Kobe Steak House of Japan in Derby has closed, but Starbucks and Braum’s are opening, possibly followed by Chipotle

WICHITA — Derby’s loss is going to be Wichita’s gain.

Kobe Steak House of Japan, which opened three years ago in the former Tokyo Steakhouse space at 1221 N. Rock Road in Derby, closed after business March 2.

Jim Hamlin, who owns the restaurant with Jim West, says they plan to reopen in Wichita.

They already have a Kobe at 21st and Maize Road. Hamlin won’t say where the new one will be.

“I’ll tell you that a little later.”

Hamlin says the Derby Kobe was profitable, but not enough.

“We hadn’t been as successful there as we’d like to be.”

He says there were issues with the building, including too much square footage for the number of diners it could seat, and a too-small parking lot.

“It just had a number of barriers to growing down there,” Hamlin says. “It takes a lot of population to have a specialty restaurant.”

It’s not all bad dining news for Derby, though.

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Beautiful Day Market & Cafe to open downtown this fall

WICHITA — Downtown dwellers have called for more grocery options in their area, and Charolett Knapic is answering.

Knapic, who owns Echo Landscapes, plans to open Beautiful Day Market & Cafe in 6,000 square feet downtown in November.

She’s not saying precisely where until she finalizes the lease. Cristi Howell at J.P. Weigand & Sons is assisting her.

Jill Miller of Creative Solutions is helping Knapic with her business plan, which is centered around locally grown and organic food.

Knapic grew up working at her grandparents’ Kingman restaurant, McQueen’s Cafe and Servateria.

That didn’t inspire her to want her own restaurant, though.

“Not at all,” Knapic says. “I thought I would never go back to it.”

The healthful side of the business is what’s attracting her.

“I want a place that makes you feel good.”

She got the idea because she was not feeling well.

“About five years ago I had a big health failure.”

Knapic says stress from her business caused her to have a physical breakdown.

Living a more natural, healthy life is what got her back on track and allowed her to find balance, she says.

“I learned a big lesson.”

Knapic wants to share that lesson.

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Restaurant roundup: What’s opening — or not — soon

WICHITA — By popular demand, we’re debuting a new mini feature of sorts, which will be a regular “what’s up with that?” update on businesses we’ve already reported on that now are close to either opening, closing or changing in some way.

If you have any questions or suggestions for the list, just let us know.

Today’s collection:

– The new Braum’s at 201 N. Seneca is scheduled to open Nov. 8. This will replace the older Braum’s just around the corner on West Douglas, which will close after business on Nov. 7.

The new 5,756-square-foot store will feature the company’s latest design, which includes two drive-through lanes and seating for 86.

There’s no word yet on when construction might start on Braum’s stores planned near Harry and Rock and just north of the Residence Inn by Marriott at Plazzio at 13th and Greenwich. In May, a company spokesman said both stores are still happening.

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You don’t say

“Next month I’m gonna post “WE’LL NEVER GET A REAL GROCERY” and see what happens.”

Delano Neighborhood Association president Karen Cravens, who recently printed in the Delano Dispatch newsletter that readers shouldn’t hold their breath for a new Braum’s, although now it appears to be under construction

2nd Chance Resale Shoppe to open in Delano

WICHITA — Another new business is coming to Delano.

The 2nd Chance Resale Shoppe opens today at 1316 W. Douglas, which is about a block west of Braum’s.

Laid-off Cessna Aircraft worker Doug Crabtree will run the business, which was his wife Rhonda’s idea.

“It’s my business, but it’s kind of her dream,” he says.

The shop will have gently used children’s clothing and toys and some maternity and other women’s clothing.

Doug Crabtree also will sell his own pottery in the shop.

He’ll buy other merchandise for resale. It won’t be a consignment shop, though. The Crabtrees will pay for goods outright.

“I really drive a hard bargain to get the best price,” Rhonda Crabtree says.

She has ulterior — and altruistic — motives.

Crabtree wants disadvantaged shoppers to find things they can afford.

“I want them to be able to get things for their kids,” she says.

She first started getting the idea for a store 15 years ago when she came to the Wichita area to help with an AIDS ministry.

She saw what resale or donated items can do for someone.

“That’s what I saw with the AIDS ministry. Those little things really count sometimes.”

Braum’s still plans three new Wichita stores

WICHITA — Readers have been wondering about the status of a few Braum’s stores coming to Wichita.

“The economy must be getting better if that’s the major concern,” says Braum’s marketing director Terry Holden, laughing.

As Have You Heard? previously reported, a Braum’s will open on Seneca near First Street just north of QuikTrip. The Braum’s on Douglas just around the corner will close when the new store opens.

There are also Braum’s stores planned near Harry and Rock and just north of the Residence Inn by Marriott at Plazzio at 13th and Greenwich.

Braum’s, which has 278 stores nationally, also has about 50 more in the planning stages, including the Wichita stores.

“I’ve kind of got a whole bunch of things hanging out there,” Holden says.
“It becomes a choice. This year we’re going to do this.”

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New commercial development coming to 21st and Maize Road

WICHITA — There’s a new development coming near the southwest corner of 21st and Maize Road behind Bank of the West.

A group of as-of-yet unnamed developers are purchasing the former New Medical Health Care building, razing it and building a new 10,000-square-foot center for retail and restaurant space.

Last year, New Medical moved to 21st and Ridge Road by Braum’s.

The new development group will have a total of almost three acres and may build a second phase for offices.

There will be access to the development from both 21st Street and Maize Road, “which makes this an extremely attractive property,” says Cory Harkleroad, managing director of KW Commercial.

Harkleroad is handling the sale of the property and has already landed two tenants.

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Braum’s to close one site, open several more

WICHTIA — Braum’s is having an active month in Wichita.

The ice cream and grocery chain is closing one store, readying two other sites for future Braum’s stores and has purchased property for a store at least a year or two down the road.

First, the Braum’s on Central near West Street is closing after business Sunday.

“The store’s been there for quite a while,” says marketing director Terry Holden. “Twenty years roughly.”

He said the new Braum’s just west of 21st and Amidon is attracting some of the Central customers.

“Customers gravitate to the newer, better,” Holden says.

The chain hopes to eventually open a new store somewhere near the one that’s closing.

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At least two new Braum’s stores to open in Wichita next year

braumWICHITA — Two new Braum’s stores are planned for the Wichita area, and more could follow.

One will be at 1261 S. Rock near Harry and Rock.

A source with Braum’s, who prefers not to be named, says that location will fill a void in the chain’s market area.

Leisa Lowry, a broker with J.P. Weigand & Sons, represented Braum’s and closed the deal Friday.

Weigand brokers Grant Tidemann and his son Bradley represented the seller.

Braum’s will tear down the vacant building on the property, which has been a couple of different restaurants in recent years.

Once Braum’s has a building permit — and that can take several months — it typically takes four to six months to build a building depending on weather.

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Braum’s to open north of Douglas and Seneca

braumsAnother new Braum’s is coming to town.

No one with the Oklahoma-based company returned calls to comment. But according to planning documents, the new Braum’s will open at 201 N. Seneca on a vacant lot just north of QuikTrip.

There’s another much older Braum’s just around the corner from there at 1220 W. Douglas. It seems likely that that Braum’s will close when the new one opens.

A new prototype for Braum’s just opened near 21st and Amidon where a previous Braum’s was destroyed in a 2003 fire.

The almost 6,000-square-foot store is the company’s latest model, which includes a double drive through and an expanded fresh market with fruit, vegetables and meat along with traditional dairy and bakery offerings.

We’ll let you know more as soon as a Braum’s representative calls back.