You don’t say

“Now everyone knows why I do not Own a gun.”

– A text from Corporate Caterers of Wichita owner Ben Arnold after reading Anchor owner Schane Gross’ comment that she’d rather shoot herself than do catering

Anchor owner Schane Gross to open Douglas Avenue Chop Shop next door

Schane Gross, who is opening Douglas Avenue Chop Shop.

WICHITA — Anchor owner Schane Gross was disappointed when her Creekstone Farms contact told her there are no stores where she could buy the Arkansas City company’s products to cook for her children.

“We were making jokes like, ‘I should just open up a butcher shop,’” Gross says.

It’s no joke, though. That’s what she’s doing.

Gross is opening Douglas Avenue Chop Shop at 1113 E. Douglas, which is next to the Anchor, to sell Creekstone products and other high-end meat.

“It would be an extension of the Anchor,” Gross says.

She’s calling it a boutique butcher shop, but Gross doesn’t want that to intimidate anyone.

“It’s not going to look like a boutique from the outside. It’s going to be very approachable.”

Gross, who hopes to have the shop open by the middle of October, says she’ll sell meat from small producers locally and regionally.

She says it will be the same types of meat that shoppers can find in grocery stores, “but on a higher quality, higher level.”

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Partying like a rock star — in Wichita

Wally Reyes Jr., post workout at the Ambassador Hotel, partying with Anchor owner Schane Gross.

WICHITA — Percussionist Walfredo Reyes Jr., who is on tour with Chicago, had just finished a workout in the Ambassador Hotel’s gym Sunday night when he encountered Anchor owner Schane Gross in the elevator on his way back to his room on the 12th floor.

Before he knew it, he was partying with a bunch of chefs and food service vendors celebrating their first Funday in the Rock Star Suite.

Funday is a Kansas City tradition that Siena Tuscan Steakhouse chef Marshall Roth is now instituting at the Ambassador where chefs gather to cook and hang out together on Sundays. The first one included Wichita chefs and several from Kansas City.

Reyes, who goes by Wally, fit right in as he fielded questions about his time in Wichita on the band’s way to Salina’s Stiefel Theatre Monday.

So why wasn’t he or anyone else in the band already staying in the Rock Star Suite?

“Too many expenses,” he says.

The Cuba native is known around the world for his drumming and has toured with a number of acts, such as Santana and Steve Winwood.

“I travel all around the world like I’m hopping in a cab,” Reyes says.

Still, he was impressed with Wichita.

He stopped into A Legacy Antique Mall around the corner from the Ambassador.

“I transported myself to the ’60s,” he says of checking out records.

He also popped over to Mead’s Corner for a small latte with a double shot of espresso.

“And you know what?” Reyes says. “They know how to make it. Starbucks doesn’t.”

Reyes, who currently lives north of Los Angeles, particularly liked Old Town even though not much was open Sunday morning as he walked around.

“I have a fetish with brick or something,” he says. “It kind of … talks to you.”

He says that’s one reason he likes New Orleans so much, and now Old Town is on his list, too.

“I love the vibe.”

Reyes says he can imagine the area continuing to grow and prosper even more.

“In, like, two or three years, I’ll be back to rock and party.”

Ferguson Enterprises to open 7,000-square-foot Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery in downtown Wichita

WICHITA — Ferguson Enterprises is expanding its business in Wichita with a new 7,000-square-foot downtown showroom called Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery.

The Newport News, Va.-based company sells plumbing, appliances and lighting fixtures out of a 1,500-square-foot showroom at 2222 W. Harry.

It also sells heating and air equipment and has commercial and industrial pipe valves and fittings at its 45,000-square-foot campus there.

The company isn’t moving but is adding a new showroom at 1210 E. Douglas, which is two blocks east of Douglas and Washington on the north side of the road. The Anchor is catty-corner across the street.

“We picked downtown because we wanted to make sure we met the needs of both the east and the west side of Wichita,” says president and general manager Jeremy Zellers.

Also, he says, “The downtown area is certainly becoming more of a design district.”

He says that fits with the company’s concept for a high-end destination design showroom.

Of Ferguson’s 1,300 stores nationally, 150 of them have these showrooms.

“They’re pretty unique in the markets,” Zellers says. “It’s just designed real well.”

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You don’t say

Five Guys doesn’t have booze, beer or breakfast. I think @anchorwichita will survive.”

— Wichita freelance writer Scott Elpers’ tweet Thursday in reply to another Twitter user’s concern that the Anchor will be adversely affected by the new Five Guys locating so close to it

Five Guys Burgers and Fries is coming downtown to Douglas and Ida

UPDATED — There’s a lot of downtown news this week with more approvals coming on the area’s master plan.

What might bring a little more immediate excitement is Five Guys Burgers and Fries‘ confirmation that it has a deal to open Sept. 1 at the southwest corner of Douglas and Ida.

Have You Heard? first reported that was a possibility in August.

Five Guys franchisee Jeff Miller says he’ll locate on Douglas across from the Anchor, which is on the southeast corner of that intersection, though the city’s Historic Preservation Board still needs to approve the restaurant’s design.

“We’re pretty confident that they’ll be real happy with what we’re bringing to them,” Miller says. “We don’t anticipate any problems there.”

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Free State Brewery enters Wichita market with bottle sales

WICHITA — The ever-popular Free State Brewing Co. in Lawrence is participating in the Midwest Beerfest Saturday and having a tasting at the Anchor that night, but that’s not the exciting news for fans of the bar and its brew.

Starting Monday, four of Free State’s beers will be available at liquor stores throughout the city.

Standard Beverage is distributing Free State’s Wheat State Golden, Copperhead Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout and Ad Astra Ale.

“Those are the ones that have been kind of our flagship beers since we opened 20 years ago,” owner Chuck Magerl says. “Those have been the perennial favorites.”

He started selling bottles in Lawrence in May. Magerl thought he’d be in the rest of the state by June, but it didn’t work out.

“The response in Lawrence was so great . . . we didn’t even tiptoe our way to Topeka till August.”

In September, he made it to Johnson County stores.

“So this month we’re finally making it into the Wichita market,” he says.

The demand has been so high, it’s been a much slower process than Magerl expected.

“There are certainly worse problems in this economy,” he says. “We’re grateful for that.”

Magerl says there’s incredible growth in the craft beer industry nationally and in Kansas. He also notes that Wichita is a great dining town.

“We’re excited about Wichita,” he says. “It’s a big step for us.”

Several businesses have grand openings this week

WICHITA — Here are a few updates on businesses that Have You Heard? previously reported were opening in the area.

– The new Jimmy’s Egg on West 21st Street just west of Amidon opened at lunch today and will serve its first breakfast Wednesday.

Jimmy’s will be open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.

Emerson Biggin’s owner Chuck Miller is opening his new Rock Island BBQ at lunch Thursday in the Rock Island Live space in Old Town.

Initially, the restaurant will be open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“If things go well, we may add nighttime,” Miller says.

He also plans buffets on nights when there are arena shows.

Cindi Gentry and photographer Don Birmingham’s River City Retro Pin-up Photography is having its grand opening Friday during Final Friday.

The studio, which is at 113 S. Laura behind the Anchor, specializes in photographing women in vintage styles.

Anchor owner plans changes, including adding a banquet hall

schaneWICHITA — Almost six years after opening the popular Anchor restaurant and bar on Douglas just east of Old Town, owner Schane Gross is expanding.

“We’ve gotten so busy, especially with going nonsmoking,” she says.

Gross hired Farha Construction to help her with a couple of key changes.

First, she’s knocking down the wall that separates the two sides of the business.

That’s in part because she wants the Anchor to feel more like a restaurant.

“Our food sales are easily 70 percent of our sales,” she says.

Because of the current dividing wall, Gross says the bar area seems even bigger.

“It has such a huge presence.”

The back room at the Anchor traditionally is where customers can book parties and events, but now Gross is building a new banquet hall to the east of the Anchor where Honie’s Wig & Beauty Supply used to be.

“We have so many people wanting to do private parties,” Gross says.

She doesn’t like having to turn diners away when there’s a private party, in part because the parties are less lucrative.

“Plus, we upset our regulars.”

The new event space will hold about 140 people or even more without tables and chairs.

The physical bar at the Anchor also is being rebuilt, Gross says.

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