It’s confirmed: Planet Fitness to open at Normandie Center

WICHITA — Last week, Have You Heard? reported confirmation of Planet Fitness deals at 21st and Amidon and near 21st and Maize and said it looked like a deal also was done at Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn.

Now there’s confirmation of that, too, in the form of a building permit.

Planet Fitness has a permit for $550,000 at the center.


Planet Fitness signs two new deals

WICHITA — There are deals for two new Wichita Planet Fitness sites, though the chain still isn’t talking about its plans here.

Have You Heard? previously reported that the company is working on locations in the former Star Lumber space at Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn, at Marina Lakes at 21st and Amidon where a new Walmart Neighborhood Market is and also at the 21st and Maize area.

Since then, Scott Harper of Landmark Commercial Real Estate and Grant Tidemann of J.P. Weigand & Sons finalized a deal for the Marina Lakes space.

On Friday, Tidemann and Landmark’s Nick Esterline finalized a deal for the former bowling alley space at 2350 N. Maize Road. That’s where Countryside West Lanes closed in 2007.

It looks like there may already be demo work going on at the possible Planet Fitness space at Normandie.

Planet Fitness isn’t the only new gym coming to the city.

Gold’s Gym International also has been working on sites here. In fact, it appears it was negotiating for some of the same space Planet Fitness nabbed.

Earlier this year, Have You Heard? reported that a Gold’s deal at Harry and Rock may already be done.

Both companies are being similarly silent. We should hear something from them soon, though.


Planet Fitness coming to Wichita with at least three gyms

WICHITA — Gold’s Gym International isn’t the only new fitness chain coming to Wichita.

Planet Fitness is finalizing deals for three locations as well.

In fact, the two chains have been jockeying for some of the same spaces.

No one with Planet Fitness is talking just yet, but it looks like the company is working on locations in the former Star Lumber space at Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn, at Marina Lakes at 21st and Amidon where a new Walmart Neighborhood Market is and also at the 21st and Maize area.

The website for Planet Fitness describes its gyms as fairly basic.

“We don’t have any salespeople, and we don’t bother with all the extras like juice bars and childcare that drive up costs and can make a gym membership seem more like a car payment.”

Look for more news on the deals in the coming weeks.


West-side Pathfinders Birkenstock to close

WICHITA — The economy has spoken, and the west-side Pathfinders Birkenstock store is closing at the end of this month or in early February at the latest.

“The economy is telling us we’ve not needed two stores in Wichita for some time,” says owner Jill Dunning. “It makes no economical sense to have two stores when, honestly, we probably never needed two stores in the first place.”

The previous owner signed a 10-year lease for the west side store south of NewMarket Square near 21st and Maize. Dunning bought the store about eight years ago.

Renewing the lease wasn’t an option.

“With an accountant husband, of course I can’t,” Dunning says, laughing.

Still, she’s sorry to have to do it.

“We love the building over there, and I hate to take away the ease of a west-side store for my west-side customers.”

Her store in Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn will remain open

“Business as usual.”


Yoder Meats to open third Wichita store

WICHITA — Yoder Meats is expanding its Wichita presence by taking over the former Kline’s Meats location near Maple and Maize.

“We just stepped in and bought that equipment and will be opening that location up the first of November,” says owner Alan Waggoner.

In addition to the Yoder Meats retail shop in Yoder, Kan., the company also has stores in Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn and at 798 N. West St.

“We’ve had a lot of requests and demands from the far west side of Wichita,” Waggoner says.

“People only travel so far,” he says. “I think that’s why there’s a Dillons on nearly every corner.”

Waggoner says there will be about six miles between each of his stores.

“They’re all very even across the city.”

So is the far east side next on his agenda?

“Far east Wichita is something I’d look at, but probably not before I’d considered Rose Hill or Derby,” Waggoner says.

There’s also a Yoder Meats plant in Yoder.

“We have local products from local farms,” Waggoner says. “We process most all of our product here in Yoder from a three-county area.”

The newest store will be open Monday through Saturday, as is the Normandie store.

Waggoner says the West Street Yoder Meats also is open Sunday afternoons.

“Just so, you know, if somebody wants something they can drive a few miles, but they can get it.”

You don’t say

“I can’t possibly be that old.”

Best of Times owner Nancy Robinson on her store, which is in Normandie Center, turning 30 on July 7

Phoenix Studio for Wigs to remain open

WICHITA — Phoenix Studio for Wigs owner Ann Hill had told customers last year that she would be closing her shop at Normandie Center due to health issues.

She’s doing much better now, though.

“I’m doing quite well,” Hill says. “So I’m staying open.”

She’s been styling hair in that location since 1983, though she stopped in October because of her health.

Hill will continue to sell wigs, though, which she first started doing in 1999.

“I just need for everybody to know I’m still here,” Hill says. “The word of mouth is getting out, but it’s getting out very slowly.”

Connie’s Cookies to sell through Sweetly Scrumptious bakery

WICHITA — For years, customers have been asking Connie Hamilton when she’s going to open a Connie’s Cookies on the east side.

She says she’s going to do the next best thing by selling her cookies at Sweetly Scrumptious, a bakery that recently opened in Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn.

Hamilton will start by selling sugar cookies for walk-in business. Eventually, she’d like for east-side customers to be able to pick up custom orders there as well. She says there will be a $5 handling fee so she can make it worthwhile for the Sweetly Scrumptious staff.

Sweetly Scrumptious specialty bakery to open at Normandie Center

notsosweetWICHITA — When Kellie Foltz officially debuted her Cake Ball Divas creations at Exploration Place’s Death by Chocolate party in March, most people had one question:

Where can we get these things?

“We just got a very big response,” Foltz says.

She describes the cake balls as the size of a large truffle with the visual aesthetic of a fine chocolate.

She also makes cupcakes and cookies and is opening a specialty bakery, Sweetly Scrumptious, to sell them all.

The shop will open in the next couple of weeks in Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn between the Seafood Shop and Beyond Beads Boutique.

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Mother Nature postpones Seafood Shop delivery

WICHITA — Seafood Shop co-owner Jessica Eberth is stunned to report that she didn’t have fresh fish to sell Saturday because either a tornado or straight-line winds destroyed the delivery truck bringing her fish Friday night.

“I thought they were kidding when they notified us,” says Eberth, whose shop is in Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn.

The delivery truck was coming from Denver. The incident happened just outside of Colby.

“Although the driver is OK, it totally destroyed the trailer,” Eberth says.

“What are the odds of that?” she asks. “You would never think out of, what, 1,500 semis rolling across I-70 that a random tornado would hit ours.”

It looks like the truck also had fish deliveries for area restaurants, too.

Eberth says that although she was floored, her customers handled it just fine.

“Everybody took it in really good spirits,” she says. “I had no complaints.”