Construction set to begin on Panera Bread, Olive Garden and Papa Murphy’s at Derby Marketplace

WICHITA — It was back in January that Have You Heard? first reported that Panera Bread franchisee Randy Simon was in negotiations to open a Panera in front of the Dillons Marketplace at Derby Marketplace at 71st and Rock Road.

The Derby City Council approved the deal last week, and construction is set to begin.

Simon plans a fall opening for the restaurant, which will have a drive-through. This is the 32nd cafe for his Original Bread and the first to feature a drive-through.

Later this month, Simon says he plans to finalize a deal in Sedalia, Mo., for another Panera with a drive-through. That’s also where a Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers franchisee plans a Freddy’s next door.

The Panera that opened earlier this year on Ridge Road next to the Freddy’s that Simon co-owns had the highest volume opening of all of Simon’s Wichita Paneras.

Back in Derby, there are a couple of other new restaurants that will open near the new Panera.

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Natural Grocers By Vitamin Cottage will be a full-scale grocery store with a deli

UPDATED — The new Natural Grocers By Vitamin Cottage that’s coming to the former Borders Books space at 1715 N. Rock Road will be a complete grocery store in addition to a vitamin shop.

“A great many of our customers do just that — they only shop for groceries at our stores,” says co-president Kemper Isely.

“We offer our products at everyday affordable pricing.”

The Denver-area family business started in 1955. When it opens here Dec. 13, the Wichita store will be the company’s 51st.

The chain used to be called Vitamin Cottage.

“Since we sell more groceries, we changed our name,” Isely says.

He says the company sells only 100 percent organically grown produce and fresh and frozen meat that is hormone and antibiotic free. Also, he says, there’s a line of frozen natural foods in addition to 100 percent organic produce and bulk items.

“We do it a little bit differently,” Isely says of the bulk items.

They’re prepackage to avoid contamination, he says.

“We also refrigerate all our nuts and seeds and flours that can go rancid.”

The store will be 24,000 square feet. About 1,500 of that will be for a seminar room, which Isely says nonprofits can use for free.

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Rue21 coming to Derby Marketplace

WICHITA — Rue21 is coming to Derby Marketplace at 71st South and Rock Road.

The clothing store, which targets younger males and females, will open in 4,500 square feet of the 7,500 square feet between Maurices and Dressbarn just south of Target.

Construction began Monday, and the store should open Oct. 28.

There will be more Marketplace news coming this fall.

“We do have a couple of different junior anchors that we’re getting extremely close with,” says developer Mark McPherson.

The stores, which could be anywhere from 15,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet, are similar in size to stores like Bed Bath & Beyond, T.J. Maxx and Best Buy — not that those are necessarily the stores that are coming.

Look for more information soon.