Au Paris-Bruxelles French and Belgian restaurant to open at Clifton Square after all

WICHITA — The deal for a French and Belgian restaurant to open at Clifton Square appeared to be off, but it’s going to go forward after all.

“It did drag out, but it’s never been officially off,” says Ted Branson, a broker with Landmark Commercial Real Estate.

Flo and Didier Fraikin had won a lottery for a green card to come to the United States, and after considering a home in Colorado and Wyoming, they chose Wichita.

“It sounds like they’re enamored with the West,” Branson says. Flo Fraikin “says it’s been her lifelong dream to come to America.”

“So they just jumped on it,” Branson says. “I’m not sure they thought it all through. … It was a little bigger than they anticipated.”

The family of seven plus three pets flew to San Francisco and planned a tour through the West to get to Wichita by June. Car trouble led to financial trouble which led to the family being stuck in California.

“They’ve just been hunkered down there trying to survive,” Branson says. “We’re just been pushing for them to get here. We’ll figure it out when they get here.”

The family is due to arrive Friday.

Branson says he’s “taking on a new job for a week” trying to help the family in advance of their arrival. A temporary house is his first order of business.

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New counseling practice opens at Clifton Square, two new restaurants may follow

WICHITA — There’s lots of activity at Clifton Square at 3700 E. Douglas near College Hill.

Two new restaurants may be coming to the development.

Former Cibola owner Kevin Brown is looking at possibly doing something in the former John Browns space. If it happens, the business likely would be more of a bar that also serves sandwiches and burgers.

Just down from there, a couple is considering opening a restaurant in the former Victoria’s Tea Room.

We’ll keep you posted on both possible deals.

Counselor Holly Beckman-Filbert has a done deal for Clifton Square space for her Life in Relation Therapy.

“I specialize in couples, but I also see individuals and families as well,” she says. “I’m especially wanting to focus on the LGBT population. … I’ve noticed a need.”

Beckman-Filbert says “the more conservative philosophy here” means some lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals might not have the options they need for counseling.

Also, Beckman-Filbert says Wichita seems to have a lot of Christian-based counselors. Even though they don’t necessarily counsel through Christianity, she says, “it still limits people’s feeling of safety in the counseling process.”

Emperor’s Japanese Grill expands west-side weekend hours to 3 a.m.

WICHITA — Late nights may not be working out for John Browns, but the owners of Emperor’s Japanese Grill are giving nocturnal noshing a shot.

The west-side Emperor’s at 2250 N. Ridge is now open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

“Those high school and college kids . . . are a lot of our regulars,” says co-owner Nel Son. “We have a huge fan base in that age group. Those kids are always staying up late.”

Late-night business is slowly picking up in the three weeks since extended hours started.

“It looks promising so far,” Son says.

If it’s a success, he says he may extend the hours at the east-side Emperor’s at 11330 E. Central as well.

John Browns in Clifton Square has closed, at least for now

John Fitzthum has closed — at least for now — his John Browns in Clifton Square.

“We’re going to take a break,” Fitzthum says. “We’re going to restrategize.”

Fitzthum opened in November in the former Clifton Wine and Jazz space.

“I think there needs to be some reconsideration of the hours. There needs to be some reconsideration of the menu,” he says. “You know, the late-night food in Wichita doesn’t work, in my opinion, which surprises me. I guess people prefer Village Inn.”

Fitzthum is going to try to make a decision by next week about either keeping John Browns or doing something new.

Regardless of what happens there, Fitzthum is going to go work for his brother-in-law, Louis Thompson, at the Candle Club. Fitzthum will be general manager.

“We’re going to be one big family over at the Candle Club.”