Famous Footwear to open in former Highlands Gastropub space on Rock Road

WICHITA — A new business is going in the former Highlands Gastropub and Cardroom space at 3731 N. Rock Road, but this time it’s not a restaurant.

Famous Footwear is taking the 7,500 square feet.

No one with the company returned calls for comment, but remodeling is under way, and it looks like the store should be open in a few months.

Andy Boyd of Walter Morris Cos. and Christian Ablah of Classic Real Estate handled the deal.

After Highlands Gastropub closed in late 2009, Colorado-based BenchWarmers Tavern & Grill signed a 10-year lease for the space but didn’t end up coming.

Before the gastropub opened in the building, Serengeti Grill was briefly there, and Black Canyon Grille had a longer existence there before that.

In addition to the new Famous Footwear, the existing ones at Towne East Square and Eastgate Plaza at Kellogg and Rock Road will remain open. There also are two Famous Footwears on the west side.


BenchWarmers Tavern & Grill CEO files theft complaint

WICHITA — The Boulder Daily Camera updated the story on BenchWarmers Tavern & Grill CEO Kevin Foote.

Foote filed a theft complaint from the Boulder County Jail Sunday alleging that vendors and some former employees took sports memorabilia, televisions and pictures from his restaurants, which he says some company officials directed them to do in lieu of pay.

The Erie, Colo., police department is checking to see if Foote has grounds to make the complaint since he’s listed as an employee — not an owner — in the business.

BenchWarmers Tavern & Grill CEO arrested; fate of planned Wichita sites is unclear

WICHITA — In June, a BenchWarmers Tavern & Grill spokeswoman told Have You Heard? that CEO Kevin Foote helps set the business apart because he’s an executive chef.

He’s setting BenchWarmers apart for a new reason now.

According to newspapers in Colorado, where the chain is based, Foote was arrested last week on suspicion of a parole violation.

BenchWarmers signed a lease for the former Highlands Gastropub and Cardroom at 3731 N. Rock Road and had at least one more site planned for Wichita.

The Boulder Daily Camera quoted a Colorado Department of Corrections spokeswoman as saying Foote, 47, was arrested Wednesday for not telling his parole officers that he works around liquor and financial records.

The newspaper reports that for a 10-year period ending in 2003, Foote was arrested in Colorado about a dozen times on suspicions of various crimes, such as larceny, theft and fraud.

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BenchWarmers Tavern & Grill to open in former Highlands Gastropub space

WICHITA — The almost 7,500-square-foot building at 3731 N. Rock Road has been home to several restaurants in recent years.

Highlands Gastropub and Cardroom was the most recent short-lived tenant. Serengeti Grill was briefly there before that, and Black Canyon Grille had a longer existence there before that.

Now, BenchWarmers Tavern & Grill, an upscale sports bar, has a 10-year lease on the space.

“We’re very serious and plan on being there a long time,” says Pamela Tauman, marketing manager and department head for the Erie, Colo.-based BenchWarmers International. “It’s a great spot.”

Nathan Farha of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group represented BenchWarmers in the deal.

BenchWarmers is looking for a second Wichita site but doesn’t have it finalized yet.

The first BenchWarmers opened in Aurora, Colo., near Denver in January. There are only a couple of sites so far, but the company is in a huge growth mode.

After a planned opening in Centennial, Colo., on July 8, BenchWarmers plans to open a new site every other week for a year.

“They just feel very confident about their business plan and about the model we have in place,” Tauman says. “Since they have the funds to make it happen at that rate, they’re just ready to go.

“They’re very eager to make their mark.”

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