Category Archives: East side

Invio Fine Furniture Consignment’s business has ‘gone crazy’ at its new space

WICHITA — Invio Fine Furniture Consignment’s move from North Rock Road to 535 N. Woodlawn next to Great Harvest Bread has been a great one, says Annie Johnsen, who owns the business with her husband, Eric.

“We moved here in October, and everything has just gone crazy,” she says. “Our business has probably tripled.”

On the far east side, the store was 3,600 square feet. Now Invio has 4,400 square feet. In addition to more space, Johnsen says, the business is so much better, items rotate in and out more quickly.

She says she thinks a lot of her business comes from people either downsizing or combining households. When customers combine households, she says, that means they have to try to match their furniture. So she says Invio is now carrying fabrics to help people redo furniture that they want to keep.

The store also is now doing color consultations and is helping with some design work.

Johnsen says she’s hired more employees – there used to be two and now there are five – and may need to add one more.

Artist Christine Tasheff, who does a lot of furniture painting, is now working in the front of the store doing portraits, which Johnsen says is an added bonus.

“It’s kind of fun to see her in action up there.”

Tutoring Center to open at Village at Greenwich

WICHITA — Sachin Bharati’s two small children aren’t old enough for school and test-taking yet, but he’s already thinking of their future and starting a Tutoring Center franchise here.

The business, which is part of a California-based chain, will open this summer next to Supercuts in 1,400 square feet at the Village at Greenwich at 21st and Greenwich.

“I was just really intrigued by the program,” Bharati says.

The franchise offers an after-school education center for children from kindergarten through 12th grade and specializes in reading, math and writing.

“It’s all one-to-one individual instruction for children,” Bharati says.

The franchise also has SAT and ACT prep classes, which Bharati won’t have immediately “but hopefully down the line.”

“That was a really strong factor, too,” he says of his interest in the franchise.

Initially, Bharati will have two to four instructors.

“It depends on the demand after that.”

Bharati is the business manager for his father Ralph Bharati’s psychiatry office, which he’ll continue to do in addition to having the Tutoring Center.

“Basically,” he says, “I wanted to bring something to the community here for the children.”

Lululemon Athletica trunk show could eventually lead to showroom and storefront

WICHITA — A trunk show today, a storefront tomorrow?

It won’t happen that quickly, but the fact that Lululemon Athletica is having another trunk show here today gives hope that Wichita one day will have one of the stores here.

“If the trunk shows do well, they think about putting in a showroom in Wichita,” says Nickki Head, whose east-side Firefly Yoga Studio is hosting the show.

“That’s how it works,” she says.

After a few trunk shows, Head says, “Then the next step is a showroom.”

That’s a small retail space that’s open Thursday through Saturday only.

If that’s successful after a year or two, then there’s a chance for a permanent storefront.

“There’s, like, this huge process,” Head says.

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Wichita’s Whole Foods Market may not have to be called Bread & Circus

breadncircusWICHITA — According to a poll so informal it probably shouldn’t be called a poll, it looks like the Bread & Circus name that Wichita’s new Whole Foods Market will go by here isn’t exactly being embraced.

Or, to be blunt, no one seems to like it – or actually call the store by that name.

There’s a glimmer of hope, though, for those who prefer the Whole Foods name.

The reason the Austin-based chain chose Bread & Circus, which was the name of some stores the company bought in 1992, is Wichita’s local Whole Foods Association already had the name here.

GreenAcres Market owner Barb Hoffmann purchased the Whole Foods Association stores in January, and it appears she’s now considering letting the larger Whole Foods chain have the name.

“I’m not able to say anything right now,” Hoffmann says.

She says she’ll likely be able to talk in a couple of weeks.

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Locker Room by Lids to open at Towne East

WICHITA — Locker Room by Lids is coming to Towne East Square this spring on the lower level of the mall near JCPenney.

The store sells sports apparel and accessories.

Also this spring at Towne East, teen retailer Aeropostale is relocating to the upper level near Old Navy in the JCPenney wing.

“We’re excited to welcome Locker Room by Lids to Towne East Square soon,” Towne East general manager Jeffrey Runnels said in a release. “The addition of this store and renovations to existing retailers complements our already great mix of retail and dining options, providing more options for Wichita shoppers.”

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.”

 

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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Applebee’s to open in front of Warren Theatre on April 15

WICHITA — Jim Stevens is about to move his east-side Applebee’s into a new neighborhood, and he’s feeling a little nostalgic.

In November, Stevens told Have You Heard? his plans to open a new Applebee’s – one of 25 he owns – in front of the Warren Theatre at the Plazzio development at 13th and Greenwich.

That will open April 15. That means the Applebee’s near 21st and North Rock Road is closing at midnight Friday.

“This is my second Applebee’s I opened,” Stevens says of the North Rock Road restaurant.

“It was very memorable.”

Stevens says it was 1990.

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Rita’s Italian Ice to offer free ice desserts Monday and Tuesday

WICHITA — It’s rare that “free” and “tasty” go together, but that’s what the new Rita’s Italian Ice will offer Monday and Tuesday when it opens next to the Five Guys Burgers and Fries near 29th and Rock Road.

“We are excited to turn people onto that product,” franchisee Jeff Miller says.

So he and Rita’s corporate will be offering free ice – not custard – both days.

Miller says people here are already familiar with custard.

“They’re not familiar with Italian ice,” he says.

Miller says customers tend to think Rita’s Italian Ice might be shaved ice or slushies before trying it.

“It’s not what they think it is,” he says.

“It’s just so much more than that. … We want people to try it and have the experience.”

Historic Lahn Building to undergo renovations for apartments and retail

lahnUPDATED — The Lahn Building, which is newly on the Register of Historic Kansas Places, is about to undergo a renovation and be home to a retail shop and apartments once again.

“It’s going to be a really cool historic renovation,” says Sean Brennan, who owns the building with his wife, Chantelle.

The building, which is at 2208 E. Douglas just west of Grove and across from East High School, was built in 1922 by Latvian Jewish immigrants Eli Lahn and his son-in-law David Krashim.

It has been home to all kinds of businesses through the years, including restaurants, confectioneries, a women’s clothing store and a barbershop.

“It’s kind of an interesting story,” Brennan says. Lahn’s “family owned the building for decades.”

It was nominated to the historic register for its significance in local commerce.

“That block has been ignored for a long time,” Brennan says.

“The building has six apartments on the second floor that have been abandoned for a long time,” he says. “We are completely redoing those.”

The Brennans also are renovating the first floor, which once was home to three storefronts that eventually combined into two. Now, the Brennans will create a single space for Danielle Davis to move her Flying Pig Gift Boutique.

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