Shelia Jean’s to open in College Hill

WICHITA — Shelia Ford became a nurse to help her family, and now she’s leaving the profession – at least for now – to also help her family.

Ford worked as a nurse for two years, but now her husband Jason Ford’s business, Advanced Lock & Key, is doing well enough that he’s encouraging her to pursue her dream of owning her own store.

“He’s always been encouraging,” Ford says. “I always wanted to have my own boutique.”

Thursday, she opens Shelia Jean’s on East Douglas a couple of doors to the west of Harry’s Uptown.

Sheila Jean is Ford’s full name.

“That’s what my grandmother used to call me,” she says.

The store will sell women’s accessories and apparel in all sizes and price points.

“That was kind of the goal of the store … just to have a little bit of everything,” Ford says. “’We would like to expand and have a gift line maybe next year.”

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Picasso’s Pizzeria to open in Derby

WICHITA — Picasso’s Pizzeria owner Kurt Schmidt is going to open a second restaurant, but it’s not where he initially thought it would be.

“I’m still waiting on my favorite space on the east side to become available,” Schmidt says of Central and Vassar in College Hill.

While he’s waiting, Schmidt is going to open a Picasso’s in Bristol Square at Madison and Rock Road in Derby.

“Derby is just crazy right now with all the restaurants on Rock Road,” he says.

Bristol Square is where the state this fall is opening a new driver’s license bureau, which will be a couple of doors down from where Picasso’s will open in February.

The restaurant will be similar to Schmidt’s first Picasso’s, which opened in Delano last year.

The new Picasso’s will be in 2,000 square feet, which compares to 1,800 square feet in Delano. Schmidt hopes to have a few tables outdoors in front of the restaurant along with an indoor-outdoor patio in another area.

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Cero’s Candies ready to open in College Hill

WICHITA — Memorial Day has come and gone, and Cero’s Candies did not open in its new location as planned.

The Fourth of July came and went, too, with the store still in its downtown space, but the same won’t be true with Labor Day.

That’s because Pam Bishop says the new shop is opening at Happiness Plaza on East Douglas in College Hill on Wednesday.

“We’re finally getting to move,” she says.

Red tape related to approvals on the new site held things up, she says.

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Platinum Salon Spa & Boutique and Salon Bella to merge on west side; Color Bar Salon to open in Clifton Square

WICHITA — There’s news with a few salons and stylists in the greater Wichita area.

First, Platinum Salon Spa & Boutique and Salon Bella are merging.

Susan Wardle and Tammy Kudlock are moving their Salon Bella from 119th and Maple to Tambra Hiser’s Platinum Salon at the northeast corner of 13th and Maize Road on Tuesday.

“I wanted to grow, and I don’t want to do it … one by one where it takes months,” Hiser says. “I came up with this innovative idea.”

She actively sought other salon partners by cold calling a few.

“Basically I decided to knock on some doors,” Hiser says. “I wanted to see what salon owners were faced with, some challenges.”

She and Wardle and Kudlock thought they would be a good fit and be able to offer complementary services. Hiser says they decided, “Wouldn’t it be genius to mix these two staffs together?”

She says education is a big focus for both salons.

There will be 11 stylists who will share nine stations.

In addition to hair services, there will be facials, nail care, massage and body wraps among other things.

Hiser says the trend lately has been for stylists to branch out on their own, but she says she and Wardle and Kudlock see benefits to combining their services in one place and under the Platinum name.

“Adding two heads is better than one,” Hiser says. It’s “going to be incredible.”

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First Wichita Freebirds World Burritos to open near Central and Hillside

WICHITA — Almost a year after announcing they wanted to come to Wichita, the first Freebirds World Burrito franchisees will be opening here.

Overland Park-based FB Midwest Development is the first franchisee of the chain, which is based in Texas and California, and plans to develop Freebirds sites in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska.

The first Wichita Freebirds will be just south of Central and Hillside in the same center as Great Wall.

“We like the area; traffic counts are good,” says Bryce Katz, COO and partner.

“Everybody said College Hill was a good little center.”

He says he and his partners especially like that Wesley Medical Center is at the intersection.

“That was obviously a huge draw for us.”

In July, Have You Heard? first reported that the group wanted to bring three Freebirds restaurants here.

The first one should open by the middle of June with seating for about 100, including a patio.

Katz says the restaurant is similar to Chipotle Mexican Grill and has a big focus on organic items such as grass-fed beef and hormone-free chicken.

Freebirds has what Katz calls “very, very fresh” burritos, burrito bowls, nachos, quesadillas, salad and seven kinds of salsa.

After the first Freebirds opens, look for a second possible announcement in the 21st and Greenwich area.

Cero’s Candies to leave downtown for a less sunny spot in College Hill

Cero’s Candies owners Pam (left) and Darcy Bishop in front of the future College Hill home of the business.

WICHITA — Ed Cero has been gone from his family’s Cero’s Candies for more than a decade, but his advice lives on.

“Ed Cero had actually written little notes,” says Pam Bishop, who has owned the business with her daughter, Darcy, for two years.

They inherited the notes that Cero left for the previous owner.

“One of his notes was, ‘Never put a candy shop on the north side of the street,’” Pam Bishop says.

The Bishops agree – too much of their chocolate is melting due to the winter sun – and are moving the store from the north side of Douglas downtown to the south side of Douglas at Happiness Plaza in College Hill.

“We’re constantly shifting candy around,” Pam Bishop says.

“The sun beats in and melts the chocolate no matter how cold we keep the room,” Darcy Bishop says.

Instead of holding chocolate right now, one of the store’s cases instead has a big sugar Easter egg Ed Cero made in 1982.

The business, which opened in 1885, has been at a variety of addresses mostly along Douglas on the north and south sides.

Pam Bishop says the store’s current space is a little big for its needs.

Cero’s will move from 2,800 square feet at 1108 E. Douglas to 1,600 square feet at 3429 E. Douglas most likely on Memorial Day weekend.

“It’s got more usable space than we have now,” Darcy Bishop says of the new space.

For instance, a dessert cafe the Bishops tried in a side room at the current space didn’t work out.

“It was a little awkward, so we stopped doing it,” Pam Bishop says.

At the new space, which is a former house where the Bag Ladies used to be, there will be room in the front of the store for tables and chairs. There also will be WiFi.

The Bishops added ice cream sales in summer months after they bought the store. With the move into the College Hill neighborhood, Pam Bishop expects those sales to do better.

“That’s going to be a bigger draw there than it is here.”

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Reverie Coffee Roasters to open near College Hill in April

WICHITA — There soon will be a new business to toast along Douglas Avenue not far from College Hill.

Reverie Coffee Roasters is opening at 2611 E. Douglas, which is a couple of blocks east of Grove, in April.

“Our entire retail space … is going to be dedicated to teaching people about the process from when it leaves the farm to when it gets to your cup,” says Andrew Gough, who is opening the business with Rebecca McNelly.

“There’s a huge market for it here,” McNelly says of coffee and everything associated with it.

“We’re focusing on artisan gourmet coffee,” she says.

Gough says it will be fair trade, single-origin coffee that shoppers can trace back to which farmer grew it and even on what plot of land.

“It’s just like wine,” he says.

Gough says the emphasis will be on quality and freshness.

“Everything you buy is going to be freshly roasted, generally within a day or so of when you purchase (it),” he says. “One of the unique things that we’re going to be doing is we are going … to be allowing people to try to create their own blend of coffee.”

He says Reverie will keep customers’ coffee blends on file.

“We’ll help people create their own profiles if they want it,” he says. “We’re going to encourage people to play with the blends a little bit.”

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Uncommon Market to open in Lincoln Heights Village on March 1

UPDATED — Renee Rhodes and Jodie Hinds have been selling new and vintage home decor at various shows in Kansas and Oklahoma for more than a year with an intent to one day open a permanent shop. They’ve wanted to be in Lincoln Heights Village at Douglas and Oliver, and a space finally opened.

“That was kind of my indication it was time to open a store,” Rhodes says. “When we saw the sign, we said, ‘Well, this is it,’ and jumped in.”

Uncommon Market will open March 1 in the former Angela Snow Photography space. Snow moved her business to the former Artifacts space at the center.

Rhodes says the Uncommon name “says a lot about the things that we carry.”

“It’s just kind of an uncommon mix of things,” she says. “All of those things that kind of make you feel good.”

That includes pillows, frames, furniture and bath and body products. The store also will accept some furniture consignment pieces, and Rhodes will sell some repurposed pieces of her own.

“It’s not major overhaul but just kind of a facelift,” she says of what she does.

This is in addition to her full-time job as a risk control specialist with IMA. Hinds also has a full-time job with Hawker Beechcraft.

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Mike’s Wine Dive owners to open the Hill Bar and Grill in the former Barrier’s space

Brothers Brent (left) and Brad Steven in front of the former Barrier’s building at Douglas and Oliver, which they’re going to transform into the Hill Bar and Grill.

WICHITA — As some residents of Crown Heights are organizing a group to protest a bar and grill going in the former Barrier’s space at Douglas and Oliver, the restaurateurs hoping to open it are ready to share details.

Mike’s Wine Dive owners Brent and Brad Steven plan to open the Hill Bar and Grill — named for the hill in College Hill — in 5,100 square feet of the building in March.

Mike’s is in the center at the northwest corner of the intersection. The Hill will be on the northeast corner.

Though Brad Steven says the Hill will be a great place to catch a game, he says, “It’s not going to be a sports bar.”

“Our focus will be a wide selection of craft beers as well as American food,” he says. “Basically, we’re going to be specializing in beers the way we specialize in wine at Mike’s.”

There will be 25 beers on tap and craft beers from around the world.

Brent Steven describes it as “kind of like an ale house.”

He says the idea is “a place that’s totally different than Mike’s.”

Where Mike’s is more fine dining, he says, he and his brother envision the Hill as “more of a hangout spot.”

“It will appeal to a wider audience than Mike’s does.”

There will be seating for about 150 customers.

There will be an outside patio facing Douglas that is within the front of the building and will serve as an area for smoking. There will be another patio that wraps around the east side of the building.

There will be another 2,400 square feet left in the building for another business.

The Hill’s hours aren’t set yet, but the Stevens are thinking 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. most days and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on the weekends.

The hours are a key issue for some residents.

“You can go on the news and see all the time what happens in Old Town at 2 a.m.,” says Melinda Foley, who is president of the Crown Heights Neighborhood Association.

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Nana & Opa’s Serenity & Recovery Gifts to open in Clifton Square

WICHITA — A new shop at Clifton Square is going to cater exclusively to recovering addicts.

John Taylor is opening Nana & Opa’s Serenity & Recovery Gifts at the north end of the center at 3700 E. Douglas in College Hill.

“Our intent is to service all 12-step …programs within the community,” Taylor says.

That includes groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous.

“Anything that’s got ‘anonymous’ behind it.”

Taylor named the shop for what his grandchildren call him and his wife, Shelley.

The 1,000-square-foot shop will sell what Taylor calls “drunk junk.”

“It’s the stuff that isn’t just absolutely necessary to get clean and sober.”

That includes T-shirts, jewelry and recovery medallions.

“Just little blingy things that alcoholics and drug addicts and co-dependent people … like to have,” Taylor says.

There also are books and recovery greeting cards, such as birthday cards that celebrate addicts’ sobriety dates.

The store also will sell some spiritual items, including recovery Bibles that help addicts see the 12 steps within the Bible.

In 350 square feet above the shop, there are AA meetings three times a week. Those began in June.

Nana & Opa’s will have a soft opening on Tuesday and a grand opening Aug. 7.