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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Westside Flowers by DeOrsey moving to new space

WICHITA — Westside Flowers by DeOrsey is remaining on the west side but moving east by just a bit.

Tina DeOrsey-McClernon’s shop currently is in about 750 square feet near 29th and Tyler. She’s moving to 1,500 square feet near 21st and Ridge, where Subway and Pho Chopstix are.

“We’re kind of bouncing back and forth right now,” DeOrsey-McClernon says of going between locations.

“The main reason we’re moving is just for the opportunity the extra space will give us,” she says.

In addition to fresh flowers, DeOrsey-McClernon says she has custom silk flowers as well, “which really is my favorite part of it.”

The new space also will allow her to expand her business with fresh floral design classes.

“I’m hoping that they’ll be a big hit.”

Adam Clements of Builders Inc. handled the deal. Builders handles leasing at the center.

The business will have an updated website as of Jan. 20.

DeOrsey-McClernon says she has to get through the Bridal and Event Expo this weekend; she hopes to then open in the new space the following weekend.

New Kobe Steak House of Japan opens

WICHITA — The new Kobe Steak House of Japan opened in the former Playa Azul space at 21st and Tyler today.

In June, owners Jim Hamlin and Jim West told Have You Heard? they planned to merge their former Derby business with their Kobe near 21st and Maize Road in new west-side space.

“We completely gutted the 4,900 square feet (and) came back in with all new everything,” Hamlin says.

“It was a very extensive remodel,” says Adam Clements of Builders Inc., who handled the deal.

“The new facade looks great,” Clements says. “They have given it kind of a fun oriental spin.”

Hamlin says the restaurant has a lot of light and has an expanded bar area.

“It’s really fun inside,” Clements says. “I think it’ll be really well received.”

Kobe Steak House of Japan to open in former Playa Azul space at 21st and Tyler

A Hanney & Associates Architects rendering of the new Kobe Steak House of Japan, which will open this fall at 21st and Tyler.

WICHITA — As promised, Kobe Steak House of Japan owners Jim Hamlin and Jim West have a new restaurant to announce.

Hamlin says they’re merging their former Derby business with their Kobe near 21st and Maize Road in a new west-side space.

The restaurant will open in November in the former Playa Azul space at 21st and Tyler.

“The main reason was they were just busting at the seams,” says Adam Clements of Builders Inc., who handled the deal.

“This is a larger space. It allowed them to better accommodate Wichita. They’re a destination.”

The west-side restaurant currently has 3,500 square feet. The new space will have 4,900 square feet and room for twelve hibachi tables.

Increased visibility also prompted the move.

“That was the second part,” Hamlin says.

The existing west-side Kobe opened almost five years ago. The Derby Kobe was open for three years.

When Hamlin and West closed their Derby restaurant in March, they said they’d eventually open a new one, but probably not in Derby.

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Shear Voltage to leave the Collective for expanded space at the Garvey Center

WICHITA — A salon is opening in the former Bob’s Place barber shop at the Garvey Center downtown.

Jennifer Collins and Shelby Cheatum are moving their Shear Voltage salon from a small suite at the Collective near 21st and Greenwich to the Garvey Center on July 1.

“We’re just really excited to be in the downtown area and continue to grow our business,” Collins says.

She and Cheatum have been cutting hair together for about seven years and opened their business almost two years ago. They purposely started small because they heard the first couple of years in any business are particularly rough, Collins says. She says they’ve been successful, though, and are ready to grow.

The new space is 1,512 square feet.

Adam Clements and Larry Weber of Builders Inc. handled the deal.

The expanded salon will have eight stylists and offer a range of services in addition to hair care. That includes spray tans, massage, body waxing, makeup, eyelash extensions and, eventually, manicures and pedicures.

Collins says it makes sense to move downtown now.

“I think we’re hitting it at the time that we can grow with the downtown area.”

Supplement World to open in Andover

WICHITA — A supplement store is opening in Andover next month because Dustin West says he saw a need in the area.

His Supplement World will be an independent store, not a franchise.

“I’ve been in the fitness industry,” West says of working at gyms.

He’s also helped clients with fitness and diet plans and believes in the supplements he’ll be selling.

“I have a passion for the industry and the products.”

That includes various general health, fitness and vitamin supplements.

The store will be in 1,000 square feet at 321 S. Andover Road.

Adam Clements of Builders Inc. handled the deal.

There’s no firm opening date yet, but it’ll be sometime in the middle of May.

“I’m excited to help the area out and get everybody in shape,” West says of his store.

“This is hopefully the first of many.”

Norwalk Furniture & Design moves to temporary space while seeking new home

WICHITA — Norwalk Furniture & Design is still in business, but you won’t find it at the Shops at Tallgrass at 21st and Rock Road.

In fact, you might not find it at all if you don’t know what you’re looking for. This month, Julia Benson moved her store to temporary space in a warehouse at 8630 E. 32nd Court North.

“It’s a pretty good-looking showroom,” she says of the selling area she’s created.

Benson has had the 3,000-square-foot warehouse, which is in the same building as the American Heart Association, for eight years.

She and her husband, Jim, bought the business – which then was a franchise called Norwalk the Furniture Idea – in 2004. Greg Wyers opened the store in 5,110 square feet at Tallgrass in 1998.

“In fact, Norwalk was the first store in that complex,” Julia Benson says.

She and the chain faced some serious hurdles when the economy crashed a few years ago.

“In 2008, when the banks first started squeezing in, Norwalk went under,” Benson says.

Her store remained in business but felt the pinch, she says.

“The same thing happened to me that happened to everybody else.”

That’s why she’s looking for new, less-expensive space.

“I love what I do,” Benson says. “I believe that our customers will follow us wherever we go, and so far I’ve been proven right.”

She adds, “I don’t mean that to sound like a braggart.”

In the couple of weeks since she’s moved, though, Benson’s business hasn’t diminished.

Still, she hopes to find new space quickly, and she’s not picky about what part of Wichita it’s in.

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Flint Hills Spas and EmbroidMe to open near northeast corner of Central and Edgemoor

WICHITA — Adam Clements of Builders Inc. has been busy doing deals on Central lately.

There are the BattleStations Gaming and Better Buy Jewelry deals that Have You Heard? reported earlier Wednesday, and now there are two more at Central and Edgemoor.

“It’s kind of been like Occupy Central,” Clements says.

At the northeast corner of Central and Edgemoor, Dave Garretson is moving his Flint Hills Spas to the same spot where he used to have his California Cooperage of Wichita hot tub store in the 1970s.

“It’s kind of ironic going full circle back into the original space,” he says.

Garretson sold hot tubs for several years in the ’70s and then sold his half of the company and moved to California in the late ’70s. In 2005, he returned to Wichita and opened the store, which he called Flint Hills Spas and Billiards, at 742 N. Andover Road.

He located there to be near where a lot of new houses were under construction, but that’s changed.

“I need to … get back where it’s a little higher traffic,” Garretson says.

He’s dropped the billiards sales and is adding pellet grills.

The store will be in 1,300 square feet where Ash-craft engraving used to be, which is a few doors down from MIF Deli.

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Better Buy Jewelry to open at Preston Village at Central and Greenwich

WICHITA — Also opening at Preston Village where BattleStations Gaming is locating is Better Buy Jewelry, which used to be in Towne East Square.

Juan Gonzales says he was forced to move because of Wright Career College’s expansion at the mall, but he doesn’t mind.

“We like the (new) area not only because I live nearby but also because we feel like it’s more secure,” he says. “It’s in a better, safer place.”

Also, Gonzales says, he doesn’t have much competition.

“There’s no jewelry stores on … this side of Kellogg and Rock Road.”

Like the BattleStations deal, Adam Clements of Builders Inc. handled this one as well.

The new store, which will also repair jewelry and watches, opens Sept. 25 and will have a grand opening Sept. 29.

BattleStations Gaming to open at Preston Village near Central and Greenwich

WICHITA — A new gaming center is opening at Preston Village near the northeast corner of Central and Greenwich.

“We’re going to try to take the Starbucks experience meets the gaming industry,” says Steve Heiden, CEO of BattleStations Gaming.

The business will have Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and computer gaming along with some nonelectronic gaming, such as role-playing games.

“We want to create … the game center,” Heiden says. He wants gamers and nongamers alike to “feel warm and welcome here.”

He’ll have snacks and drinks available along with an 80-inch TV for those who might be there with others but don’t want to play. There also will be video games for sale along with PC accessories, T-shirts and miscellaneous gaming items.

Although many people have these games in their homes, Heiden says, “Maybe you don’t have a 3-D TV, or maybe you don’t have that 7.1 headset.”

He likes to use the coffee analogy to explain it.

“Well, honestly, you could make coffee at your house, or you could get it at work for free,” Heiden says. He points out that a lot of people go to Starbucks instead.

“You go there for an experience,” Heiden says. “That’s what we’re trying to do.”

Adam Clements of Builders Inc. handled the deal.

BattleStations Gaming, which will be in more than 2,400 square feet, is having a soft opening Saturday and a grand opening Sept. 7.