the Kress Building downtown with a plan that served the advertising agency well when it opened its first Wichita office:

Lease more space than it needs, and hope to outgrow it.

Shawn Harris (left) and Kristjan Olson of Brothers & Co., which is moving to the Kress Building at Douglas and Broadway.

Shawn Harris (left) and Kristjan Olson of Brothers & Co., which is moving to the Kress Building at Douglas and Broadway.

“We would be absolutely thrilled if we had to go procure more space or add more floors,” says Kristjan Olson, an account supervisor and Wichita team leader.

The Tulsa-based agency, which is known here for the “Bravely Onward” campaign it did for Fidelity Bank, has done business in Wichita for about a decade. It opened its first Wichita office in 900 square feet at WaterWalk Place in early 2013.

The space was too big then, “and it’s now too small for what we need today,” Olson says.

The new space at the Kress Building, which is at the northwest corner of Douglas and Broadway, will be about 4,500 square feet.

“We’ve had a lot of growth,” says associate creative director Shawn Harris. “This move is really a reflection of that growth. … We’re hoping to continue that growth.”

Olson says a big part of that is through talent acquisition.

“Being able to reach out and find new employees who can help us grow more,” he says.

The agency, which also has an Oklahoma City office, has about 80 employees, seven of whom are in Wichita.

“Our space will probably allow for a solid 15-person agency in its current configuration,” Olson says.

He says the agency frequently partners with others, such as video production companies and photographers, and the extra space will help with that as well.

“Part of good client service includes proximity,” Olson says. “The idea is that we’re really here to service our clients and to service them better.”

Though the agency’s work in Wichita isn’t strictly Wichita-focused, it has a number of clients here, such as Kansas Strong and a division of Invista. National clients include Remington firearms and Carhartt and Under Armour clothing.

“We’re spread across a pretty wide variety of industries,” Olson says.

That includes the oil and gas industry, a fair amount in the financial sector and the outdoor sector, including sports such as hunting and fishing.

“A good number of our clients are located in this area,” Olson says. “There’s certainly a number of companies that we’d like to … get on their radar.”

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Bob’s Place to reopen in the Market Centre, sans founding barber Bob Shanks

WICHITA — Cosmetologist Tracy Carrington and barber Steven Dreiling are carrying on a Wichita tradition by reopening Bob’s Place.

“I was OK with retiring, but if Tracy wants to use the name, she’s perfectly welcome to it,” says Bob Shanks, who was a barber for more than 50 years in three buildings within four blocks of downtown.

The new shop is opening next month in the Market Centre at the southwest corner of First and Market.

Carrington began working with Shanks in 2009 and Dreiling started in 2012.

“We just wanted to … bring it back,” Carrington says of the Bob’s Place name.

“He’s just a huge mentor to me,” she says of Shanks.

“He was just a huge, huge part of my life. This is really … mostly to show my respect and love for him as a mentor.”

Shanks came from a family of barbers and stylists.

“The whole family has been in the hair business for about 250 years total time,” he says.

Unlike the rest of his family, Shanks says, “I didn’t want to work in the suburbs. I wanted to work in the business area.”

He says for years, he cut the hair of “CEOs of major companies and the presidents of major banks and heads of law firms.”

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Lux model units furnished through contest

WICHITA — It’s been not quite a year since the first residents began moving into the Lux, Michael Ramsey and Robert Eyster’s 7-story mixed-use building at First and Market.

They’re having success filling the units, but Ramsey came up with an idea to better promote them.

“He came up with the idea of doing a little contest,” says Jeremy Luginbill, whose Lifeboat Creative agency has been marketing the building.

There are three types of Lux residential units: the Essential, which is a small, streamlined unit, and units with either one or two bedrooms.

Ramsey assigned each unit a particular store, and Lifeboat employees were tasked with designing the units with items from those stores.

“It was kind of a fun little thing to do,” Luginbill says.

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Boudoir by Wallflower and new portrait studio to move to Kress Building

WICHITA — May is a popular decision time for Aaron and Christina Patton.

In May 2008, they decided to open Wallflower Studios, the umbrella company for a couple of photography businesses they own.

Last May, the couple decided to expand to the former Roots & Bloom building at 151 S. Laura.

This May – this week, in fact – they signed a deal for new space on the fifth floor of the Kress Building at the northwest corner of Douglas and Broadway.

“Pretty much anytime we have an opportunity to make it better for our clients, we’re going to do that,” Aaron Patton says.

The main focus of the new space will be on Christina Patton’s Boudoir by Wallflower and her emerging Wallflower Women’s Portrait Studio.

Aaron Patton will use the space for his self-named photography business as well, though not in an official capacity.

“This new studio is really geared more toward her work,” he says.

Patton says what attracted him and his wife to the 3,200-square-foot Kress space is the ability to do a custom build for exactly what they need.

“In this one, we get to adapt the space to us, which is nice,” he says. “It’s going to be perfect and just exactly what we need.”

Delton Sandefer of Prudential Dinning-Beard Realtors and Craig Simon of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

The Pattons’ current lease ends June 30. They’ll spend July moving and then reopen at the Kress on Aug. 1.

Aaron Patton says they won’t be going anywhere for a while after that.

“We do have a five-year lease on this space.”

Grand Chapel to get new sign along with possible new owner

WICHITA — The stone sign in front of the Grand Chapel event space at 828 N. Broadway has been demolished, but it’s not because the business is closing.

It’s because a new LED sign with a moving message is going to be installed.

“I’ve been fighting this for years,” says co-owner Dennis Wilkie, who says his partner insisted on the new sign.

The Grand Chapel's sign is now gone, but a new LED sign will soon be in its place.

The Grand Chapel’s sign is now gone, but a new LED sign will soon be in its place.

“Yeah, they might get a lot more attention, but I think they just kind of look cheesy,” Wilkie says. “I’d like to keep it more of a refined look.”

As Wilkie told Have You Heard? in March, he’s trying to sell the business and the building, which is a 1917 former church with 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.

“I’ve got a lot of interest in the business from people who just wouldn’t qualify to buy the real estate,” Wilkie says.

He says he also has someone who is interested in buying the building, and he says it may be a situation where he can bring two parties together for a deal.

As for the sign, Wilkie says it “could be a permanent thing, or it could be a temporary thing.”

“Maybe we are better off raising the visibility of the place.”

Doo-Dah Diner to more than double in size for new retail, kitchen and office areas

Doo-Dah Diner owner Timirie Shibley visits customers during a recent lunch.

Doo-Dah Diner owner Timirie Shibley visits customers during a recent lunch.

WICHITA — Almost since it opened in September 2012, Doo-Dah Diner has been Wichita’s “it” restaurant.

Doubt that?

On Sunday, all 92 seats in the restaurant’s small space at the northeast corner of Kellogg and Market were filled within 12 minutes of its 8 a.m. opening.

Now, the business is going to more than double in size, but it’s not for more seats.

Owners Timirie and Patrick Shibley are adding 3,000 square feet to their existing 2,000 square feet for more retail, a second kitchen and office space.

“Right now the drink station and I share an office,” Timirie Shibley says.

Patrick Shibley is Doo-Dah’s chef.

“It’s just going to give Patrick more creative freedom,” Timirie Shibley says of the additional space.

The restaurant will continue to be open 7 a.m.to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the weekends. With the expansion, which should be complete late this summer, the new retail side will be open until 6 p.m. for customers to buy to-go meals.

“Everybody has begged us to be open for dinner,” Timirie Shibley says. “That’s our version of being open for dinner.”

She says it will allow her husband to expand his bread baking as well.

“Our kitchen is just so maxed out back there,” Timirie Shibley says of the current space.

The new retail area will have bottles of Doo-Dah’s pancake syrup, green chili sauce and caramel sauce along with its biscuit and pancake mixes.

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Devlin Rod and Customs to double its size with new building

WICHITA — Tim Devlin first seriously considered expanding his Devlin Rod and Customs just before the economic crash of 2008.

That put things on hold, but now he’s ready to build a new place.

“Things have come back,” Devlin says.

“We’ve seen our business go through ups and downs,” he says. “We don’t build products people need. We build products that people want to have.”

Devlin is planning to build an approximately 12,000-square-foot building at the southwest corner of Douglas and Hydraulic.

“We have acquired the … old used-car lot that used to be part of Quality Chevrolet,” he says.

That’s just down from his current 6,000-square-foot space at 1811 E. Douglas.

Tim Devlin of Devlin Rod & Customs will bet moving to the southwest corner of Hydraulic and Douglas.

Tim Devlin of Devlin Rod & Customs will bet moving to the southwest corner of Hydraulic and Douglas.

Almost a decade ago, Devlin purchased RK Restorations at that property. He still does restorations, but that’s not the bulk of his business.

Devlin and his staff take old American cars and turn them into fast hot rods.

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Integrated Facilities Group to open the Back Room retail outlet downtown

WICHITA — Integrated Facilities Group has had an unexpected bonus in its relatively new space at 125 S. Washington, which is just south of Ribbit Computers at the southwest corner of Douglas and Washington.

“We’ve experienced a huge amount of walk-in traffic,” says Jessica Powers, IFG’s marketing, development and workspace coordinator.

“We wanted to take advantage of that.”

So the company is opening the Back Room as a retail furniture outlet for the business.

The bulk of IFG’s business is contract work that takes months or may even be years in the works, such as outfitting an entire new building with furniture.

The company, which is in its 25th year of business, moved from 1214 E. Second St. almost a year and a half ago. Its space jumped from 2,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet.

“A lot of our business is based on what people see in our showroom,” Powers says. “Being able to show everything … is important. It just makes everything so much easier.”

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District Taqueria, an ‘urban taco bar,’ to open near Douglas and Washington

WICHITA — Builder’s Inc. broker Adam Clements was reading Have You Heard? in January when he saw the news that Jon’s Ale House near Douglas and Washington was closing.

“I got a lightbulb as soon as I read that,” he says.

His clients Michael Farha and Marc Humsi have “been looking for a good Douglas location for a long time.”

The two now plan to open District Taqueria in the 3,000-square-foot space, which some people remember best as Kelly’s Irish Pub.

Clements describes District Taqueria as “an urban taco bar.”

“The focus is going to be on the taco,” Farha says. “In Mexico, that’s the true food of choice, and we’re just kind of taking it to the next level.”

Farha works for his family’s Farha’s Carpet & Building Supply. He used to have the Food Group to do catering.

“I wanted to open a restaurant, so I just kind of let that fizzle out,” Farha says.

Humsi is from Syracuse.

“His mother is a Farha,” Farha says. “Technically, he’s a very distant cousin.”

The two met when Humsi moved here and some other cousins introduced them.

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