The almost 100-year-old Brick’s to close at Bradley Fair

UPDATED — A Wichita shopping tradition is coming to an end.

Brick’s, once a downtown staple and more recently a shop at Bradley Fair, is going out of business.

“It is a store that’s been around Wichita for a long, long time,” says Cathy Erickson, vice president of Laham Development.

Herman Brick started the store in 1916. His son, Adolph, took over the business upon his father’s death in 1940. Two years later, Adolph Brick married Ellen Gordon. She asked her brother, Russ Gordon, to help with the business in 1944. Gordon took it over in 1960, and his namesake son owns it today.

“They’ve been a great addition at Bradley Fair for almost 10 years, adding to the local flavor,” Erickson says.

Now, she says, “They want to focus on family and some other things.”

A 1992 story in The Wichita Eagle said the men’s and women’s clothing store was the last major retailer to leave downtown. It once stood where Century II is now. The store was at Piccadilly Square at Central and Rock Road before moving to Bradley Fair.

Erickson says she’s not sure of a closing date yet.

She says the store will leave 4,200 square feet when it departs.

“We always have a list of people that want to be (at Bradley Fair), and we have already started conversations with those people,” she says.

Today, though, is about saying goodbye, Erickson says.

“We wish them well, and they’ll be missed. It’s a sad day.”

East-side Applebee’s to move to Plazzio

WICHITA — Applebee’s franchisee Jim Stevens soon will offer diners a chance to eat good in a new neighborhood, to borrow from the chain’s slogan.

He’s moving his Rock Road Applebee’s to the Plazzio development at the southeast corner of 13th and Greenwich.

“It probably won’t be till March of next year,” Stevens says.

“I kind of hate to close,” he says of the Applebee’s near 21st and Rock Road. “It’s still one of my better stores.”

With new car dealerships on a couple of corners of 13th and Greenwich, and restaurants, the Warren Theatre and the Alley already at Plazzio, Stevens says it “just seemed like … the right place to go.”

“There’s just so much development taking place out there,” he says.

“The whole intersection is really, really developing quickly,” says Cathy Erickson, vice president at Laham Development.

She says that “13th and Greenwich is the next 21st and Rock Road of east Wichita.”

Stevens will build the new Applebee’s between Sumo and Jose Pepper’s, which is at the light at the main entrance to the development.

The new Applebee’s will have a patio, which is a first for Stevens.

He had considered another concept – which he’s still thinking about – for the Plazzio space initially. Stevens says corporate wanted him to build a new Applebee’s prototype, though.

“They have some different things they’ve done to the bar and the inside area.”

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Loft to open this fall at Bradley Fair

WICHITA — Finally, Bradley Fair can reveal the reason behind its game of musical chairs, business style.

Loft is coming to the center at 21st and Rock Road this fall.

“We have been working with them for quite some time,” says Cathy Erickson, vice president at Laham Development.

“It’s been one of our most-requested stores,” she says. “We do listen, and we do appreciate when our customers give us their … input on what stores and restaurants they would like for us to have at Bradley Fair.”

Formerly known as Ann Taylor Loft, the women’s clothing store is something of a hipper younger sister to Ann Taylor. There are 500 of the stores nationwide.

The store will locate between Talbots and Bella Luna Cafe where Randy Cooper’s Fine Jewelry and College Hill Cleaners are vacating.

Randy Cooper’s is moving to where Howard’s Optique used to be. Howard’s moved from its freestanding space to new space between Sephora and Jason’s Deli in the first round of moves to prepare for Loft.

College Hill Cleaners is moving to where Origins used to be.

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Randy Cooper’s Fine Jewelry and College Hill Cleaners to move within Bradley Fair; new national retailer coming soon

WICHITA — The latest round of musical chairs — business style — is almost over at Bradley Fair.

“The first piece of the puzzle was moving Howard’s Optique, which we did at the end of last year,” says Cathy Erickson, vice president at Laham Development.

Howard’s moved from its freestanding space to new space between Sephora and Jason’s Deli.

Now, Randy Cooper’s Fine Jewelry is moving into the freestanding building that Howard’s left. Amy’s Hallmark shop already is there.

Cooper’s impending move has been one of the worst-kept recent retail secrets, but now that it’s happening, she’s eager to talk.

“I am so thankful that George Laham has given me this opportunity,” she says of the center’s developer.

“I probably wouldn’t have stepped out on my own and done it,” Cooper says. “It just makes it so much more convenient for our customers to visit.”

Her new space will be 4,000 square feet, which is about 20 percent more than what she has now.

“So we can grow and be a better store and offer new lines and offer more of some lines that we have,” Cooper says.

College Hill Cleaners also is moving. It’s taking 1,300 square feet where Origins used to be and will have a new after-hours box for customers to drop off items needing cleaning.

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Apricot Lane Boutique, a national chain, to open at Bradley Fair this spring

WICHITA — Along with tulips and daffodils popping up this spring, Wichita will have an apricot, too.

Apricot Lane Boutique, that is.

Wichitans Kami and Mark Murphy are opening a franchise of the California-based women’s boutique at Bradley Fair in March.

“The store is a fabulous women’s fashion boutique that is very unique,” says the chain’s founder and CEO Ken Petersen.

There are 82 Apricot Lanes in 30 states, and they’re known for having limited quantities– maybe only a couple of each size — of name-brand and nonbranded apparel.

“Customers love that,” Petersen says. He says they like knowing not everyone will be wearing what they’re wearing.

“Our product mix is fast, and it’s fresh, and it’s on trend, and it’s constantly changing,” he says.

Petersen calls the store a mother-daughter boutique that appeals to both age groups.

He says he’s found it to be even more than that.

“I can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen grandma, mom and daughter in the stores,” he says.

“I didn’t want to be a juniors retailer. We didn’t want to be a Talbots-type of retailer.”

There also will be shoes, jewelry, accessories and gifts in a variety of price points.

“We’re excited to bring something that’s so hip and also something that’s a little more affordable to Bradley Fair,” Kami Murphy says.

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Versona Accessories to open next to Fresh Market at Bradley Fair in early spring

WICHITA — Fresh Market, which opened at Bradley Fair in June, is getting a new neighbor.

Versona Accessories is taking the last of the former Ultimate Electronics space.

“Versona is a store that we have been interested in for quite some time,” says Cathy Erickson, vice president at Laham Development.

“They are in other lifestyle centers similar to Bradley Fair, and we feel they’re a great complement to our existing women’s fashion mix.”

Versona, which is owned by North Carolina-based CATO Corp., sells jewelry, sunglasses, handbags, scarves, belts, footwear and hair accessories.

Currently, there are 22 of the stores nationally.

Erickson says the quality of Versona’s merchandise sets it apart from some other popular accessory stores.

Versona will open in early spring in 7,500 square feet to the west of Fresh Market and employ about 25 people.

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Howard’s Optique to move within Bradley Fair; new retailers coming soon

WICHITA — The Howard’s Optique at Bradley Fair is moving, but not far.

In December, the store will move between Sephora and Jason’s Deli, which are also in Bradley Fair.

“The relocation of Howard’s Optique will allow us to assemble approximately 4,000 square feet of space to accommodate new tenants,” says Cathy Erickson, vice president at Laham Development.

“We have a waiting list of stores and restaurants that would like to be at Bradley Fair,” she says. “They will often wait on the sidelines until we find the right space … for them.”

When Howard’s leaves its current space, that will free up about 2,000 square feet next to the former FranklinCovey store, which was also about 2,000 square feet. A new retailer or retailers will go in the approximately 4,000 square feet.

With the Howard’s move, the more than 40-year-old store is adding more accessories and gift items.

There are six Howard’s Optique stores in Wichita. The Bradley Fair store opened in 1998 and carries eyewear from such brands as Cartier, David Yurman and Robert Marc.

Look for more news soon about what retailer or retailers may be moving into Bradley Fair.

Soma Intimates opens Oct. 6 at Bradley Fair

WICHITA — As scheduled, Soma Intimates is opening Oct. 6 at Bradley Fair.

The store, which sells lingerie and sleepwear, will be between Brick’s and Trio’s.

This makes the third concept that Chico’s FAS Inc. has brought to the center. The Florida-based company also owns Chico’s and White House/Black Market.

Soma debuted in 2004 and now has more than 200 stores.

Victoria’s Secret also is at Bradley Fair.

When announcing Soma in May, Laham Development vice president Cathy Erickson told Have You Heard? that some women will shop at Soma and Victoria’s Secret, although some will chose one or the other.

“It offers more women more choices.”

Carla’s Love It to close

WICHITA — Carla Whaley is closing her Carla’s Love It shop at Bradley Fair, but she’s not discussing it. Whaley referred questions to Cathy Erickson of Laham Development, the Bradley Fair developer.

“Carla’s Love It is a great store, and we’ve enjoyed having them,” Erickson says.

She says Whaley wants more time with her family. The last day of business is Thursday.

“We’ll miss Carla and wish her well.”

Soma Intimates to open at Bradley Fair

WICHITA — Chico’s FAS Inc. is bringing another new store to Bradley Fair.

Almost seven years ago, the Florida-based Chico’s opened two brands – Chico’s and White House/Black Market – at the development.

Now, the company has plans to open Soma Intimates, which sells lingerie and sleepwear.

“Because the women of Wichita have embraced Chico’s and White House/Black Market, the company is eager … to bring Soma to Bradley Fair,” says Cathy Erickson, vice president at Laham Development.

The first Soma Intimates opened in 2004. Now there are almost 200 of the boutiques nationally.

The Bradley Fair store, which will be between Brick’s and Trio’s, will be 2,520 square feet.

“We’re taking excess space not being used by Brick’s and building that out for Soma,” Erickson says.

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