Category Archives: East side

Subaru of Wichita gets worldwide attention for response to union sign

WICHITA — Subaru of Wichita is getting the proverbial kind of advertising that money can’t buy since it retaliated against the “Shame on Subaru” sign the United Brotherhood Of Carpenters And Joiners Of America Local 201 planted in front of the dealership last week.

“It’s been a wild ride,” says Aaron Wirtz, who handles marketing and media for Subaru.

As Have You Heard? reported last week, the union is upset with Subaru for not hiring a union contractor for part of a remodeling job. Subaru responded with its own sign that plays off the “Shame” by saying, “For having unbeatable prices.” It also took to the Internet to share its side of the situation.

Since the story has been picked up by other news outlets, Wirtz says the dealership on East Kellogg has been inundated with attention from around the world. That included an interview that Fox News did with Wirtz on Wednesday morning.

“Can you believe that?” he says.

Wirtz says while the attention has been great, it’s not necessarily going to translate into selling a lot more cars. He points to an e-mail from someone in New Zealand.

“In the case of New Zealand, we’re probably not going to ship a new Subaru there,” he says. “However, I do feel like this has worked out about as good as it could have.”

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SpaRenity Nails & Organics to open in same Waterfront center as Bread & Circus

pedi1WICHITA — In keeping with the organic theme of the Waterfront’s new Whole Foods Market, which will go by Bread & Circus in Wichita, a new spa and salon featuring organic products is opening in the same center.

Wichitan Kevin Tuan and his family own four salons around Wichita, but now he’s branching out on his own for two more, including the one at the northwest corner of 13th and Webb.

His first SpaRenity Nails & Organics will have a grand opening Sunday at 3750 N. Woodlawn.

Tuan says this will be a smaller spa, offering pedicures, manicures and facials, than the one he’ll open at the Waterfront. That one also will include massage.

Tuan says he wants to see how the first one goes and make adjustments for the Waterfront site.

The Woodlawn spa is opening in the former Golden Nail space.

“Everything’s brand new,” Tuan says.

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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.”

RElove All Things Shabby to move, though not far, and expand

UPDATED — There’s already a lot of love at Central and Woodlawn, and there’s about to be even more.

“It has been fantastic,” Rhonda Gribble says of business at RElove All Things Shabby, which she and Stacy McCarty opened in November.

The store is in 1,800 square feet behind Williams Ace Hardware on Central just west of Woodlawn and sells repurposed furniture.

On April 1, it’s moving into the former Roo Grayson space — that store moved next to Ace — at 515 N. Woodlawn next to Great Harvest Bread. That’s 5,600 square feet, which will allow them to have room for nine other vendors.

“It has to be all handmade, repurposed stuff to have booth space with us,” Gribble says. “We specialize in repurposing, refurnishing, reloving, recycling (and) upcycling … gently used furniture.”

Invio Fine Furniture Consignment is on the other side of Great Harvest.

“I don’t want to compete with her,” Gribble says.

To differentiate her furniture, Gribble says she and her vendors will use plaster paint only.

RElove also will have consignment furniture, smaller items such as jewelry and candles and will continue to offer a variety of classes.

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Jackie Chan’s sushi to open near Central and Oliver

WICHITA — Another Asian restaurant is moving into the former home of Sit at Thai Express on East Central just east of Oliver.

Binh Tran is opening Jackie Chan’s Sushi in the small space, which also has a drive-through.

“He’s been making sushi in Wichita for 20 years,” says Andy Boyd of Walter Morris Cos., who handled the deal.

“He’s been at Kwan Court and Sakura,” Boyd says.

“He’s never had his own spot. . . . So this is his first venture on his own.”

Tran says he’s naming the business after himself.

“Jackie Chan is my nickname,” he says.

Tran says his friends named him that years ago.

Boyd says he’s sampled some of Tran’s cooking.

“It’s really, really good.”

Boyd calls it “some of the best sushi I’ve ever had.”

Tran says he’ll also have stir fry and pho, a Vietnamese soup.

Look for the restaurant to open in mid April.

 

You don’t say

“It would be kind of odd to have, say, a Kansas Sampler in New Jersey.”

Katherine Eppich, a manager at the Kansas Sampler on North Rock Road, on how the store is known as Rally House elsewhere

Shelia Jean’s to open in College Hill

WICHITA — Shelia Ford became a nurse to help her family, and now she’s leaving the profession – at least for now – to also help her family.

Ford worked as a nurse for two years, but now her husband Jason Ford’s business, Advanced Lock & Key, is doing well enough that he’s encouraging her to pursue her dream of owning her own store.

“He’s always been encouraging,” Ford says. “I always wanted to have my own boutique.”

Thursday, she opens Shelia Jean’s on East Douglas a couple of doors to the west of Harry’s Uptown.

Sheila Jean is Ford’s full name.

“That’s what my grandmother used to call me,” she says.

The store will sell women’s accessories and apparel in all sizes and price points.

“That was kind of the goal of the store … just to have a little bit of everything,” Ford says. “’We would like to expand and have a gift line maybe next year.”

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Freebirds World Burrito set to open at Village at Greenwich

WICHITA — In September, Have You Heard? reported that Wichita’s second Freebirds World Burrito would open at the Village at Greenwich at 21st and Greenwich. Next week, it will happen.

This makes the seventh restaurant for Overland Park-based Freebirds franchisee FB Midwest Development. Its first Wichita Freebirds opened in June just south of Central on Hillside.

Last fall, Freebirds regional manager Steve Perkins said business has been “fantastic.”

“Couldn’t be happier,” he said.

Perkins said the chain is “just putting feelers out and looking” around the city for other sites. He expects there to be three or four, including one on the west side and one in south Wichita toward Derby.

The restaurant is similar to Chipotle Mexican Grill and has a big focus on organic items such as grass-fed beef and hormone-free chicken.

The first 25 diners at the new Freebirds next Thursday will receive free burritos for one year.

 

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

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.”