Panda Express to open at Derby Marketplace

WICHITA — Panda Express is going to open a third Wichita-area restaurant, this time in Derby.

The fast casual concept will go in the Derby Marketplace at Meadowlark and Rock Road. Panda will be in 2,350 square feet on the opposite end of the building where Starbucks is.

There’s another 3,200 square feet left to lease in the building.

The California-based Panda entered the Wichita market in 2010 with stores on Maize Road in front of Academy Sports & Outdoors and at One Kellogg Place on East Kellogg.

Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons represents the chain in the Wichita area.

Panda is similar to Chipotle in that diners walk through a line and first select a starch — steamed or fried rice or chow mein — and vegetables followed by two to three entrees.

Entrees consist of traditional Chinese dishes such as kung pao chicken, sweet-and-sour pork and beef and broccoli.

Look for more details on the Derby Panda as they become available.

Optometric Billing Solutions to quadruple its space with new Maize building

UPDATED — Less than a decade after starting Optometric Billing Solutions in a home basement, sisters Branda Barton and Brooke Armstrong are making their third move to a new building.

At 21,000 square feet, this one should last a while. The sisters are in negotiations to buy the former SecureNet building at 10501 W. Hampton Lakes in Maize.

Though they say the space is nice and that the $1.6 million in industrial revenue bonds the city is giving them in the next three years will be helpful, Armstrong says they would have had the same things in Wichita.

“To be honest, it really was the city of Maize,” she says of the decision to locate there.

“The sense of community in that place was amazing,” Armstrong says. “Branda and I … really left there with the sense and impression of community and values. Their whole culture just seemed really in line with what we value as a corporation.”

City Administrator Richard LaMunyon says the city felt the same about them.

“We just really kind of hit it off,” he says. “They were just excited about their business. You could tell that they were professional in what they were doing.”

He says that’s important because the company will be one of the larger private ones in Maize, and he expects it to be there for some time to come.

“It has great potential for growth.”

Read More »

Qdoba Mexican Grill to open in Yen Ching Chinese Restaurant & Club space

UPDATED — It turns out Qdoba Mexican Grill is what’s going to open in the space Yen Ching Chinese Restaurant & Club will be vacating at Central and Rock, and it will be unlike any other in the national chain.

“Central and Rock Road is a great intersection,” says restaurateur Eric Estes.

He plans a special theme for the site.

“Qdoba was going to kind of let us step out a little bit on this,” Estes says.

He says the interior will celebrate Wichita’s aviation and military history.

“That’s kind of what shaped Wichita,” Estes says. “It’s part of the Wichita DNA. … We kind of have this inspiration, if you will.”

The restaurant will have an aviation theme and feature a tail and propeller from a 1941 AT-6 Texan.

The theme is important to Estes, who says his grandfather was working as a riveter at Boeing for his first job when he received orders to go to Italy in World War II.

“It just kind of shapes everything we do,” Estes says of the heritage.

It was summer 2012 when he first told Have You Heard? he’d be bringing Qdobas to the state.

Qdoba is similar to Chipotle Mexican Grill in that customers order from a counter with a number of protein, vegetable and salsa selections for burritos and tacos.

Estes says there are a lot of healthy options, such as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes, along with kids’ meals.

His first Qdoba opened in Hutchinson in June, and Estes says it’s doing well. Another is under construction in Hays.

Estes says work on the east-side Qdoba will start in June, but he’s not sure if the restaurant will be in the same building that was home to Yen Ching for 30 years or if he’ll build a new one.

“We’d love not to demolish it,” he says. “We like to repurpose buildings where we can.”

He adds, though, “If we do repurpose it, then all we’d be repurposing is four walls.”

Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Look for an August or September opening. After that, Estes hopes to open another Qdoba on the west side, though he hasn’t started looking for a site yet.

Sugar Salon to open at Normandie Center

WICHITA — After more than a decade working in downtown Wichita, stylist Susan Brady is opening a new salon at Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn.

Sugar Salon will open in mid-November in 1,200 square feet, which is bigger than Brady’s current Salon Lush at Occidental Plaza and smaller than Urban Image, which she used to have at Old Town Square.

“I would rather keep it small and intimate,” Brady says. “It makes for a cozier, more friendly environment.”

The chief difference with the new salon, other than being on the east side, is that Brady is once again going to have an Aveda salon.

“We had decided when we opened Salon Lush we would not carry Aveda; we would see what else is out there to offer,” Brady says.

She missed the quality of Aveda’s products and color along with Aveda’s education and “just their general support.”

“I finally realized I just need to stay with Aveda,” Brady says. “So when the opportunity presented itself to open … another Aveda salon, I of course jumped at the chance.”

Read More »

Great Clips to open at Tallgrass Plaza

WICHITA — Great Clips franchisee Lisa Schneider is getting ready to open another salon.

She’s taking a former salon space at Tallgrass Plaza at the northeast corner of 21st and Rock Road. The salon will be between Great Wall and Boba Zone.

“This is actually my fourth salon, but my third in Wichita,” Schneider says.

She’s one of a few Great Clips franchisees here.

Schneider says the salon is a select service salon, meaning it offers haircuts, styles and perms but no color service. She says that’s because Great Clips wants to be able to guarantee its services, and it’s hard to guarantee color.

Great Clips officially will open on Oct. 26, but Schneider says she’ll probably have a soft opening a couple of days before that.

The salon will be in 1,400 square feet. Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Schneider already is thinking of future salons.

“I really don’t have plans to stop,” she says.

She’s interested in quantity, but only if the salons are quality as well.

“As long as I can continue to open them and maintain that for customers,” she says. “If the quality isn’t there, it’s time to stop.”

Pizza Hut to open at Brush Creek

WICHITA — A new Pizza Hut is coming to the Brush Creek shopping center near 37th and Woodlawn.

It will “fill a hole,” says Kym Money, director of marketing for Pizza Hut of Southeast Kansas, which is owned by Fugate Enterprises.

“We’re always trying to improve our delivery times,” Money says. The goal is “fast, accurate and warm,” she says.

This makes Fugate’s 34th Pizza Hut in the greater Wichita area.

The restaurant will have the chain’s full line of Wing Street products.

Leisa Lowry and Cristi Howell of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Lowry says the center is doing well.

“We’re getting a lot of activity,” she says.

CiCi’s Pizza left Brush Creek in late May, and Lowry says there’s been quite a bit of interest in that space.

She says Inside Out Fitness, which opened there about a year ago, is doing well.

“Inside Out Fitness is doing fabulously well.”

Derby’s Bristol Square shopping center growing under new owners

UPDATED — The new Sedgwick County drivers license bureau that’s opening in Derby this fall isn’t all that’s happening at the Bristol Square shopping center at Madison and Rock Road.

“It’s going to be a fabulous center for Derby,” says Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons.

“It’s under new ownership,” she says. “That is the reason they’re getting things done. The new owners are aggressive deal makers, and they’re turning the center around.”

Lowry says Bristol Square’s previous owners didn’t invest in the center to “keep it running right and looking right.”

“These new owners will do everything right.”

They’re a mix of local and out-of-state investors who prefer not to be named.

The Dollar Tree has renewed its lease at Bristol Square and expanded to 10,000 square feet.

“They’ve doubled their space now,” says Lowry, who handled the deal.

Sunshine Nail Salon has also more than doubled its size from 1,200 square feet to 2,800 square feet.

The UPS Store has renewed its lease for another five years as well. New tenant Precious Debut 4D Ultrasound opened at the center this spring.

Weigand’s Cristi Howell, who did the Precious Debut deal, and Bradley Tidemann are handling leasing for Bristol Square.

“I do think the fact that it has local ownership now is a real positive for the center,” Howell says.

She says it’s more than just the financial investment.

“Just being local, they’re more in tune with the community and responsive to tenants.”

 

Cato apparel and accessory shop to open in Wichita and have as many as three stores

WICHITA — Cato, an apparel and accessory shop for women and girls, is coming to Wichita with what looks like will be three stores.

So far, the North Carolina-based chain is confirming only one Cato, which is going in the former Senor Tequila space at Pawnee and Broadway.

There currently are Catos in Derby, Newton and El Dorado.

The Pawnee and Broadway Cato, which will open in November, will be Wichita’s first. Leisa Lowry and Cristi Howell of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Cato Corp. also owns Versona Accessories, which opened in this spring at Bradley Fair.

Cow & Sow Deli and mini grocery coming to the Renfro apartments downtown

WICHITA — Renfro residents, along with other downtown dwellers and workers, soon will have a taste of country cooking from Conway Springs.

Tracey Coln and Teresa Gerber now live in Wichita, but Coln describes herself and Gerber as “just the country girls . . . trying to bring some country cooking into the city.”

They’re opening the Cow & Sow Deli next month at the new apartment building at 612 E. Douglas.

Coln’s mother grew up on a dairy farm in Viola, which is Coln’s inspiration for desserts and side dishes with lots of cream and butter — thus the “cow.”

Gerber grew up on a farm outside of Conway Springs, which is where she learned her family’s recipe for German sausage — thus the “sow.”

“We were being silly,” Coln says of trying to come up with a name.

Joking about the Cow & Sow “caught on, and everybody loved it,” Coln says.

Coln, who owns Heartfelt Memories photography studio, and Gerber, who recently left Cessna Aircraft, grew up together in Conway Springs.

“We were best friends,” Coln says.

Gerber’s departure from Cessna is what’s leading the two to open the deli, which will specialize in take-and-bake sausage, sandwiches, side dishes and a salad bar that Coln calls “something fresh and unique and not just a basic salad bar.”

They’re also going to carry some grocery items, such as milk, eggs, toilet paper and toothpaste as a convenience to residents.

Read More »

Casey’s General Stores to expand in greater Wichita area with three stores

UPDATED — Iowa-based Casey’s General Stores is expanding in the greater Wichita area.

“It looks like we’ve got a lot of sites that we’re looking at in the Wichita area,” says CFO Bill Walljasper.

That includes one in Wichita on the northeast corner of South Meridian and I-235 and one in Valley Center at 222 S. Meridian. A third one will be announced soon.

Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weidgand & Sons handled the deals.

None of the stores is under construction yet. They’ll be ready in late summer at the earliest.

“We also look to renovate stores in the area as well,” Walljasper says. “Just some of the older ones periodically.”

There are about a dozen Casey’s stores in Wichita and communities within an hour or so of it.

“The stores seem to be pretty well received by the communities,” Walljasper says. “Kansas is certainly an area we continue to grow in. … We like the area.”