BNC National Bank to move west-side office

UPDATED — BNC National Bank is moving its west-side branch from 7200 W. 13th St. to the campus near 29th and Ridge where J.P. Weigand & Sons has its west-side residential office.

“I outgrew the space,” branch manager J.R. Rohr says of the 3,800 square feet he has at 13th Street.

The new space, which is in the east building on the campus, has 5,200 square feet.

“We’re hoping to be moved in by the beginning of the year,” Rohr says.

Remodeling the new space will take about eight weeks once the lease is done.

“We’re still working out some details on the lease,” Rohr says.

Weigand’s Patrick Ritchie and Leisa Lowry are handling the deal.

The Bismarck, N.D.-based BNC, which handles only residential mortgages in Wichita, has three branches here.

In addition to the west-side branch, one is inside Andover State Bank at the Waterfront, and another is within the Andover State Bank in Andover.

Rohr says finding good west-side office space can be a challenge since much of the available space is for retail.

“Having real, true office space in west Wichita is a big plus for me,” he says.

Rohr likes the access to K-96.

“I feel that part of Wichita … is growing right now,” he says. “There’s all kinds of businesses up there. It’s close to NewMarket Square.”

Rohr says he’s looking to add three or four loan officers. He doesn’t have any other changes planned.

“There’s been talk about … maybe expanding in the Derby market,” Rohr says. “That thought has just been brought up. I haven’t really got too far into that yet.

“This is it for right now.”

Family Christian Stores to move from Normandie Center to Eastgate Plaza

WICHITA — After more than a decade in Normandie Center, Family Christian Stores is moving to Eastgate Plaza at Kellogg and Rock Road.

“We’re actually going where we feel more of our customers shop,” says Paul Sobol, vice present of real estate for the Michigan-based chain.

Normandie is at Central and Woodlawn, which Sobol says is “not a regional shopping area.”

New stores at Eastgate, such as Ross Dress For Less, “really have a similar customer so that we feel we can reach out to more and more people,” Sobol says.

There’s also a Family Christian Stores location in NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize Road that’s been open for about seven years.

Nationally, there are almost 300 stores, which sell Christian-themed products, such as gifts, books, jewelry, CDs and DVDs.

“We reach out to the whole Christian community,” Sobol says.

The new east-side store will be in the former Mattress Firm space, which is about 4,000 square feet. That’s slightly larger than the Normandie space.

Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons and Andy Boyd of Walter Morris Cos. handled the deal.

Look for the Eastgate Family Christian Stores to open around Oct. 25.

Qdoba Mexican Grill to open at least two restaurants on east and west sides

UPDATED — Restaurateur Eric Estes is bringing a new franchise to Wichita:

Qdoba Mexican Grill.

“We’re really impressed with … their culinary attitude (and) approach to food,” Estes says.

Estes Enterprises has 20 A&W and Long John Silver’s franchises in Kansas, including six of the seafood restaurants in Wichita.

Denver-based Qdoba, which was founded in 1995, has about 600 restaurants in 42 states.

Initially, Estes plans to bring Qdobas to Wichita’s east and west sides.

“Our plan is to have the first unit open by the end of ’12 or the very beginning of ’13,” he says.

The east-side Qdoba will be built first.

Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons is helping Estes with the deals, which aren’t yet finalized.

Wink Hartman II of Ink Construction is the contractor.

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Zelman Lofts fully leased on residential side; commercial leasing is next

WICHITA — The nine residential spaces at Zelman Lofts are now completely leased.

“It’s some proof in the pudding that we’re hard workers,” says Michael Ramsey, who is redeveloping the building with Robert Eyster.

Now, they’re moving on to leasing 4,800 square feet of retail or restaurant space that fronts Douglas and another 1,000 square feet of office space that fronts St. Francis.

“The group is going to be particular about who goes in there because it’s very special space,” says Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons, who handles Ramsey and Eyster’s real estate deals.

The building, which was Sam Zelman’s namesake clothing store for decades, is across from Intrust Bank Arena and between an existing city park and another one being built just up St. Francis.

“It’s a tremendous corner,” Ramsey says.

Lowry says the response so far has been great, too.

She says interest has mostly been from restaurateurs, and it looks like that’s what will go in the space.

“We’ve had a lot of excellent activity on it.”

Sugar Sister Kelli Sykes to reopen Sugar Sisters Bakery in Delano

WICHITA — The Sugar Sisters are back.

Kelli Sykes is reopening Sugar Sisters Bakery, this time in Delano, with a little behind-the-scenes help from her sisters Kristine and Katie.

The sisters closed their original Sugar Sisters Bakery & Cafe near Central and Oliver in January after struggling financially and with service issues for three years.

“I learned from our mistakes the first time,” Kelli Sykes says.

“My sisters kind of gave up (and) wanted to pursue their dreams, but I still wanted to do a bakery,” she says.

“In high school I went to Kapaun, and everyone called me Betty Crocker (and) Mom. They all wanted me to open a bakery. That’s kind of where my dream started.”

The new business will be in 1,200 square feet at 917 W. Douglas just down from Club Billiards.

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

Sugar Sisters mainly will be a bakery but will have some lunch items as well and seating for about 10.

Sykes says her bierocks will be a staple.

“Anyone who’s had them has been instantly addicted.”

She’ll also serve chicken salad, quiche and some deli items such as cold pasta.

Since the other business closed, Sykes says she’s been doing special orders and has been receiving great feedback.

For instance, one drug rep orders about 100 cupcakes a week.

“She says every time she takes them somewhere people go crazy,” Sykes says. She says fans of the restaurant have “been going nuts since we closed.”

For those who weren’t fans or were disappointed by a previous experience, Sykes says, “I would invite them to give me another chance.”

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Robert Eyster hits the trifecta with his acquisition of 100 S. Market

WICHITA — Developer Robert Eyster has purchased another downtown building.

Michael Ramsey, who is working with Eyster on several downtown projects, says Eyster has acquired the more than 20,000-square-foot, two-story building at 100 S. Market.

“It’s not a very exciting building — yet,” Ramsey says.

This follows Eyster’s purchase of the Board of Trade building at 120 S. Market earlier this summer along with Kelly Donham’s former property on Douglas Avenue between Main and Market streets that became known for a giant hole in the ground.

They’re also renovating and repurposing the Zelman building and the Victoria Park Apartments downtown.

Ramsey says the building at 100 S. Market is “an integral part of the trifecta of the old Donham property and the Board of Trade.”

“Now that we’ve secured all three of the key players in the plan, we can go forth with what the next step is.”

Except they’re not revealing that next step yet.

Ramsey says he’ll share news in a month or so.

Leisa Lowry with J.P. Weigand & Sons and Marlin Penner with NAI John T. Arnold Associates handled the deal for 100 S. Market.

“It holds enormous promise,” Ramsey says.

U Grill to open in former Linkhaus space

WICHITA — An Oklahoma lawyer’s shopping trip to the Rock Road Sam’s Club led to him leasing the former Linkhaus space near the southwest corner of 37th Street North and Rock Road.

Will Clark was in Wichita shopping at Sam’s about six months ago.

“For some reason, I went north to 37th Street instead of south to . . . 96,” Clark says.

“It was nighttime, and I drove by the Linkhaus, and it was all lit up. And I thought, what in the world? I literally came in and bought a hot dog because I was curious about the building. I thought, that’s one heck of a building.”

He’s planning to open a fast-casual dining concept called U Grill in September.

“Basically what we’re looking at doing is like a fast food HuHot or a Genghis Grill,” Clark says.

Instead of having only rice or noodles to choose from along with grilled vegetables, U Grill will have hamburgers, cheese steak sandwiches and omelets for which customers can also select vegetables to grill.

The quarter pound burgers will be divided into two patties that are smashed and grilled quickly. The grilled vegetables will go between the patties.

Clark says he’s also getting a license for at least beer and wine and hopes to make U Grill a late-night spot for sporting events in addition to serving breakfast lunch and dinner.

“There’s a lot of potential for this area to have a after-hours place for people to gather.”

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Bossa Grill to close this weekend

WICHITA — Less than a year after opening, Bossa Grill is closing.

“Sometimes you need to know when you need to quit,” says co-owner Alberto Moreira.

He opened what he and a partner from his native Brazil hoped would be the first in a chain of restaurants at Northrock Retail Center at 3242 N. Rock Road.

“So many people like my food — like everything,” Moreira says.

But not enough.

Moreira says not enough people came through for a good return on investment.

“It’s better we decide to close.”

Leisa Lowry with J.P. Weigand & Sons is now working to sublease the space.

The Bossa concept may not be dead, though.

“We need to think about it,” Moreira says. “We need to learn about our mistakes.”

His partner is talking with someone in Miami about opening there, which Moreira says might make sense with the Latino community in that area.

Moreira says Saturday is Bossa’s last day in business here.

“Thank you (to) my customers.”

Linkhaus to move; building near 37th Street North and Rock Road is available

WICHITA — Linkhaus developers Robert Eyster and Michael Ramsey are planning to move their hot dog restaurant, which leaves their building near the southwest corner of 37th Street North and Rock Road available for another business.

“Over the past year we have seen how the market has driven us,” Ramsey says of the almost 1-year-old business.

“The market drives, at least in the hot dog-brat market . . . less of a price point,” he says. “The only way that we could capitalize on a smaller price point . . . is to decrease our overhead.”

The 3,500-square-foot, eco-friendly building with a large atrium for a dining room opened last year, but Ramsey says the hot dog and bar business didn’t draw people who wanted to stay for hours.

“It really didn’t work out as well as what we expected,” he says.

They’re not abandoning the concept, though.

“We’re certainly not dying,” Ramsey says.

He hopes to move to a strip center in the area and reduce prices.

Prices will drop starting April 2 in the current space along with an expanded menu, which will include chicken sandwiches, Angus burgers and fries.

“We’re adjusting to what the public wants,” Ramsey says.

He says a venue other than a restaurant could easily move to the Linkhaus space.

“The whole idea of the Linkhaus was the ability . . . for the concept to be modular, to be movable,” Ramsey says. “The building is that way.”

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You don’t say

“Thank heavens for these recession-resistant concepts that have pulled us through the past couple of years.”

Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons, who did the deal for the new Dollar Tree coming to Westgate Market at 6840 W. Kellogg on March 31