Starbucks to expand at NewMarket Square

WICHITA — Starbucks is expanding its space at NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize Road.

No one with the company is sharing details, but April Reed of Slawson Cos. confirms it’s happening.

Starbucks, which has been at NewMarket since 2003, currently has 1,500 square feet. It’s expanding into the 1,475-square-foot space Cartridge World left last summer.

Slawson has done exterior work to get the new space ready for Starbucks.

“One of their concerns was that each of those storefronts had its own distinct look,” Reed says. “They wanted to make it look like it was one cohesive space.”

The coffee chain is now in the design and permitting phase.

“They’re shooting to open in May,” Reed says.

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Men’s Wearhouse to open at NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize Road

WICHITA — West Wichita, you’re gonna like the way you look. Men’s Warehouse is opening a store in NewMarket Square to guarantee it.

“We’ve been courting them for 11 years,” says April Reed of Slawson Cos., which owns the center at 21st and Maize Road.

“Over the years, they were afraid it was going to cannibalize their east store.”

Men’s Wearhouse has been at Towne East Square since 1993.

“We kept telling them this is a totally different market out here,” Reed says.

She handled the deal for the 4,500-square-foot space, which is where the Firkin and Bull restaurant used to be.

“The reason we’re doing this is because our business is so good on the east side of town, it gave us the incentive to do a second store,” says Tim Henry, the director of real estate for the Rocky Mountain region of Men’s Wearhouse.

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Firkin and Bull to close for good after Saturday

WICHITA — After the close of business Saturday, the Firkin and Bull at NewMarket Square will close for good.

“Two years of trying is two years enough,” owner Paul Russell says. “No matter what advertising we’ve done, we haven’t been able to bring the people in, so it’s time just to move on.”

While the economy is a factor, Russell says, “A big part of it is the misconception of what a pub is.”

He says other than his place, there are no true pubs here.

“They are listed as that. They say they are. They are sports bars, and that’s what people expect when they see that here in Wichita.”

So when people came to Firkin, Russell says, they “were expecting the American sports bar.”

“We were more family-oriented, which is what a pub is.”

Russell says a lot of people never gave his place a chance.

“Unfortunately . . . the economy forces people to go with what they know whether it’s a good value or not.”