You don’t say

“I have separation anxiety.”

– Wichita resident Pat Hysko, who says she’s lost without being able to buy gifts at Barrier’s and then shop for wrapping at L.J. Pracht Co. after decades of shopping at the now-closed stores

Despite the appearance of a real estate sign, the Hill Bar and Grill is still opening

WICHITA — About a month ago, Have You Heard? reported that the Hill Bar and Grill is still on track to open later this month or in early May, but some people still doubt it.

The reason is a Classic Real Estate sign in the window of the future business in the former Barrier’s space at Douglas and Oliver.

It’s true that the owners are seeking a new tenant, but it’s for an extra 2,200 square feet in the building – not for the Hill’s space.

Steven brothers plan public meeting on their new Hill Bar and Grill

WICHITA — As owners of Mike’s Wine Dive and Club Indigo, Brad and Brent Steven are already two of the most recognizable restaurateurs in Wichita.

For those who don’t know them, though, or for those who are worried about the new Hill Bar and Grill they have planned for the former Barrier’s space, the Stevens are holding a meeting there on Dec. 21.

“We really just wanted to meet with everyone and find out what their concerns are,” Brad Steven says.

He says the idea is to introduce themselves and their concept.

Some residents in the area worried about the Hill’s planned 2 a.m. closing time. Others have traffic and parking concerns.

The brothers already have proper zoning for the Hill, but they’re seeking some extra parking nearby where the owners of the building are going to raze a duplex. That area needs rezoned.

The meeting is at 4 p.m. in the building where the Hill will locate at the northeast corner of Douglas and Oliver.

Brad Steven says the idea is to meet, share plans, ease concerns and hopefully “keep everybody happy.”

District Advisory Board votes in favor of extra parking for the Hill Bar and Grill

WICHITA — The issue of whether developers can get extra parking for a bar and grill in the former Barrier’s space is heading to City Council.

A District Advisory Board considered the issue Monday with a packed audience in attendance. Many of the 70 or so people who were there are opposed to the 2 a.m. closing time brothers Brad and Brent Steven want for their new Hill Bar and Grill.

The board voted 8 to 1 in favor of allowing building owners Christian Ablah and W.G. Farha to raze a duplex near the building for more parking.

City Council likely will consider the issue early in the new year.

Mike’s Wine Dive owners to open the Hill Bar and Grill in the former Barrier’s space

Brothers Brent (left) and Brad Steven in front of the former Barrier’s building at Douglas and Oliver, which they’re going to transform into the Hill Bar and Grill.

WICHITA — As some residents of Crown Heights are organizing a group to protest a bar and grill going in the former Barrier’s space at Douglas and Oliver, the restaurateurs hoping to open it are ready to share details.

Mike’s Wine Dive owners Brent and Brad Steven plan to open the Hill Bar and Grill — named for the hill in College Hill — in 5,100 square feet of the building in March.

Mike’s is in the center at the northwest corner of the intersection. The Hill will be on the northeast corner.

Though Brad Steven says the Hill will be a great place to catch a game, he says, “It’s not going to be a sports bar.”

“Our focus will be a wide selection of craft beers as well as American food,” he says. “Basically, we’re going to be specializing in beers the way we specialize in wine at Mike’s.”

There will be 25 beers on tap and craft beers from around the world.

Brent Steven describes it as “kind of like an ale house.”

He says the idea is “a place that’s totally different than Mike’s.”

Where Mike’s is more fine dining, he says, he and his brother envision the Hill as “more of a hangout spot.”

“It will appeal to a wider audience than Mike’s does.”

There will be seating for about 150 customers.

There will be an outside patio facing Douglas that is within the front of the building and will serve as an area for smoking. There will be another patio that wraps around the east side of the building.

There will be another 2,400 square feet left in the building for another business.

The Hill’s hours aren’t set yet, but the Stevens are thinking 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. most days and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on the weekends.

The hours are a key issue for some residents.

“You can go on the news and see all the time what happens in Old Town at 2 a.m.,” says Melinda Foley, who is president of the Crown Heights Neighborhood Association.

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Angelo’s won’t open in former Barrier’s space, but another restaurant working on it

UPDATED — Angelo’s won’t be opening in the former Barrier’s space at Douglas and Oliver after all, but another restaurant will pending final city approval on increased parking.

“I never was positive that we were opening there,” says Gina Fasciano-Hogan. “It was actually way premature that that was mentioned at all.”

Fasciano-Hogan had been speaking with someone who had hoped to buy the building but didn’t succeed.

“That’s how premature it was.”

She still wants to reopen her family’s popular restaurant, though.

“We still want to, yes, and would like to stay in the College Hill area,” Fasciano-Hogan says. “I’m still in the planning stages.”

She says she’s working on a business plan and should be ready to do something in about six months.

“Hopefully when the time comes, something will be available in that area.”

Another group wants part of the former Barrier’s space for a bar and restaurant. Neither the group nor its representatives are sharing details about who the restaurateurs are or what they’re planning.

According to a staff report for the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, the real estate agents for the new owners of the building — who closed on Thursdayapplied for a conditional use permit to tear down a duplex near the property for parking.

They also have plans to tear down a building behind the former Barrier’s building but don’t need permission for that because it’s already zoned for neighborhood retail.

The duplex is behind Citizens Bank of Kansas and is zoned for multifamily residential use.

The planning commission unanimously approved the permit with some modifications. This followed numerous public speakers who voiced concerns over the plan along with support for it.

A couple of speakers said they didn’t think the building, which has been vacant for more than two years, can ever attract another business without more parking.

“This building is an eyesore,” resident Trae Staats said. “Frankly, guys, something’s gotta give.”

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Barrier’s building is now available for lease

WICHITA — The former Barrier’s building is now available for lease.

If it isn’t leased within a few months, the Barrier family could sell it.

“That building was in their family for over 70 years,” says Adam Clements of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group. “They’d like to keep it in the family.”

Clements and Patrick Ritchie of J.P. Weigand & Sons are sharing the listing.

The building is owned by Big River LLC, and the late Jay Barrier’s probate estate is its sole member.

Barrier died in 2008 and Barrier’s filed bankruptcy last fall and later closed.

“There’s just a lot of emotional ties to it,” Clements says of the building. The family would “really like to see a group go in there that complements the area.”

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Myoptix Fashion Eyewear to close

WICHITA — Word first started circulating weeks ago that Myoptix Fashion Eyewear may close, and now it’s happening.

“I’d been sick for a long time, and of course they tore up the road,” says owner Jon Herrscher of his space at the northwest corner of Douglas and Oliver.

The economy, though, probably has been the biggest factor.

“I just have to close up,” Herrscher says. “There’s no traffic anymore.”

He’ll stay open for another week or two to sell his inventory, which Herrscher says he’s reduced to his cost or below.

He’s owned the shop for more than seven of its approximately 10 years in business.

Part of the problem is his space is too large, Herrscher says. So he may reopen somewhere else at some point.

If “we just found a little smaller place, more quaint would be better.”

There’s also a chance Herrscher could just sell wholesale or partner with an eye doctor.

“I’m not quite sure what my plans are,” he says. But there’s “no use keeping it open.”

Myoptix isn’t the only business closing on that corner.

As Have You Heard? previously reported, Caffe Posto’s last day in business is Sunday, and Barrier’s will close early in the new year.

You don’t say

“The only people I haven’t seen are Charles and Liz Koch.”

— Wichita resident and longtime Barrier’s shopper Pat Hysko’s comment about the who’s who of Wichita shopping the store’s going-out-of-business presale Monday, which she described as a cross between a wake and a social gathering

What will happen with the Barrier’s property?

WICHITA — A Barrier’s question that won’t be answered for a while is what will happen with the property at the northeast corner of Douglas and Oliver.

There’s the jewelry and gift store and the office behind it.

It’s owned by Big River LLC, and the late Jay Barrier’s probate estate it its sole member.

The administrator will decide what happens with the property at a later date.