W.O.W. Cakes to open in former Bubba’s Nekked BBQ space in Indian Hills

WICHITA — There’s going to be a sweet replacement for where Bubba’s Nekked BBQ used to be at the northwest corner of 13th and Meridian across from the Indian Hills Ace Hardware.

Pamela Pletcher is moving her W.O.W. Cakes there next month.

Pletcher started World of Wedding Cakes as an online business in 2009 and has had a couple of retail sites since then.

Currently, her office and the store are in a small space at 1786 S. Seneca. She says she’s been seeking the right space for both sides of her business, and it “has actually been kind of a trial.”

Part of the problem was trying to find a spot that would be an easy in and out for customers picking up cakes.

“That was my main goal.”

Pletcher has already moved her bakery to West 13th.

Don Piros of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

Pletcher also sells cupcakes and is expanding her product line with the new space. She says she’ll share more details closer to her May 28 opening.

“There are going to be a lot of new treats.”

Indian Hills Shopping Center to expand

WICHITA — Wichita may continue to grow east and west, but Larry Burke thinks his Indian Hills Shopping Center is a perfectly situated central retail center.

“As the community has spread east and west, there’s … a vacuum here of underserved neighborhoods,” says Burke, who used to own the Copper Oven Cafe & Bakery at the center.

Last fall, Burke told Have You Heard? that he was seeking rezoning for part of the center, which he now has.

“I had this strange piece of property back in the back, 72,000 square feet, that I wanted to utilize,” he says.

He’s preparing to build a 7,000-square-foot center there, which will mainly be office space with some retail options.

“This is the first phase of redeveloping our shopping center,” says Burke, who has owned it for eight years. “I want that center to grow.”

He says he worked with the city to, in part, make sure his residential neighbors were happy with the changes.

Janet Miller was excellent to work with,” he says of the City Council member. “Very supportive of what we’re doing.”

The first part of the 40,000-square-foot main center, which is anchored by Indian Hills Ace Hardware, was built in 1954.

Burke says he’s already made infrastructure improvements there.

“Now it’s time to do some things that the public can readily identify.”

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Indian Hills Shopping Center owner Larry Burke seeks rezoning for development

WICHITA — Indian Hills Shopping Center owner Larry Burke is working on rezoning part of his property at 13th and Meridian for future development.

Burke, who used to own the Copper Oven Cafe & Bakery at the center, says he has about 72,000 square feet of parking behind the Indian Hills Ace Hardware he’d like to do something with.

“It’s worth the money spent so I can get it zoned so I can think about a development,” he says. “I’ve got several ideas.”

That could be a mixed-use development with retail and office space.

“It will enhance Indian Hills,” Burke says. “It will enhance the area.”

Burke says he’s already done a lot of enhancements to the center — including new lighting, a new roof and upgraded heating and air systems — and would like to generate some revenue on the parking lot.

Some of that area is zoned for multiunit housing. Burke is seeking limited commercial zoning.

“There’s nothing in concrete until I have the zoning in my pocket,” he says. “I couldn’t even plan anything until I could figure out if … I could get it zoned so I could do a development.”

Burke says if a potential development does have retail, it would have to be destination retail since visibility isn’t as good on Meridian as the rest of the center on 13th Street.

“It is going to be hidden in a way.”

He says Ace likely would use some of the space.

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Party Bounce Moonwalk Rentals to open its first storefront

UPDATED — Party Bounce Moonwalk Rentals is preparing to open its first storefront.

The 5-year-old company currently operates out of a storage facility in north Wichita.

“We’re taking a step forward,” says Ruben Hernandez Jr., who operates the business with his stepfather, Kenny Clanton.

They’re opening at 2525 W. 13th St. just down from Indian Hills Ace Hardware after Memorial Day.

“We just wanted to be a little more visible,” Hernandez says.

The business has 30 units for rent, such as bouncers, water slides and obstacle courses.

Hernandez says the business usually does 15 to 20 rentals a weekend.

“I think we’re starting to build a pretty good reputation,” he says.

Revenue is growing, too.

“We’re just getting a little more professional,” Hernandez says. “It was the next logical step.”

Ideally, he says, he would have an office and a storage facility in the same place, but he says that was difficult to find.

For now, an office is a step up so customers can come by with deposits and employees can meet, too, instead of having meetings sitting around someone’s kitchen table.

Mostly, though, Hernandez is excited about having a bigger presence.

“It’s going to suit our needs for now just to help sell our brand a little more.”