Done deal: Jimmy’s Egg to open by Tanya’s Soup Kitchen

WICHITA — He’s still working on some city permitting, but otherwise Wink Hartman Sr. has a done deal for a new Jimmy’s Egg to open in the same building as Tanya’s Soup Kitchen.

“We’ve already demolished the space,” Hartman says. “We think we’ll for sure be open in September.”

In early May, Have You Heard? reported that Hartman wanted to put his fifth Wichita Jimmy’s Egg in Phil Ruffin’s Sunburst Plaza at 1725 at the southeast corner of Douglas and Hydraulic.

Hartman previously said he thinks there’s room for another breakfast and lunch place in the area, where the Donut Whole is also across the street.

“After that, we are looking at the possibility of downtown Topeka and possibly Emporia,” Hartman says. “We’re going to take a hard look at downtown Topeka.”

He says a breakfast-and-lunch concept makes sense for the state’s capital, where there may be more workers in the area in the morning and around lunch than later in the day.

Hartman may not be done with the Wichita area either.

Read More »

Wichita Guitar Works to close in June

WICHITA — Two years after opening, Wichita Guitar Works is closing.

“Unfortunately, it’s just a numbers game,” says co-owner Curt Mitchell. “The bottom line is the numbers are the numbers.”

Where the numbers were was an issue as well.

“Honestly, 85 percent of our business has been online,” Mitchell says. “It was probably closer to 90 percent.”

He and Chris Glamann and Scott Kern opened the store at 1716 E. Douglas next to the Donut Whole in September 2012, and Kern left shortly after.

“We’ve always had a great reaction to the shop just as far as the overall aesthetics and what we were trying to do,” Mitchell says.

Keeping enough inventory, though, “just proved too daunting of a task, I’m afraid.”

Read More »

Hopping Gnome brewery to open on East Douglas near the Donut Whole

WICHITA — Lots of people dream of turning a hobby into a business, but Torrey Lattin – with his wife’s blessing – is doing it.

“My wife and I are starting a small craft beer brewing company here in Wichita,” Lattin says.

“It has been a hobby of mine that turned into an obsession, and now I’m hoping I can make some money at it and share my excitement for craft beer with Wichita.”

Lattin hopes to open the Hopping Gnome at 1710 E. Douglas, which is a few doors west of the Donut Whole, by November.

“In folklore, gnomes are known for their drinking,” he says.

“Hopping” is for the hops he’ll use in brewing.

Lattin is a 3D drafter and designer for MKEC Engineering. His wife, Stacy Ward Lattin, works for the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland. She won’t be part of the day-to-day business, but Lattin says his wife encouraged him to open it.

“She said, ‘Let’s do it,’” he says. “She’s been very supportive.”

Read More »

Wink Hartman Sr. hopes to open Jimmy’s Egg near Tanya’s Soup Kitchen

WICHITA — Businessman and Jimmy’s Egg franchisee Wink Hartman Sr. is looking to open one of the restaurants in the same building as Tanya’s Soup Kitchen in the Sunburst Plaza at 1725 at 1725 E. Douglas.

“We are looking at a location there, and hopefully we’ll be moving forward to have a Jimmy’s Egg there in the near future,” he says. “We’re trying to slowly move towards the downtown.”

Hartman says he thinks there’s room for another breakfast and lunch place in the area, where the Donut Whole is also across the street.

“It’s an underserved market for the type of menu we present,” Hartman says. “We serve ample quality food for the price.”

Hartman isn’t ready to commit to downtown yet, but he’s interested – and not necessarily for a restaurant.

“I’ve always had an interest in downtown,” he says. “I grew up here, and downtown is an unfortunate situation with all the empty storefronts. There’s a lot of empty storefronts going up and down Douglas. Has been for 40 years.”

Read More »

Businessmen Leon Moeder and Michael Carmody create new kind of welcome sign

UPDATED — With the speed of social media, businessman Leon Moeder is getting his wish.

On Saturday, Moeder expressed his frustration with a Kansas House bill, which the Senate then rejected, to allow businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples. On Facebook, he wrote: “I want a window sign that says, ‘WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO PROVIDE SERVICE TO EVERYONE.’”

Michael Carmody within seconds said . . . he would prepare something,” Moeder says of his tenant, who is co-owner of the Donut Whole.

“They’re at the printers right now,” Moeder says.

By this afternoon, he’ll have 500 at his real estate office at 122 S. Hydraulic.

“First off, it’s the right thing to do,” Moeder says. “I just have a problem with people being mean to other people.”

There’s a rally to end inequality in Topeka on Tuesday, and Moeder hopes someone can take his signs there.

“You know, Kansas was founded on progressive ideas,” he says.

Read More »

You don’t say

“We had a good feeling that putting bacon on top of a doughnut would get a good response around here.”

Donut Whole co-owner Angela Mallory on the business celebrating five years at 1720 E. Douglas

Victor Court partially returns to apartments

UPDATED — More than three decades after their conversion, some of the vintage Victor Court apartments are returning to their roots.

“In 1935, it was built as a … 12-unit apartment complex,” Leon Moeder says of the building at 140 N. Hydraulic.

“It’s just an iconic structure in Wichita,” he says. “Everyone’s driven by it.”

It was converted to office space in the early 1980s. Moeder, his wife, Susan, and Raleigh and Rhandalee Hinman purchased it in March.

“We’ve converted six of the units back into four apartments,” Leon Moeder says. “They deserve to go back to the cool apartments they were.”

They’ve combined a couple of the spaces to make bigger apartments. There will be an open house there from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The other spaces will remain offices, though they still need to be renovated.

“We’re going to finish this thing yet – someday,” Moeder says.

He says part of the attraction of remodeling the building is the central space, which he calls the core of the building, was empty. The remodeling could proceed without disruption.

“That falls into what we’ve been doing over here in the neighborhood,” Moeder says of refurbishing buildings.

The Moeders bought their first building in that area 15 years ago at 122 S. Hydraulic for their Stor-All business.

“We started because the property was cheap,” Leon Moeder says.

The Moeders just purchased their sixth building, a warehouse and office space at 156 S. Greenwood, on Saturday.

“We got very, very lucky with the first tenant we picked up,” Moeder says, referring to the Donut Whole. The Moeders also own that building with the Hinmans along with a duplex.

The Donut Whole “pretty much set the tone for most of what’s happened in the area,” Moeder says.

Douglas Avenue was part of the attraction, and now the Douglas Design District that’s grown around it is appealing, too.

“That’s a big deal to us,” Moeder says. “It’s nice to have an identifier overlay.”

What he’d really like is a name specifically for the buildings in the Douglas and Hydraulic area, though.

“We’ve tried that,” Moeder says. He says he hasn’t had any luck finding a name yet.

“Someone creative should come up with one.”

 

Shine Salon to move to Sunburst Plaza

UPDATED — There’s a new tenant coming to Phil Ruffin’s Sunburst Plaza at 1725 at 1725 E. Douglas, which may be better known as the home of Tanya’s Soup Kitchen.

Shine Salon is moving into 2,500 square feet next to the former Integrity Auto Group space at the center.

“We’ve kind of been looking to expand, to grow our business,” says Val Sigg, who owns the business with his wife, Casey. “Our business has been fantastic.”

The salon will celebrate five years at 110 N. Hillside on March 18.

Currently, Shine has six styling chairs and eight stylists.

“We’re trying to accommodate 14 hair stylists at our new space,” Sigg says. “We are actively looking for … hair stylists to come work with us over there.”

Read More »

Rowley Snyder Ablah buys former Big Dog Motorcycle building it’s occupied for a year

Part of the upgrades to Rowley Snyder Ablah's newly purchased building include glass blocks in an area that used to have a nonworking door.

WICHITA — When the new Rowley Snyder Ablah ad agency signed a lease for former Big Dog Motorcycle space at 145 N. Hydraulic in the spring of 2011, CEO Bruce Rowley said, “You know there’s something happening down here. This is kind of a vibrant little area with lots of cool stuff going on.”

He and his partners like it so much, they’ve now bought the building from Sheldon Coleman Jr.

“We love the size of it,” Rowley says. “We love the flexibility of it.”

Most of the 3,000 square feet is an open area that Rowley says allows for easy reconfiguration of space depending on what a project might need.

“That was a huge part,” he says. “We’ve already moved ourselves probably four or five times in the year we’ve been in it.”

The agency is making a few upgrades at the building, such as getting rid of a nonworking door that Rowley says “made it sort of look like an abandoned building from the street.”

Read More »

Wichita Guitar Works to open next to Donut Whole on East Douglas

Curt Mitchell (from left), Chris Glamann and Scott Kern of the new Wichita Guitar Works.

WICHITA — A new guitar and amplifier shop is in the works next to the Donut Whole on East Douglas.

Curt Mitchell, Chris Glamann and Scott Kern plan to open Wichita Guitar Works on Aug. 1 at 1716 E. Douglas.

The three used to sell and service guitars and amplifiers at Glamann’s GMI Music and Sound. That store, which was on West Central, closed in 2000.

“We’ve always talked about when the time was right, we wanted to do something again,” Mitchell says. “It’s the business we all love.”

Several factors forced the other shop to close.

“At that time, the sale of musical instruments on the Internet began to be real strong,” Mitchell says. Also, he says competition from chain stores was a factor, as was construction along Central.

“We just had some trouble keeping it going.”

He doesn’t expect the same issues now.

“Just in the last couple of years we really felt like the time was right again,” Mitchell says.

He says the retail climate has changed, and shoppers now seek local stores with specialized merchandise and service.

“There’s a big movement right now with what’s called boutique guitar shops,” Mitchell says.

He says he and his partners plan to sells guitars that are “made by people, not made by machines.”

“You can’t walk into every shop in Wichita and see these kinds of instruments.”

Read More »