I’m out until Dec. 30. Hope you have a fabulous holiday week. See you next week.
I’m out until Dec. 30. Hope you have a fabulous holiday week. See you next week.
WICHITA — CVS is working on a deal for a new store at the northwest corner of Douglas and Rock.
That’s according to CVS manager Rodney Brockhoff, who says the chain has several new stores that are opening and others that are in the works in the Wichita area and other Kansas cities.
CVS entered the Wichita market earlier this year.
Brockhoff says a Junction City CVS will open in January, followed by one at Harry and Hillside in Wichita on Feb. 16.
Then come stores in Emporia and Salina before more in Wichita. The south side is likely to be CVS’ next target.
Brockhoff says the Rhode Island-based company wants to get some deals closed before taking on more than what’s already in the works.
He says the potential Douglas and Rock store is “just one of many locations we’re working on.”
WICHITA — Two and a half years after taking over at Value Place, Dan Weber is out as CEO.
“It really was Dan coming to the conclusion of the things he set out to do,” says Kyle Rogg, president and COO.
“He really came in with a lot of structured finance background with the goal of getting a lot of capital in the company and completing some big acquisitions,” Rogg says.
He says Weber and Value Place’s board decided it was time to move to “less of a financial-based CEO and more of a hotel-oriented CEO.”
“It was a joint decision,” Rogg says. He says Weber has “had such a dramatic and positive impact on the standing of the company. I just don’t want it to be perceived as anything other than that.”
Rogg says Weber negotiated the acquisition of Perry Capital minority interest in Value Place, which positioned the company to attract capital from a new partner.
That happened late last year when Value Place founder Jack DeBoer did a deal with New York-based private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg, which is investing more than $100 million in the chain of extended-stay properties and short-term apartments.
“Dan was very, very instrumental … given his background,” Rogg says.
WICHITA — There soon will be a familiar face in the Elements Hair & Bodyshop space.
“Ben actually worked at Elements for about eight years,” says Trace Wilson, who will manage the salon.
“A year and a half ago, he left Elements with another stylist, and we have been working out of Off the Top,” Wilson says. “For the past year or so, we’ve been looking for our own space.”
He says the Washington space makes sense for a number of reasons.
“Ben’s clients were used to it for so many years,” Wilson says.
“It’s a unique space being a two-story salon with parking in an established area like Old Town,” he says. “Sometimes you don’t find all of those elements together. It worked out well.”
“Obviously it’s a difficult decision,” says spokesman Rick Van Warner.
“Over the last several months, the company has looked at a number of different options to restructure the debt or to restructure the corporate financial structure,” he says. “We decided that the best option to most quickly and efficiently get through the turnaround plan that we’re working on is to do so under Chapter 11 protection.”
The filing lists F&H’s liabilities and assets both as somewhere between $100 million and $500 million.
Van Warner says there have been several issues that led to the company’s struggles.
“It’s been a very soft environment overall for casual dining restaurants, including our concepts,” he says. “In addition, our debt levels from the past were high, and you know, you add all that together along with the fact that real estate markets have changed a lot in the country . . . and there’s a whole number of factors that lead to a financial restructuring of this type.”
Van Warner says the bankruptcy filing will impact the corporation but not day-to-day business at the restaurants.
“It’s not going to impact anything we’re doing at the restaurants,” he says. “Most of the restaurants generate meaningful cash flow still, and our brands are making solid progress.”
There are 50 Fox & Hound restaurants, including one at Wichita’s Waterfront development, which is also where the company has its headquarters. There are 35 Champps restaurants and 16 Bailey’s restaurants, which are the same concept as Fox & Hound.
Van Warner says the bankruptcy filing is more about “a fresh start.” The company also is looking for what Van Warner calls a cash infusion, but he says he can’t be more specific about that.
“It’s hard to tell,” he says of where the money may come from. “It’s a process. It’s to be determined.”
He adds, “We really need a more sound capital structure to have a strong platform for future growth. That’s really what this is about.”
Van Warner says there have been leadership changes at the company in the last year.
Former CEO Steve Johnson left in October 2012.
“I left for personal reasons,” he says.
WICHITA — Revolution Rock Bar has closed, but it’s not certain if that is permanent or not.
“We don’t know what we’re going to do with that yet,” says Jason Smith, director of operations for Melad Stephan’s Empire Restaurant Management.
Smith says the Old Town bar’s liquor license has expired.
“We don’t know if we’re going to renew it and reopen,” he says. “Business wasn’t where we wanted it to be.”
There’s more to the story, though.
Greg Finley of Finns Lounge has been running Revolution. In June, Have You Heard reported that Stephan said Finley was running the business for him until Finley could get his own liquor license and make changes, which could include a new concept.
According to state Alcoholic Beverage Control Division documents, Finley first applied for a license in May and was “denied that application due to Finley’s being disqualified by a previous revocation.” Finley applied for the license as president and sole owner of Sin, which does business as Revolution Rock Bar.
In August, according the documents, the ABC received a liquor license request from Finns Inc, doing business as Revolution Rock Bar, and Andrea Lambert was listed as president and sole owner.
The ABC conducted an investigation and found that the application showed Lambert’s address and e-mail as the same ones Finley had used. Upon interviewing Lambert, the ABC said Lambert said she never lived at that address. She said Finns was in her name, and she was signing paperwork for it, because of Finley’s inability to obtain a license. She said she was doing it for money.
WICHITA — Tiffany Sporn has decided to try to sell her Swell Event Rental, which was known as Ray Party Rental until she changed the name last year.
“I kind of fell into this company by default,” says Sporn, who took over the business in 2009 after her father died.
Sporn was a hospice nurse before that, and she’s also a widowed mother of four.
“It’s just tough,” she says. “I’m really tired of trying to juggle it. It’s not my true passion and love.”
Sporn, who likely will return to nursing, says she has two potential buyers.
“We’ve got a pretty long history in the community and a nice, large client list that would be beneficial to anyone who purchased the business for sure,” she says.
The business is at 2033 E. Northern.
Sporn says she’s open to any buyer at this point even though there are already two potential ones.
“Absolutely, you bet. Until you have cash in hand, it’s still available.”
Hey, everyone, I’m out until Dec. 2. Happy Thanksgiving.
UPDATED — The 2-year-old Artist Central at 5014 E. Central is going to reduce in size to make way for a new business.
OT Media is a portrait photography and videography business that Nick Thomas has been running from his home.
“This will be our first …office,” he says. “Our team’s gotten bigger, and so we need a space.”
He now has three employees. Thomas says he offers portraits and “kind of like lifetime event videography,” such as weddings and graduations.
The OT in OT Media stands for Thomas’ middle name, Owen, and his last name.
The space his business will be in used to be Artist Central’s gallery space.
“We’re basically splitting Artist Central,” Thomas says. “So they’re going to have half the area now.”
Jo Zakas, the Clifton Square owner who started Artist Central, says Artist Central still will have 2,500 square feet.
“We felt that this was such a great addition to Artist Central,” she says of OT Media. “They’re artists. … They’re young, and they’re enthusiastic, so we think they’re just going to add a really bright spot to us.”
Zakas has news coming soon about artists’ residences at Artist Central.
“We really want to make Central Canyon Road,” she says, referring to the famed gallery row in Santa Fe, N.M.
Thomas will debut his new space at next week’s Final Friday.
WICHITA — Three new Easygates lease-to-own franchises have opened nationally this month.
Bud Gates, who is chairman and CEO of the company, announced the new Easyhome stores for Roanoke, Va., Aurora, Ill., and Essex, Md.
“The owners of these franchises are experienced and successful business men,” Gates said in a release. “We are pleased to
partner with them. They will bring their commitment to customer service and overall business savvy to their stores, and
be a major plus to our U.S. franchise community, offering our unique services to even more customers in Virginia, Illinois and Maryland.”
This makes 44 Easyhome stores nationally. Gates is the master franchisor for Easyhome in 36 states. He operates some of the stores and franchisees have others.
Gates started Easygates in 2007. Previously, he was chairman and CEO at Rent-A-Center and THORN Americas.
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