Category Archives: East side

Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates adds to ESPY swag bags

The Cocoa Dolce boxes that will go in ESPY gift bags have a special high-five wrap just for the sports awards.

The Cocoa Dolce boxes that will go in ESPY gift bags have a special high-five wrap just for the sports awards.

WICHITA – Beth Tully has had opportunities to include items from her Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates in swag bags, such as for the Grammys and Emmys, but she would have had to pay for the privilege.

Tully, who owns the shop in Bradley Fair and the new one in the Prairiefire development in Overland Park, didn’t think it would be wise to spend thousands on the hopes that a few famous people might get to know and like her chocolates.

“I mean, it’s crazy,” she says of what it costs.

Now, though, Tully has been invited to include her products in some giveaways for ESPN’s ESPY awards.

“It was really serendipitous,” Tully says of an Internet search leading to her website.

She’s now donated gifts of chocolates and gift cards for 150 bags that will be given in conjunction with the awards. Other companies that have included gifts in the bags include Fitbit, TiVo and Foxwoods.

“This is the first time that we’ve done anything at that level,” Tully says of the number of bags.

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Ashley Furniture HomeStore-Wichita to open in former Sportsman’s Warehouse

UPDATED — More than four years after Sportsman’s Warehouse closed its east Wichita store, a new business is opening there.

Ashley Furniture HomeStore-Wichita will open at the site in One Kellogg Place, which is just east of Kellogg and Greenwich, this fall.

“It took me two years to get this building bought,” says Jay Storey, president of Wichita Furniture.

In addition to being an Ashley Furniture licensee, Wichita Furniture is the parent company of Furniture on Consignment.

Storey says the 55,000-square-foot building at One Kellogg Place had gone through a couple of different holding companies that purchased it with a bundle of other buildings.

“Their business was to lease properties, and we wanted to own property,” Storey says. “We’re here to stay.”

Storey opened his first Ashley Furniture store near 21st and Maize Road in 2002.

“There was a need out there that we filled,” he says.

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Kelcy’s Dance Studio and Kelcy’s Platinum Dance Co. to expand to Carriage Parkway

WICHITA — When Kelcy Mohr took over Julie Keeling’s dance studio after her unexpected death in 2010, she says she saw a quote that Keeling had taped to her desk at her studio:

“What is it that I can give to you today to make you feel better about yourself,” the quote said.

“This sums up Julie’s personality and teaching style perfectly,” Mohr says. “I vowed to keep that philosophy in my teaching every day.”

With that in mind, Mohr is expanding her Kelcy’s Dance Studio and Kelcy’s Platinum Dance Co. – formerly Keeling’s Gift of Dance – to Carriage Parkway on Central just east of Edgemoor.

“We still have the same philosophy that the studio’s always had,” Mohr says. “We’re going to keep it the same, but we’re going to be able to offer more.”

The grand opening will be in August.

Mohr says Keeling owned the studio for three decades and had it at three different places where she lived. The current studio at 27 N. Cypress is the last place that Keeling lived and taught. Mohr and her family now live there, and she says she’ll continue to teach young children and some solo and duo lessons there.

“I still always want to teach from home,” Mohr says. “It’s kind of intimate.”

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East side to get another Sola Salon

WICHITA — Wichita’s third Sola Salon is going to open in early August in Preston Village, which is on Central just east of Greenwich.

“We think that’s a great opportunity for a location over there,” says co-owner Scott Vanderhoofven. “We pretty much stay full on our east-side location.”

The other east-side Sola is in Siena Plaza at 37th and Rock Road. There’s also one on the west side near 21st and Tyler.

The first east-side Sola has room for 28 booth rentals. The new one, which will be in 4,000 square feet, will have room for 18 booths, including single and double spaces.

Vanderhoofven says he may be looking to expand again, but it wouldn’t likely be with a second west-side Sola.

“We would probably look more in the downtown area.”

He says anyone in the cosmetology field, including hair stylists, aestheticians, nail techs, massage therapists and spray tanning businesses, can rent space.

Vanderhoofven says it makes it convenient for customers to get several services done at once, and it’s an opportunity for individuals to be in business with a little help.

“They’re in business for themselves but not by themselves, which is kind of cool.”

MGM Studio of the Dance to move to Central and Woodlawn area

WICHITA — After more than a quarter century at Douglas and Hillside, MGM Studio of the Dance is moving.

New owner Christy Lee has signed a deal for 4,000 square feet at Plaza Del Sol at 435 N. Woodlawn near Central and Woodlawn.

“We really, really wanted to stay centrally located,” Lee says.

She says a lot of her students come from the College Hill area but some come from surrounding communities as well.

Lee has worked the desk at MGM for the last five years. She purchased the business this month. Former owner Mary Mayta died in February.

“Miss Mary has quite the history,” Lee says. “She was quite the icon. Quite the staple here in Wichita.”

Lee’s daughter, 13-year-old Tori Holt, has danced at MGM since she was 5. She is Lee’s inspiration for buying the business.

“I live vicariously through my daughter,” Lee says. “When I was younger, I wanted to be a ‘Solid Gold‘ dancer. That was my dream. Always wanted to be on Broadway.”

Lee is a hairdresser and massage therapist. The two spaces she’s moving into were formerly home to a salon and massage therapy group.

“It was like a sign went off,” she says. “It was like, ‘Ding, ding, ding, ding. Here it is.’”

Jeff Greenberg of CMG Properties handled the deal.

Lee says her goal had been to be in the new space by the middle of August when fall classes start, but the transition with the business has taken longer than she planned. Now she hopes to move by September.

MGM is in two studios now.

Studio 1, which is where MGM started, is on same side of Douglas as the Crown Uptown Theatre.

Then, 15 years ago, Mayta opened a second studio across from Crown Uptown.

“Studio 1 is old and kind of run down,” Lee says. “It’s a great location, but it needs a lot of work.”

That studio will close by the end of June.

Lee has already made some other changes.

MGM offers all kinds of dance classes, such as tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop and tumbling for all ages. Lee has added themed dance camps. For instance, she had a princess dance camp “that was a huge success.”

Lee also has a parents night out on some Saturdays so parents can drop off their kids and have a few hours to themselves.

She’s also created a website along with Facebook and Instagram accounts, which Mayta never had.

“When she passed, she was 81,” Lee says. “She kept everything kind of old school.”

Though Lee is carrying on a tradition and adding her own touches to it, she says it’s a position she did not expect to be in.

“I’ve always wanted to own my own business. Never dreamed it would be a dance studio.”

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Dave Dunn to open Billy Sims Barbecue

WICHITA — Dave Dunn, who used to own Emerson Biggin’s, is bringing a new restaurant concept to Wichita.

Dunn already owns a Billy Sims Barbecue in Oklahoma City, and in September he’s opening one at the southwest corner of Kellogg and Andover.

Sims was a Heisman winner at the University of Oklahoma who went on to play for the Detroit Lions. Dunn says he’s one of his heroes.

“Just remember watching him,” Dunn says. “Would never dream I would be in business with him. We see him a lot, really. He’s very hands-on with franchisees.”

Dunn’s Oklahoma City restaurant was the 18th for the Tulsa-based chain, which now has more than 40 restaurants.

“They’re growing fast,” he says.

Dunn says there aren’t enough rooftops near his Oklahoma City restaurant.

“I do think Wichita will be better.”

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Entercom Radio to move to Ruffin Building

UPDATED — After two decades in Brittany Center at 21st and Woodlawn, Entercom Radio is moving its Wichita office.

By early 2015, Entercom will be in the Ruffin Building at 9111 E. Douglas. That’s the building that’s perhaps better known as the former Pizza Hut headquarters.

Entercom is taking 12,000 square feet there.

“The Ruffin Building better suits our needs,” says vice president and general manager Jackie Wise.

Entercom stations include KNSS, 1330-AM, KEYN, 103.7-FM, KDGS, 93.9-FM, KFBZ, 105.3-FM, and KFH Sports, which is on 98.7-FM and 1240-AM. All of them are moving to the Ruffin Building.

“We are very excited about moving over there,” Wise says. “We think it’s a great facility that’s well maintained, and it’s a wonderful location.”

Chris Ruffin and Jon Cyphert of Ruffin Properties and Craig Ablah of Classic Real Estate handled the deal.

“We’re so glad to have them,” Ruffin says of Entercom.

The move likely will happen in February or March.

Voegeli family to expand its Birds Eye Holdings in east Wichita

UPDATED – Birds Eye Holdings, a private equity firm the Voegeli family formed last year after selling Exacta Aerospace, is almost doubling its square footage with a move to the east side of Wichita.

“We’ve seen a tremendous amount of activity, and we really need to grow our team … to capitalize on those (opportunities),” says CFO Seth Albin.

The firm now is in almost 2,000 square feet in the Bank of America Center at Douglas and Broadway.

The new space at Country Club Park at 13th and Webb Road will be almost twice that size.

Birds Eye has five employees and plans to add two or three people in the next 12 months, Albin says.

“That would have created a little bit of a pinch over here.”

Albin says the employees will be a combination of support staff and what he calls diligence team members who can help with deals.

“It’s been remarkable what we’ve seen in terms of activity,” Albin says. “We look for deals that create value for our shareholders on a long-term basis.”

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Brad Pistotnik breaks from brother to start his own law firm

WICHITA — There’s no question that Affiliated Attorneys of Pistotnik Law Offices is now one Pistotnik short, but why that is isn’t as clear.

Brothers Brad and Brian Pistotnik have been law partners “forever,” as Brad Pistotnik says, but he’s now left to start Brad Pistotnik Law.

“He just came in overnight on a Sunday and took all the client files and left,” Brian Pistotnik says. He says his brother “deleted our client database – the clients that had been working with him.”

“What’s going through his mind, I have no idea, but this was a surprise,” Brian Pistotnik says.

“Simply, I decided to get a new office location,” Brad Pistotnik says.

“I’ve always vigorously represented my clients, and I am trying to focus my practice in a more focused area of law.”

Pistotnik says he’s planning to continue focusing on a range of motor vehicle accidents.

“It’s a law practice that requires intensive litigation.”

He says his previous firm is a more general practice.

Brian Pistotnik says that’s not the case. He says he, too, focuses on accidents, although he says some of those are workers compensation cases.

Brad Pistotnik is still an owner in Pistotnik Law Offices with his brother.

“Well, for the present time I’m an owner there, but I’m slowly transitioning to the new firm,” he says.

The Pistotnik name – specifically Brad Pistotnik – is one of the most well known in Wichita law firms due to extensive advertising, which has been handled by Nashville-based Whitehardt. The agency specializes in advertising and consulting for law firms.

Which of the two Pistotnik firms has rights to use the agency is now at issue.

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Chef George Youssef buys Food For Thought building for future business

WICHITA — The former Food For Thought space at 2929 E. Central is likely to soon have some food in it once again.

Caterer and former restaurateur George Youssef has purchased the building with a partner.

“I love the building,” Youssef says of the 15,000-square-foot space. “It’s a huge building.”

Though he says he knew he wanted the space, Youssef still isn’t entirely sure what for.

“There’s no plan right now,” he says. “I’m waiting for the right idea.”

That’s likely to involve catering and possibly a party rental business.

“We’re still in the process of studying it.”

Food For Thought, which billed itself as Wichita’s only full-service independent natural foods market left in the area, closed late last year. It had been in the building for the last two decades of its more than four decades in business.

Youssef, who used to own Uptown Bistro and Nouvelle Cafe, says he’ll let us know what he’s going to do with the building.

“It has character,” he says of the space. “So I want to make sure I’m doing the right thing.”