Olio’s Market to open on the west side to sell olive oil and products that pair with it

WICHITA — A vacation to Branson was the start of an idea that’s now turning into a new business for Lisa and John Madden.

The couple – she’s a customer relations specialist with Bombardier, and he’s in the Navy – were at Branson Landing when they came across a store devoted to selling olive oil.

They’ve been to similar stores in Kansas City and St. Louis “just to get a vibe for how they operate,” Lisa Madden says.

They’re now opening their own store, Olio’s Market, at 10051 W. 21st St., next to LaMar’s Donuts.

Olio is the Italian word for oil.

Olive oil is mainly what Olio’s will carry, but it also will have products that go well with oil, such as bread, pasta, and pizza crust. The store also will carry a line of salts, jam and pesto.

Lisa Madden says the oils Olio’s will carry will be about quality and variety.

“Most of the oils you buy in the supermarket don’t tell you when they were crushed or pressed … and they don’t tell you the nutritional value,” she says.

Hers will have that information, Madden says.

The store will have 10 kinds of oils that are pressed from different olives. Madden says they’ll be pressed and sold within a six-month window.

There will be another 10 kinds of flavored oils, such as blood orange and basil-infused oil, on a seasonal basis.

Customers will be able to sample the oils, which Madden says “is a really cool thing.”

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Jack’s North Hi Carryout doesn’t sell — yet

WICHITA — The Jack’s North Hi Carryout auction was today, but it didn’t sell – yet.

The highest bidder declined to proceed with the sale, which is unusual but not unheard of.

McCurdy Auction is still working with potential buyers, including one in particular, who were at the auction.

Since the building across from North High School is still for sale, other interested buyers who weren’t at the auction still have time to buy as well.

Jack’s North Hi Carryout for auction again

UPDATED — After decades and decades with only a couple of owners, Jack’s North Hi Carryout has been in a fairly constant state of transition for the last decade.

Current operator Austin Herron has hired McCurdy Auction to auction the building across from North High School on April 11.

“He is planning on going back to school,” says Ramona Herron, who bought the building in 2010 for her grandson to run the restaurant. She paid $116,600 for it.

Herron says her grandson is helping her with an ill family member as well.

“He thought, well, he can’t do all three,” she says.

Even before he decided to sell, Ramona Herron says her grandson fielded inquiries from people interested in buying the piece of Wichita history. The restaurant opened in 1951 and was an immediate hit.

“There’s been a lot of people … come in and ask him about it,” Herron says. “A lot of them have tried to get the money but can’t.”

The restaurant has been closed for several days for spring break but is reopening Wednesday.

Herron says her grandson plans to keep the restaurant open until the auction.

And if it doesn’t sell?

“Well, he’ll keep it open until it does.”

Public at the Brickyard gastro pub to open at the Brickyard in Old Town this fall

Drew Thompson (left) and Travis Russell, who are opening Public at the Brickyard.

WICHITA — The Brickyard in Old Town is going to become a restaurant in addition to a bar this fall thanks to two retransplanted Wichitans.

“We’ve been having these conversations for the last 10 years or so,” Drew Thompson says of himself and Travis Russell, a buddy from back at North High School.

“We were at the point we were either going to do it or not.”

Thompson is a lawyer in Seattle. Russell is an adjunct fine art professor in the St. Louis area who has spent years in the restaurant business. His parents, Mark and Joni Russell, own the Brickyard and Mrs. O’Leary’s Mercantile next door.

Thompson and Russell are returning to Wichita to open Public at the Brickyard, a type of gastro pub that will be open for brunch, lunch and dinner.

“What we envision it to be is a communal restaurant,” Russell says. “Our plan is to really include local vendors.”

Thompson says, “Quality ingredients is the key.”

They plan dishes such as gourmet grilled pizzas with homemade dough and smoked chicken and waffles. Russell likes putting twists on traditional dishes, such as using tomato marmalade for a BLT.

They’ll be able to seat about 200 inside and more in the courtyard in nice weather.

The two are just beginning renovations, which will include the addition of a lot of architecture salvage pieces. For instance, Russell says they scored maple flooring from a former brewery in St. Louis to make new table tops.

“It’s going to be a pretty intense transformation in the next 30 days.”


Junior Achievement 2011 Wichita Business Hall of Fame offered humorous and poignant moments

Oleksandra and Phil Ruffin greeted Richard Smith and his wife, Sondra Langel, at the Junior Achievement 2011 Wichita Business Hall of Fame dinner Tuesday.

WICHITA — The Junior Achievement 2011 Wichita Business Hall of Fame dinner Tuesday offered an entertaining evening full of poignant and funny moments.

Emcee Susan Peters of KAKE, Channel 10, started with words of wisdom for business people who might like to be inducted in the future.

“If you would like to be honored, you should be on your best behavior,” she advised.

Jim Farha spoke on behalf of himself and his brother, fellow inductee George Farha. The Lebanese immigrants are both physicians.

“We love this great country,” Farha said. “Without being political, we believe that America is truly an exceptional nation, and we are very grateful for the opportunities that we have been afforded.”

Phillip Ruffin Jr. introduced his father, inductee Phil Ruffin Sr., whom he noted was a grand state wrestling champion while at North High School.

“And this is something we hear about almost on a daily basis,” said the younger Ruffin.

He noted the win was back when there weren’t different divisions for schools, meaning the then 147-pound Ruffin had to wrestle everyone in his weight class.

“He whooped ’em all.”

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21st Street Carry Out Burgers owners open Gorditas Durango near North High School

WICHITA — While Jack’s North Hi Carryout has persevered for more than six decades across from North High School, the space just down from it on 13th Street has been a revolving door of restaurants.

Rosa and Roberto Lopez think they can change that with their new Gorditas Durango.

They’ve purchased the newly neon green restaurant where Laura’s Super Tortas was most recently.

The Lopezes have owned 21st Street Carry Out Burgers for the last 14 years.

Rosa Lopez thinks that track record — and her husband’s experience owning La Fiera Restaurant before that — will ensure they can make the new space succeed.

The restaurant, which seats about 32, will be open seven days a week.

The menu will be like what they serve at 21st Street Carry Out Burgers, which — unlike the inherited name suggests — serves gorditas and other Mexican specialties.

A couple of months from now, the Lopezes will close their 21st Street restaurant, which they lease. They wanted to move to own their own building.

Rosa Lopez says she’s aware the new building has a bit of a reputation for being a cursed space.

“I know, but we are not like the other people.”

Jack’s North Hi Carryout to be auctioned

jacksWICHITA — Here we go again.

After years and years of Jack’s North Hi Carryout having the same owner, there have been several changes in recent years, and it looks like there’s about to be one more.

Owner Barbara Moore has hired Bud Palmer Auction to auction the restaurant at 10 a.m. on Sept. 16 at Jack’s, which will remain open through Sept. 15.

“I came out of retirement basically to keep it going,” Moore says. “I’m like Brett Favre. I’m going back into retirement.”

Moore’s husband, Joe, reopened the restaurant in March 2009 but then died in November.

The restaurant and its restoration was his labor of love.

“All of that was his design, and he restored it,” Moore says. “And, of course, it looks great. He did a great job.”

Included in the auction is the longtime menu board from the restaurant, some North High School yearbooks from the 1930s and books with signatures from North High students from 1929 to the present.

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Moore Flowers to move to Maple and Maize

WICHITA — After more than 60 years in Riverside, Moore Flowers is moving.

Owner Jodi Mitchell is moving the shop west to Maple and Maize. She’ll be in the former Rolling Hills Flowers & Gifts space on the northeast corner.

“It’s been a very difficult decision to make,” says Mitchell, who has worked at Moore Flowers for 25 years and owned it for 10.

She says she’s moving for a few reasons.

“I’ll be closer to home,” Mitchell says.

Also, she says, she sees other businesses moving away from her area near North High School on West 13th Street. The economy in general is playing a part in the move.

“I’m very optimistic,” Mitchell says of how business will be in her new space.

Moore Flowers opened in about 1948. Mitchell believes the original store was across the street from where it is now.

The store is a traditional floral shop, with fresh flowers, plants and some gift items. Mitchell provides flowers for weddings and other events as well.

Her current space is 2,000 square feet. The new space is 1,500 square feet.

Mitchell says nothing else will change but the location, which will open Oct. 1.

“We’re still the same.”

Laura’s Super Tortas to relocate from 25th and Arkansas to near North High School

WICHITA — Laura’s Super Tortas owner Jose Barrera is relocating one of his restaurants and changing its name — slightly.

The new restaurant will be at 527 W. 13th across from North High School (and just down from Jack’s North Hi Carryout).

Barrera is closing the Laura’s near 25th and Arkansas in the Plaza Mexico building.

“The business was OK, but it gets more attractive when the people see your face,” Barrera says of owning his own stand-alone building.

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