Bloom Wellness to open with studios downtown and in College Hill

WICHITA — Jessica St. Clair-Stong is returning to what she loves by opening Bloom Wellness yoga studios next week.

“I felt like there was a real opportunity,” she says.

The Kansas native had been living abroad when she trained in Prague to teach yoga, “as everybody does, right?” she says, laughing.

St. Clair-Stong then taught in France and London.

“It was a great gig.”

She moved to Wichita to be with family a couple of years ago and then married Chris Stong, director of operations forNuWay.

Now, she’s opening Bloom Wellness, which will serve clients out of Janelle Robertson’s Trove Total Body Studio at the Renfro at 612 E. Douglas. St. Clair-Stong also will have a studio at her College Hill home, but she says she wanted that downtown experience, too.

“I love downtown Wichita,” she says. “I love the space. I love Trove.”

Through yoga, St. Clair-Stong says she wants to “create a sense of community and connection.”

The Renfro space has room for only six people.

“It’s almost like personalized instruction,” St. Clair-Stong says.

She also offers health and nutrition coaching and cranial-sacral therapy, which she describes as “almost like a gentle massage.”

“It sounds wild, I realize that.”

St. Clair-Stong says she has a variety of approaches to yoga.

“My classes are different, I think, than … what you have come to expect yoga to be.”

St. Clair-Stong has a graduate degree in psychology and emphasizes emotional and physical connections. She says yoga is more about feeling, form and structure “and knowing your body and feeling your body.”

“Yoga is more about understanding yourself versus pumping through poses.”

You don’t say

“It’s not morally appropriate to be jealous of Freddy’s, but they’re awesome.”

NuWay’s Chris Stong on the success of constantly growing competitor Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

NuWay may bring its crumbly burgers to Derby and add to its Wichita sites

WICHITA — One year after announcing NuWay’s return to the 21st and Amidon area, Chris Stong says he’s working on some more potential deals.

The chain’s director of operations can’t share too many specifics yet, though he says the next new restaurant will be in a bedroom community to the southeast of Wichita.

Yes, Derby, that means you.

“We would love to have a store in Derby, and we are strongly considering a location on K-15,” Stong says.

He says the location has to have a drive-through.

“Otherwise we won’t take it,” he says. “We’ve got to have it.”

Stong says there’s a chance one of the existing six NuWays in Wichita may move. Its lease is coming up, and Stong says he’s considering other potential sites for the restaurant, though he won’t discuss which one it is.

Also, Stong is eyeing areas of Wichita for new NuWay sites.

“We’d love a northeast place like North Rock Road or North Greenwich Road somewhere,” he says. “That would be fantastic.”

Stong says he’d also like one in “what I call the super northwest,” meaning the 21st and Maize Road or 37th and Maize Road area.

First, though, comes the potential Derby opening and possible Wichita move.

When would Stong like to have that done by?

“Ah, four months ago.”

NuWay plans new way to sell its burgers

Chris Stong of NuWay holds one of the chain's a crumbly burgers and the new shipping container that will send the burgers around the country.

WICHITA — As NuWay Facebook (“NuWay Burgers”) followers have already gleefully discovered, the Wichita chain is in the process of preparing to ship its crumbly burgers nationally.

“Most everything is in place,” says director of operations Chris Stong. “We’re hoping to roll this out before Thanksgiving,”

He says there have been a number of tests to see how the plan might work.

First, he and his family ordered other frozen shipped food, such as Omaha Steaks and Chicago deep-dish pizza.

“We were just trying to see how others did it,” Stong says. “We’ve just never had the ability to do it.”

The chain settled on some Styrofoam containers that fit in a box with dry ice, which led to the next test. How do the frozen patties hold up in shipping?

“It seems to work pretty well,” Stong says.

He says the idea for shipping came from customers, who for years have been calling to order frozen patties.

“After several years, we finally go the hint: Hey, people like this.”

So the chain complied.

“All the stores keep a couple dozen available for anybody to come in and buy,” Stong says.

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NuWay to return to 21st and Amidon area

WICHITA — It’s been a long time coming, but NuWay finally is returning to the 21st and Amidon area.

The restaurant is going to open west of the intersection at 2135 W. 21st St., which will make the sixth NuWay in Wichita for the 82-year-old chain.

The Lotus Garden had been in that spot for 25 years. It was torn down earlier this week.

“We’ve been trying to open this thing for a year and a half,” says Chris Stong, director of operations.

It was about two decades ago that the NuWay closed at Twin Lakes on the southeast corner of the intersection.

“It was an absolutely fantastic location,” Stong says.

Then, occupancy faltered at the development, he says, and the restaurant left. Stong says he and his family have long wanted to open a new restaurant in the area.

“We think the neighborhood is fantastic,” he says. “Obviously, with everything else going on in the area, it’s a great location.”

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You don’t say

“I thought someone asked how much I weigh. He asked if I’d been to NuWay.”

— New Wichita Eagle president and publisher Kim Nussbaum, speaking to the Wichita chapter of the Public Relations Society of America on Tuesday