Famous Footwear to open in former Highlands Gastropub space on Rock Road

WICHITA — A new business is going in the former Highlands Gastropub and Cardroom space at 3731 N. Rock Road, but this time it’s not a restaurant.

Famous Footwear is taking the 7,500 square feet.

No one with the company returned calls for comment, but remodeling is under way, and it looks like the store should be open in a few months.

Andy Boyd of Walter Morris Cos. and Christian Ablah of Classic Real Estate handled the deal.

After Highlands Gastropub closed in late 2009, Colorado-based BenchWarmers Tavern & Grill signed a 10-year lease for the space but didn’t end up coming.

Before the gastropub opened in the building, Serengeti Grill was briefly there, and Black Canyon Grille had a longer existence there before that.

In addition to the new Famous Footwear, the existing ones at Towne East Square and Eastgate Plaza at Kellogg and Rock Road will remain open. There also are two Famous Footwears on the west side.


World Poker Tour Amateur Poker League to move offices and open retail space

WICHITA — The World Poker Tour Amateur Poker League is moving its headquarters to Eastgate Plaza near Kellogg and Rock and opening its first retail space next door.

“We want it to be open before Black Friday,” president Kurt McPhail says of the World Poker Tour Store.

His group hosts poker tournaments in five countries.

“Because of our buying power, we get such great deals on our poker-playing supplies,” McPhail says. “We decided to pass that on to everybody.”

The store, which will be in about 750 square feet, will sell poker gear and custom poker tables. Customers also will be able to book poker cruises from there.

Most of what the store will sell will be the kind of supplies the company already is buying for league owners within its organization.

The company’s office, which currently is in 600 square feet at 144 N. Oliver, will be in 1,100 square feet at Eastgate.

McPhail says there will be a rewards discount club where members can pay $69 a year and have access to about 20,000 everyday products — not just poker supplies — at wholesale prices.

There will be kiosks at the store to purchase those products or customers can shop online at www.wptapl.com.

The World Poker Tour hosts 30,000 poker tournaments annually.

McPhail and his partners, who used to have the Highlands Gastropub and Cardroom on North Rock Road, are still appealing a ruling saying that their Kandu Challenge card game is illegal.

The group also is negotiating with the IRS on interest payments on more than $435,000 it paid in back taxes. McPhail expects it to be resolved by the end of the year.

“You know, things are getting better every day,” he says.

He likes Eastgate for exposure for the headquarters and the retail space.

“I don’t think many people knew we were still in Wichita.”