Pie Five Pizza to open near 21st and Rock

WICHITA — On the heels of opening his first Pie Five Pizza last Friday next to the Applebee’s at Maple and Ridge, Jim Stevens now has plans for a third Pie Five in the market.

It will be on the east side where Beauty First is closing near the southwest corner of 21st and Rock.

“It was always a good location for Applebee’s, and I think that HuHot does a good business there,” says Stevens, who is both a Pie Five and Applebee’s franchisee.

He moved his Applebee’s from that center to the Plazzio development at 13th and Greenwich earlier this year.

Stevens is now in talks with potential tenants for the former Appleebee’s space.

His second Pie Five is going to open at a new addition of NewMarket Square in early October.

The east-side Pie Five should open sometime in January.

The fast-casual restaurnat’s diners walk through a line and pick their crust and sauce and create their own salads. Some especially hot pizza ovens bake the pizzas in four minutes.

Stevens says since he’s locating the latest Pie Five at 21st and Rock, he won’t necessarily be able to open another one on the east side anytime soon. He says the company likes to have high demographics for areas in which it locates.

“There’s a lot of visibility,” Stevens says of the corner he chose. “I think it’ll do real well there.”

Sneak peek of Wichita’s first Pie Five Pizza

Wichita’s new Pie Five Pizza opens Friday next to the Applebee’s at Maple and Ridge.

This is the first of at least three Pie Fives that franchisee Jim Stevens, who also is the Applebee’s franchisee, plans for Wichita. The second will open at NewMarket Square. Stevens is close to announcing the third site as well.

In the meantime, Pie Five area director Joe Chandler a sneak peek of the restaurant from a VIP lunch Stevens hosted Tuesday.

 

Beauty First to consolidate Wichita stores

WICHITA — The east-side Beauty First near the southwest corner of 21st and Rock is going out of business.

“Basically, our business is stronger on the west side,” says Lee Rogers, vice president of operations. “We had an opportunity to consolidate both.”

The opportunity arose from the store’s landlord having new plans for the space.

Rogers says there’s “not much to it – just your traditional business consolidation.”

The chain’s west-side store is at NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize.

“We’ve been in the community a very long time,” Rogers says. “We’re a much smaller company than we once were.”

He says the idea is to “save a few pennies and … recognize where we are in today’s world.”

Look for more information soon about a new development that will take Beauty First’s place.

Tad’s Locker Room to open in former Red Bean’s Bayou Grill space

WICHITA — From restaurant to locker room.

The former Red Bean’s Bayou Grill near 21st and Ridge is going to be the new home of a west-side Tad’s Locker Room.

The original Tad’s is in Cambridge Market at 21st and Webb on the east side.

tadtwo“It just fell in place,” owner Tad Snarenberger says of the deal.

He almost had a different west-side deal and had preordered merchandise when it fell through.

“God has really helped us do this because we didn’t have a place to go,” Snarenberger says.

The 5,400-square-foot space is just over what the east-side store has.

“It’s just like a large ranch,” Snarenberger says of the long space.

Snarenberger’s store, which sells sports apparel and memorabilia, used to be called Sports Time Fan Shop until he and a partner split in 2012.

There’s still a Sports Time Fan Shop in NewMarket Square up the road from where Tad’s will open.

Snarenberger says he feels like Tad’s has a strong enough market presence now to open a second shop.

Intrust Bank has my back on this,” he says.

Snarenberger thinks his store works because of his strong staff and because he’s in the shop daily, which he’ll continue to be at both stores.

“Yeah, he’s a local guy,” he says customers say. “He’s doing the local thing.”

The new store likely will open in early October.

“It is a huge leap,” Snarenberger says. “It’s exciting.”

Slawson Cos. purchases southeast corner of 29th and Maize

WICHITA — Slawson Cos., the developer of NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize, has purchased 73 acres at the southeast corner of 29th and Maize.

The new Sam’s Club is on the northeast corner.

“Obviously, it’s a very-well located property,” says Slawson commercial broker Jerry Jones.

The company acquired the property, including the approximately 10-acre Cadillac Lake, from the Pracht family.

Jones says the family owned it for almost 100 years and cultivated the habitat for water fowl and also farmed on the land the last 40 or 50 years.

He says the property has a number of potential uses.

“That’s what we’re doing right now. We’re evaluating its potential.”

Jones says the Maize Road frontage is excellent for retail and restaurant development.

He says there’s additional potential for around the lake, which could be used for offices, bird watching, hiking or fishing.

Jones says it’s too early to give a time frame for development.

“We’ve got a lot of planning and entitlements to work through.”

Company founder Don Slawson died earlier this month at the age of 80.

“We want to carry out Don’s legacy of quality development,” Jones says, “so we’ll be very deliberate in our planning and make sure we execute it accordingly.”

Panera Bread on North Rock Road to temporarily close to install drive-through

WICHITA — It may not have happened by spring as he hoped, but Randy Simon is now about to add a drive-through at his Panera Bread at 1605 N. Rock Road.

The restaurant is going to close from Monday until July 22 to make the addition along with interior remodeling.

Derby is the only other Wichita-area Panera with a drive-through so far.

Simon says he’s in the process of submitting plans to do a drive-through at the Panera at Taft and Ridge.

He’s just finished remodeling the Panera near Central and Hillside, which wasn’t able to have a drive-through.

“We just were not able to work the necessary arrangemetns out with Walgreens,” Simon says.

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Firehouse Subs is first tenant at new strip center at NewMarket Square

WICHITA — Slawson Cos. is preparing to start building a strip center in front of the SuperTarget at NewMarket Square later this month and has landed its first tenant for it: Firehouse Subs.

“We acquired from Target an outparcel basically in front of their NewMarket Square store that’ll be just north of the Intrust Bank … branch bank,” says Slawson’s Jerry Jones.

Firehouse Subs will be in 2,000 square feet on the north end of the 10,000-square-foot center.

Jones says two other potential deals for the center are in advance stages of negotiation. If they happen, that would leave 2,800 square feet to lease to a tenant or 1,400 square feet each for two tenants.

Firehouse Subs franchisees Dana and Troy Todd would like to do five of the restaurants in the greater Wichita area. Franchisees Megan and Andrew Reece opened Wichita’s first Firehouse late last year at Eastgate Plaza at Kellogg and Rock Road.

Dana Todd says NewMarket Square is a great place to open Firehouse.

“It’s a well-established area, and it seems to be continuing to grow.”

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Sleep Number to open at NewMarket Square

WICHITA — A new Sleep Number store is opening at NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize Road this summer.

The 2,500-square-foot store will open in the former Verizon Wireless space in the same center as Bella Luna Cafe.

Verizon expanded to part of the University of Phoenix’s former space. That’s in the same building as Kay Jewelers and Scottrade.

Sleep Number is part of Select Comfort Corp. of Minneapolis.

April Reed of Slawson Cos. handled the deal.

Look for more information closer to the store’s opening.

Lawyer Abdul Arif buys Avivo Brick Oven Pizzeria at NewMarket Square

WICHITA — Abdul Arif swore he’d never do it again, but he’s getting back in the restaurant business.

Arif says he closed on a deal Wednesday to buy Avivo Brick Oven Pizzeria in NewMarket Square and plans to make some changes, though incrementally, and expand with more restaurants.

Years ago, the lawyer says, he had a couple of Indian restaurants “that I lost my shirt on.”

The difference now, he says, is his tenant at Sutton Place, Gerard Rodriguez of Anna Murdoc’s Cafe, is going to run Avivo in addition to having an ownership stake in it.

“We made him an offer he couldn’t refuse, just like the pizza mafia guys do,” Arif says jokingly.

He says Rodriguez went to culinary school and has a passion for food.

“I’m not passionate about food like these guys who go to culinary school,” Arif says. “You can’t get them to shut up.”

Tony Suellentrop, whose family started Avivo, says other demands prompted the sale.

“We have a lot going on,” he says.

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Verizon Wireless converts NewMarket Square store to Smart Store

WICHITA — The newly expanded Verizon Wireless at NewMarket Square opens Thursday with a new concept.

“We are opening what we call a Smart Store,” says spokeswoman Brenda Hill.

“We’ve really completely redesigned the customer experience inside the store,” she says. “Now the way the store is organized is … really focused on the way that customers use wireless.”

Only 100 of Verizon’s 1,700 stores across the country have this concept so far, and this will be the first one in Wichita and second one in Kansas.

“This is a big deal for us to have one of the first,” Hill says.

She says an employee called an experience specialist will greet customers when they enter the store.

“A lot of times customers come in the store, and they really don’t know what they need,” Hill says. There’s a lot “that they don’t know wireless can help them with.”

She says that might include ways to save money on home energy or devices to measure fitness goals.

The store will have four major zones to cater to various needs.

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