Knolla’s Pizza Maize to open this fall

WICHITA — Several years after first considering a restaurant in Maize, pizza proprietors Dan and Ruth Knolla are opening a restaurant there.

“Over the last few years, it’s been built up quite a bit,” Dan Knolla says of the area. “There’s quite a bit … more traffic.”

Their Knolla’s Pizza Maize will open in late October or early November in the Hampton Lakes Retail Center at 4041 N. Maize Road.

The Knollas already have Knolla’s Pizza Cafe on West Central between Ridge Road and Tyler. Other relatives own other Knolla’s restaurants.

Several Knolla children now work for their parents’ business, and that’s the Knollas’ inspiration for a second restaurant.

Dan Knolla says he hopes to attract potential diners from the NewMarket Square and Lowe’s area closer to 21st and Maize Road.

“There’s so much that’s been built there in the last few years.”

Knolla’s will be on the south end of the 11,500-square-foot center, which Dan Knolla says has a tower on it.

“It’s a nice little design.”

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Connie Hamilton sells Connie’s Cookies, which is moving east and changing to Connie’s Cookies Bakery Cafe

WICHITA — Twenty four years after opening Connie’s Cookies, Connie Hamilton has sold the business, but she’s not leaving.

That’s because she’s sold it to her son, Rob Smith, and his wife, Tanya.

“Everybody asks me if I’m really sad about that, and I’m not,” Hamilton says. “I get to go back to doing what I like.”

That’s making cookies instead of handling paperwork.

“I’m still going to be every bit as present as I’ve ever been.”

Except that won’t be in the Sweetbriar shopping center at 21st and Amidon.

The Smiths and Hamilton decided to move the shop to Reed’s Cove Plaza on East 21st Street just east of 127th Street where Knolla’s Pizza used to be.

“We have no visibility over here, and things have changed,” Hamilton says of the current location. “When we first moved in here, we didn’t need visibility.”

Though holiday sales still are strong, Hamilton says the rest of the year has become more of a challenge.

“Nowadays, everybody is opening a bakery,” she says. She says many bakers operate out of their homes.

“It has really, really eaten into our everyday sales,” she says. “We had to look at what’s wrong, and we decided what was wrong was where we were located.”

She and the Smiths initially only considered moving downtown or to Delano.

“We had every intention of staying central,” Hamilton says.

Then Craig Simon of Landmark Commercial Real Estate, who handled the deal for the Reed’s Cove space, suggested that center.

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