Method Productions to move to Old Town

WICHITA — As Have You Heard? reported Monday, Jacque Waite and her Jacque Inc. Photography are now in the Grant Telegraph Centre in Old Town, and Method Productions will be joining her next week.

“We have a rapport and a friendship with her,” says Method Productions’ Luis Rodriguez. “It just made sense to do it together.”

Method Productions is a 2-year-old full-service video production company that Gabe Juhnke and Rik Dubiel started from their homes.

They now share space with Burly Studios on Commerce Street.

“We were collaborating with (Burly) on some bigger projects,” Rodriguez says. “We co-located because it made sense.”

As Method Productions needed studio space, though, it started using Waite’s studio next to Caffe Moderne. When she learned her lease would not be renewed so the Morris, Laing, Evans, Brock & Kennedy, Chartered law firm could expand there, Waite and Method Productions began talking.

“We’ve got a whole collection of clients who need and want this,” Rodriguez says of having an on-site studio.

“It’s just part of our growth and our success.”

Method Productions does a range of video production.

“If you want a professionally produced video that’s short and sweet, we do that,” Rodriguez says. “If you want something elaborate, we do that, too.”

He says the company wants “to be Target for video production,” meaning he says it offers quality work at affordable prices.

“We are looking to kind of make the video production process custom to the customer.”

Rodriguez says a studio and office in the same space will help with that.

“We’re excited to do it. It’s a big jump for us, and we think it’ll just take us to the next level.”

Jacque Inc. Photography to move within Old Town

UPDATED — Photographer Jacque Waite is moving her Jacque Inc. Photography within Old Town this week.

Waite’s studio and office has been to the east of Caffe Moderne for three and a half years, but the Morris, Laing, Evans, Brock & Kennedy, Chartered law firm will be expanding into her space.

The studio now will be on the first floor of the Grant Telegraph Centre at 140 N. Mead.

At the new space, Waite says she’ll be sharing her studio with Method Productions.

Waite says her work doesn’t depend on her studio being especially visible, but it may now have more exposure than it has had.

“I ended up in some people’s Facebook pictures … when they’re at Oeno,” she says. Otherwise, Waite says, “I don’t think people always see it.”

Melad Stephan to debut Schwarma Truck

WICHITA — You knew it was just a matter of time.

The ubiquitous Melad Stephan has done just about everything else related to food – bars, restaurants, catering – so naturally now he’s going to have a food truck, too.

“I’m pretty much about 90 percent done with the deal,” he says.

He hopes to debut his Schwarma Truck in November. Stephan plans to sell dishes popular in his native Lebanon, including chicken and beef schwarma, gyros, falafel, hummus and fattoush, among other things.

Like the other popular food trucks spinning about town, Stephan will rotate his among businesses and events.

“We’ll definitely want to do one day in Old Town and compete with myself, right?” he says, joking about his Old Town businesses – Sabor Latin Bar & Grille, Luca Italian Kitchen, Oeno Wine Bar, Caffe Moderne, the coming Revolution Rock Bar and his Empire Catering at Eaton Place.

“I got too much going on, don’t I?” Stephan says. “Honestly, it’s just one of my kid’s idea.”

His son Jordan, 21, will operate the truck.

“He’s been bugging me about it for a couple of months,” Stephan says. “I’m just going to let him live the American dream.”

The food business is not Stephan’s dream for his children.

“I didn’t think I wanted any of my kids to do what I do,” he says.

It’s happening anyway, at least with one of them.

“I don’t know, must be in the blood or something,” he says.

Melad Stephan to open Revolution Rock Bar and move Empire Catering into Eaton Place

WICHITA — Melad Stephan is growing his Old Town empire, literally and figuratively.

Stephan’s Empire Catering is moving into Eaton Place at Douglas and St. Francis where Eaton Steakhouse used to be.

“We’re really going to attack the catering big time,” he says.

Instead of spending money to put in a kitchen there, Stephan is taking over the former Whiskey Creek space, which most recently was the Air Capital Grill, to use that kitchen for all his catering.

In the front of that space, which is at 233 N. Mosley, Stephan is putting in a bar called Revolution Rock Bar.

The building isn’t as visible as some restaurants in Old Town.

“It’s more like a bar-hopping place,” Stephan says of that area. “By putting a bar in there, it fits right in there with the other bars.”

Unlike Stephan’s Oeno Wine Bar in Old Town Square, which caters to an age 30-and-up crowd, Revolution will cater to a younger set.

“We’re going to do some exciting things in the front of the building to attract people in,” Stephan says. “We’re going to play music from the ’80s and things like that.”

He’ll have a DJ and show music videos on the wall.

The bar should open by early October.

Stephan hopes to open at the Eaton by early September.

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Rebecca’s owner has shot at being Project Runway contestant

WICHITA — Most people who have “Project Runway” parties simply are watching the popular Lifetime show with friends.

That’s not why Rebecca Simpson is throwing one during Final Friday.

The casting director of the program, which is a reality show that pits designers against each other, has invited Simpson to try out for the next season. Part of her audition includes making a short video, which she’ll do at Rebecca’s, her Old Town Square shop next to Caffe Moderne.

“It’s going to be packed in here,” Simpson says.

She also has to fill out a 25-page application and may be called for an interview.

“He already asked me where I wanted to interview at,” Simpson says.

The casting director found her through a mutual friend.

“I still haven’t seen a whole episode through,” Simpson says.

She plans to study, though.

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Old Town Architectural Salvage owners buy adjacent space, plan eventual new business

WICHITA — Upgrades coming to Douglas and St. Francis are inspiring Grant and Janet Rine to do some remodeling just up the street near their Old Town Architectural Salvage shop, at 126 N. St. Francis.

The city is reconfiguring that corridor and adding landscaping, and developers Robert Eyster and Michael Ramsey are also working to transform the Zelman building on the northeast corner into apartments, retail and restaurant space.

“That is an inspiration for us to clean that space up and do something productive,” Janet Rine says of the lot where they keep some of what they salvage.

The Rines purchased the approximately 10,000-square-foot building between their shop and the lot where they keep stone and other large pieces.

“It will, eventually over the next couple of years or so, become something else,” Rine says. “We are entertaining all kinds of ideas.”

She says her Caffe Moderne partner, Melad Stephan — who is never short on new business ideas — has said, “Gosh, wouldn’t it be great to put a great bar down there?”

She wouldn’t mind something along those lines.

“Melad would love to have, like, a Cajun bar,” she says. “Me, I’d rather have a speakeasy.”

It’s an idea she previously entertained for the salvage space.

For now, the Rines are using their new space for storage.

“It’s massively filled.”

Much like the lot, which Rine says is “driving me nuts.”

“I’d like to put temporary walls up . . . just to make it more decorative,” she says.

“We’re eventually going to empty that lot, and it will become a parking lot.”

In the meantime, she says, she’ll have to put up with it.

“It’s just my little pet peeve.”

Press to close at the Waterfront; new business to open in its place

WICHITA — If you’re one of the people who purchased a Groupon from Press, you’d better use it soon.

Aug. 6 is the Waterfront bar’s last day in business.

“As of August sixth . . . something is going to happen there,” owner Melad Stephan says.

He has three offers for the space — two are local, one isn’t. The potential owners have three different ideas: One wants a restaurant, one wants a bistro-style business and one wants a combination bar and restaurant.

Stephan isn’t sure which one he — or his landlords — will accept. He’s hoping to get out of his lease, which still has four and a half years.

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You don’t say

“The other alternative was to close. Didn’t want to do that.”

— A very busy Janet Rine, who is now partnering with restaurateur Melad Stephan on her Caffe Moderne so she can concentrate on other projects

Jacque Inc. Photography opens in Old Town

WICHITA — There’s a new photography studio in Old Town Square.

Jacque Waite has opened Jacque Inc. Photography in the former Reb and, before that, Beadazzled space next to Caffe Moderne.

Waite started her company five years ago as a side business. Her main job was at DigitalBrand Communications.

“I just recently decided to try it on my own,” Waite says of taking her business full time.

She’s done a lot of shooting in Old Town prior to deciding to locate her business there.

“I love shooting down here, portraits for sure,” Waite says. “I had so many people wanting to shoot down here last fall, and I’m assuming people will want that this spring.”

She likes “the combination of having a nice open space within (my studio) and then having all the great spots around Old Town outside.”

Waite wants to focus on more commercial photography. She says it’s different than shooting portraits of, say, children.

“Although I love spontaneous shoots like that where I have to make spontaneous decisions on the fly, I really like to have more control,” Waite says.

She likes the planning involved in commercial shoots.

“That’s what I loved about working at DigitalBrand,” Waite says. “We’d spend three weeks planning and then a day to shoot and a day to post.”

She plans to hold an open house in her new 1,600 square feet on March 12.

Reb Boutique split leads to two new Old Town Square stores

WICHITA — Reb Boutique never made its planned February debut to sell textiles, clothing and furniture in Old Town Square.

Now, the collapse of a business partnership there is leading to two new businesses opening two doors down from each other.

Rebecca Simpson had planned to open Reb in the former Beadazzled space to the east of Caffe Moderne.

Glenda Sue Morris and her husband, AJ, were the money behind the business.

“The one thing that I told them is I want complete creative rights, period, and they just didn’t abide by that,” Simpson says.

“Sometimes if people have more money than you do, they feel like they have a right . . . to just take over. That’s what I did not want to happen, but it did. It just wasn’t theirs to do.”

Glenda Sue Morris says that’s a “very distorted” view of what happened.

“We backed her totally for four months,” Morris says. “We had left her completely alone.”

Morris says Simpson had been in the space since the fall but was nowhere near ready to open in February.

“We did not have any, any say in what she did until the first of February when we saw that she was sitting and doing nothing,” Morris says.

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