Former Boeing worker opening Tech Solutions on North Rock Road

WICHITA — Nayan Patel is another businessman who decided to turn his hobby into his full-time work.

“I have been enjoying playing with different Audio Video equipment for many years,” he said via e-mail.

Patel worked for Boeing for a dozen years but now is opening Tech Solutions at 350 N. Rock Road. He said his goal is to help customers transfer older files of all sorts into digital ones. He said that could be a shoebox full of photographs or negatives or it could be albums, 8-track tapes or VHS tapes, among other things. Patel said he also has high-speed scanners and duplication machines.

There are other services Patel will provide as well. For instance, he’ll offer shredding services and pick-up and delivery for computer, cell phone and TV repairs at the GeekShop Repairs.

By July, Patel will have a 16-person conference room set up for international video conferencing and other meetings.

Patel said these are merely some of his initial plans.

“Future plans are 3-D printing, home video security installation, LCD/LED TV installation, etc.”

Qdoba Mexican Grill to open in Yen Ching Chinese Restaurant & Club space

UPDATED — It turns out Qdoba Mexican Grill is what’s going to open in the space Yen Ching Chinese Restaurant & Club will be vacating at Central and Rock, and it will be unlike any other in the national chain.

“Central and Rock Road is a great intersection,” says restaurateur Eric Estes.

He plans a special theme for the site.

“Qdoba was going to kind of let us step out a little bit on this,” Estes says.

He says the interior will celebrate Wichita’s aviation and military history.

“That’s kind of what shaped Wichita,” Estes says. “It’s part of the Wichita DNA. … We kind of have this inspiration, if you will.”

The restaurant will have an aviation theme and feature a tail and propeller from a 1941 AT-6 Texan.

The theme is important to Estes, who says his grandfather was working as a riveter at Boeing for his first job when he received orders to go to Italy in World War II.

“It just kind of shapes everything we do,” Estes says of the heritage.

It was summer 2012 when he first told Have You Heard? he’d be bringing Qdobas to the state.

Qdoba is similar to Chipotle Mexican Grill in that customers order from a counter with a number of protein, vegetable and salsa selections for burritos and tacos.

Estes says there are a lot of healthy options, such as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes, along with kids’ meals.

His first Qdoba opened in Hutchinson in June, and Estes says it’s doing well. Another is under construction in Hays.

Estes says work on the east-side Qdoba will start in June, but he’s not sure if the restaurant will be in the same building that was home to Yen Ching for 30 years or if he’ll build a new one.

“We’d love not to demolish it,” he says. “We like to repurpose buildings where we can.”

He adds, though, “If we do repurpose it, then all we’d be repurposing is four walls.”

Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Look for an August or September opening. After that, Estes hopes to open another Qdoba on the west side, though he hasn’t started looking for a site yet.

You don’t say: Our favorites from 2013

Some were newsy, some were shocking, but most were simply fun or funny. Here are some of our favorite “You don’t say” quotes from 2013.

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“I said, ‘You must know a lot of angry people.’ (They) said, ‘I work at Spirit.’”

Best of Times owner Nancy Robinson on a person who bought 10 Dammit Dolls, the soft dolls angry people can safely slam on any surface to blow off steam on bad days

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“My first place that I am not going to get married at is the Grand Chapel.”

– Sedgwick County Chairman Jim Skelton, whose upcoming marriage to Stacy Luke won’t take place at the facility he sued over his daughter’s wedding

“That’s correct, he’s not.”

– Grand Chapel owner Dennis Wilkie, who says Skelton is “a troublemaker, and I just don’t want to deal with troublemakers.”

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“Women pilots don’t land at the wrong airport. We ask for directions!”

– A tweet from Seattle-based pilot Karlene Petitt (‏@KarlenePetitt) about the Dreamlifter incident at Colonel James Jabara Airport

- – -

“Be aware, Boeing, ‘this route has tolls.’ Bring some change.”

– An NPR story that acknowledged a stranded Dreamlifter likely couldn’t be towed from Colonel James Jabara Airport to McConnell Air Force Base but offered a Google map and driving directions anyway

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“I thought I’d get in line right behind him.”

– Outgoing Chamber chairwoman Debbie Gann, who “about choked” at the group’s annual dinner Tuesday when possible mayoral candidate Jeff Turner suggested she would make a great mayor

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“I’m going to drop off a baked bean can and a string tomorrow … so we can chat later in the day.”

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers co-owner Scott Redler teasing City Council member Pete Meitzner about his antiquated BlackBerry

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“With all the crying and whining in Washington, I’m feeling ready to be a new father come November.”

– Expectant father U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder speaking Friday at the 2013 Congressional Summit at the Hotel at Old Town

- – -

“We know you’re a Democrat.”

– Park City administrator Jack Whitson, teasing the city’s chamber president, registered Republican Dean Frankenbery, about a misprint that said Rep. Mike Pompom, not Pompeo, would be the group’s next speaker

- – -

“I know you are all wondering if that beautiful new red car parked over there is a door prize. It’s not. It’s the speaker’s gift.”

Delta Dental of Kansas vice president of human resources Kara Hunt, speaking at the Chamber’s Sunrise Scrambler about a car that Davis-Moore had at the event

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“I thought that Davis-Moore . . . has been hurting so bad that they needed a sale, so I thought I’d help them out.”

– Car dealer Brandon Steven, joking about why he bought a Viper at his competitor’s dealership

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“I think it’s awesome that he bought himself a nice car.”

– Davis-Moore’s Dawson Grimsley, retorting with a teasing implication that Steven couldn’t find a nice car at his own lot

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“The @WichitaOrpheum could use a little Jesus after @RealTracyMorgan’s performance there. #itwaspurefilth”

— A tweet from comedian Ron Shively, aka @FunnyMrBiggs, after hearing City Life Church is going to rent the Orpheum Theatre every Sunday morning for services

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“Puppies and people all over town are sad today.”

—Accountant David Jabara on the death of Doggy Day Care owner Marilyn Walk

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You don’t say

“Be aware, Boeing, ‘this route has tolls.’ Bring some change.”

– An NPR story that acknowledged a stranded Dreamlifter likely couldn’t be towed from Colonel James Jabara Airport to McConnell Air Force Base but offered a Google map and driving directions anyway

You don’t say

“I’m kind of amused by it.”

– Movie mogul Bill Warren, whose Moore, Okla., theater is getting some free publicity in a TV ad trying to lure Boeing workers to the city

Flight International to profile Wichita

WICHITA — A reporter with Flight International, an aviation trade journal based in London, is in Wichita this week to do a spotlight on the aviation cluster here.

Talk has circulated that the story may be an examination of “the demise of Wichita,” which makes writer Stephen Trimble, who is based in Washington, D.C., laugh.

“I can confirm that rumors of my story of the demise of Wichita are greatly exaggerated,” he says. “There’s no real preconceived agenda, to be honest.”

Trimble says his publication regularly does country reports, which focus on the aviation industry in various countries. The United States, he says, is “just too big to have any real context,” so the publication looks at individual clusters.

So how does he find Wichita is faring?

“I’ve been trying to figure that out,” Trimble says.

He’s visiting all the major aircraft companies and a number of subcontractors. Naturally, not everything is rosy with Boeing’s planned departure and Hawker Beechcraft’s uncertain future.

Trimble also is visiting the National Institute for Aviation Research and the National Center for Aviation Training, and he says those programs are offering hope.

“That’s very encouraging.”

In other struggling places he’s visited, Trimble says, “They don’t have this kind of thing.”

The story will come out late next month, just before the National Business Aviation Association annual convention.

“There are some definite bright spots,” Trimble says of Wichita. “The question is where things go from here.”

 

GoTimeTraining.com personal training to open new facility near K-96 and Greenwich

WICHITA — There are lots of personal trainers in Wichita, but Shannon Dykman and his girlfriend, Kalene Smith, think they have something that sets their GoTimeTraining.com apart.

“We teach a lifestyle to people,” Dykman says. “That’s what differentiates us.”

The two are opening a new 1,900-square-foot facility just north of Star Lumber at K-96 and Greenwich.

Dykman says it’s often not enough to spend an hour at a time with clients.

“This is why people don’t see results at the gym,” he says.

“We coach them through the nutrition process.”

Clients can sign up for 12-week or 16-week training online.

That means he and Smith create plans detailing food types, such as protein, and amounts clients should consume.

“We tailor to everyone’s body types,” Dykman says. “Each week we kind of fine-tune it for them.”

More traditional training is available as well along with boot camps.

Smith already trains people in Andover. Dykman is phasing out of his job at Boeing and eventually will join Smith full time. They plan to hire other trainers as well.

The new facility will open in early May.

“We’re really just trying to connect socially with people, inspire them, motivate them,” Dykman says. “It’s cool to change people’s lives.”

 

Boeing leaves Wichita Mid-Continent Airport ahead of full departure

WICHITA — After at least a decade greeting passengers at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, the large Boeing display showcasing the company’s various plane models through the years has been removed.

Valerie Wise, the airport’s air service and business development manager, says Boeing removed the display. This is about two years before Boeing – whose 85-year history here helped the city become the Air Capital of the World – will be completely gone from Wichita.

Wise says Clear Channel has temporarily installed an Air Capital of the World display until Spirit AeroSystems, which is now going to lease the space, can ready its own display.

 

Motor City Kansas to convert to Internet business

WICHITA — Motor City Kansas, a 15-year-old hobby and motor-related collectibles store, is converting from a retail shop near Central and Tyler to an online business.

Sheldon Birmingham says he and his father, Motor City owner Ron Birmingham, made the decision when Boeing announced it was leaving Wichita.

“It kind of provoked the whole thing,” he says.

Birmingham says 2009 was a particularly tough year.

“We lost a lot,” he says. “Last year was significantly better than the year before, but we really didn’t want to go through another downturn in the Wichita economy.”

Ron Birmingham, who bought Motor City four and a half years ago, also wants to retire.

Sheldon Birmingham, who says he already does a lot of shipping internationally, wants to liquidate the merchandise to a manageable level and then close the shop.

Discounted merchandise, fixtures and shelves are on sale now.

 

Dragon Estate investors buy floors in Sutton Place and Broadway Plaza and plan more purchases downtown

WICHITA — What started as a real estate search for a law office has led Abdul Arif to become a new investor in downtown along with several of his friends and business associates.

The members of the group, who operate under the name Dragon Estate, are Asian immigrants.

“This is our home,” Arif says of how they now view Wichita. “This is where we believe in.”

The other investors are Mui Nguyen, who owns Roof Mechanics; Vinh Le, a Boeing engineer; and Tariq Azmi, a systems engineer with CGF Industries.

“This group of guys (is) who I normally hang out with,” Arif says. “They’re always looking to do something.”

Boeing has told Le he has to move to Seattle. He doesn’t want to, though, so that’s part of the group’s motivation.

“They’re looking for investments and things to keep him here,” Arif says.

So far, they’re investing in downtown one floor at a time.

“Someone told us there’s a good deal at Sutton Place,” Arif says of the building at Market and William.

Real Development owns several floors there. Two floors that others own are in foreclosure.

So far, Arif and his associates have purchased the first floor of Sutton Place.

Arif says he’s in negotiations to buy the foreclosed floors as well.

Once the group has more floors, its plan is to develop residential condos there.

That’s also where Arif will move his Arif & Haeri law office.

Arif says the first floor of Sutton Place will remain office space. He’s also in negotiations for a new restaurant to move into the former Daily Grind space on that floor.

“I’m supposed to sign a lease fairly quickly.”

All About Business, a marketing and consulting firm, also is moving its office there.

Read More »