Longtime favorite Brints Diner to reopen

brintsdinerWICHITA — Brints Diner is once again going to reopen.

Larry Bud’s Sports Bar & Grill founder Larry Harmon is taking over the business, which is near the northeast corner of Lincoln and Oliver.

The restaurant is in one of Wichita’s last remaining Valentine buildings, which are metal, mobile diners that Wichita’s Valentine Manufacturing built between 1938 and 1971.

The more than 50-year-old Brints closed in late 2012, but then about this time last year, Neighbors Restaurant & Bar owner Chuck Giles and his girlfriend, Connie Schrader, reopened the business. Running two restaurants proved to be too much, so building owner Homer Morgan found someone else to run Brints. Then it closed again last month.

Harmon, a Mississippi native, says a diner has “been in my thoughts for a while.”

“I just always wanted a diner,” he says. “When I was a kid down South, my dad used to take me and my four brothers to this diner where you could get sausage biscuits for 10 cents a piece. I thought it was cool.”

Harmon says his sports bars are doing well.

“The kids are running … those,” he says of his children. “And so I thought, why not? Let’s do something fun and different, so here we are.”

Harmon says he was a Brints customer from “back in the day.”

He plans to reopen Monday. Hours will be 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

“We are going to serve a killer chicken fried steak and eggs and some good burgers and some shakes and malts,” Harmon says. “We’re going to fire it up and do it to it.”

EarthWise Pet Supply to open in April

Animal lovers Lisa Obregon (left), who is holding Chanel, and Kim Bonnesen, who is holding Bebe, are preparing to open EarthWise Pet Supply in April.

UPDATED — People are eating more natural foods these days, so it’s probably a natural follow that that’s what they’ll buy for their pets, too.

Kim Bonnesen and Lisa Obregon are opening EarthWise Pet Supply to sell pet food and supplies in 1,900 square feet at 327 N. Hillside, which is between Yamasa and Domino’s.

“We’ve been talking about doing a business together at least the last couple of years,” Bonnesen says.

Bonnesen owned Brint’s Diner for about a year a decade ago.

She says she decided if she ever owned her own business again, she wanted it to be a franchise.

“There is some support there,” she says. “Especially when you’re getting things going from the ground up.”

Bonnesen and Obregon started looking at franchises. They both have pets and liked the idea of EarthWise.

“It just kind of seemed like a natural fit,” Bonnesen says.

“It’s going to be your premium natural pet foods,” she says. “More healthy options for your pets.”

Obregon says they’ve taken training that has taught them much more than they previously knew about taking care of their own pets better.

“Pet nutrition is extremely important,” she says.

She says the right kind of food can help pets avoid allergies and even extend their lives.

“People love their pets … and they’re almost willing to do anything for them,” Obregon says. “I know we are.”

She says she and Bonnesen want to pass along what they’ve learned, which is part of why she wants to open the store.

“That’s one of my main reasons, was to educate the public.”

The store also will have a groomer and two areas for customers to wash their pets.

In addition to food, the store will carry pet supplies and treats.

“This is definitely a higher-end option,” Bonnesen says. “It’s not going to be pricewise what you would find at a grocery store.”

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You don’t say

“I got that 1,000 times.”

Chuck Giles, who keeps fielding questions about whether he’s closing Neighbor’s Restaurant & Bar (he’s not) now that he’s reopening Brints Diner

Neighbor’s Restaurant & Bar owner Chuck Giles to reopen Brints Diner

Chuck Giles and Connie Schrader, who are reopening Brints Diner.

WICHITA — Chuck Giles has the happy luck of fulfilling a longtime dream while making some Wichitans very happy in the process.

Giles, who owns Neighbor’s Restaurant & Bar in Twin Lakes, is reopening Brints Diner.

“People are just freaking out because it was closed,” Giles says. “I’ve always wanted a little diner.”

He and his girlfriend, Connie Schrader, are opening the business within the next two weeks.

The more than 50-year-old Brints, which is near the northeast corner of Lincoln and Oliver, closed in October. Former owner Jessie Medina said construction in the area was to blame.

Giles has owned Neighbor’s at 21st and Amidon for more than 10 years and worked at Stroud’s for 10 years before that, first as kitchen manager and then as general manager.

“There’s just really not a lot of old restaurants left in Wichita,” he says.

That’s why he says he was interested in Brints.

“I just think the history of the place is worth something.”

The restaurant, which seats 64, is one of the city’s few remaining Valentine buildings – metal, mobile diners that Wichita’s Valentine Manufacturing built between 1938 and 1971.

“I was told there’s 13 in the country that are still operating,” Giles says.

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Family Dollar to open at Lincoln and Oliver

WICHITA — Another new Family Dollar is coming to the market, this time in front of Brints Diner near the northeast corner of Lincoln and Oliver.

Businessman Homer Morgan owns the restaurant and bought the building in front of it a couple of years ago at auction.

He didn’t want the property for himself, but he did want to make sure the entry into Brints remained open.

Morgan says Family Dollar agreed to that.

He also had to get Safeway to sign off on the deal.

Morgan says Safeway was in the area years ago and retained rights to keep another business from selling food there.

“But they signed off because they don’t intend to have anything else,” Morgan says.

He says Family Dollar is moving quickly.

“They’re tearing the old building down.”

Morgan says he’s been told a new building should be up in 120 days.

No one with Family Dollar could immediately be reached for comment.