Jacque Inc. Photography to move within Old Town

WICHITA — Photographer Jacque Waite is moving her Jacque Inc. Photography within Old Town this week.

Waite’s studio and office has been to the east of Caffe Moderne for three and a half years, but the Morris, Laing, Evans, Brock & Kennedy, Chartered law firm will be expanding into her space.

The studio now will be on the first floor of the Grant Telegraph Centre at 140 N. Mead.

At the new space, Waite says she’ll be sharing her studio with Method Productions.

Waite says her work doesn’t depend on her studio being especially visible, but it may now have more exposure than it has had.

“I ended up in some people’s Facebook pictures … when they’re at Oeno,” she says. Otherwise, Waite says, “I don’t think people always see it.”

Finns Lounge grand reopening is Saturday

WICHITA — Like most bar and restaurant openings, the new version of Finns Lounge in Old Town has taken longer than expected to get ready.

It’s ready now, though.

Amy Stepien, who used to work at Finns when Greg Finley owned it, and her husband, Jason, are having a grand reopening on Saturday.

While staff is in training this week, Amy Stepien says Finns will accept walk-in business as well.

The bar, which no longer has any affiliation with Finley, is at 131 N. Rock Island.

As Amy Stepien told Have You Heard? in March, “It is still going to be Finns Lounge because Finns has been known in Old Town.”

Rage to convert to Boots & Buckles

WICHITA — He’s gone country, back to his roots.

Well, Pat Alvarez isn’t actually living out an Alan Jackson song, but he is converting his Old Town club Rage into a country bar.

“I decided to completely change the format,” says Alvarez, who also owns the Port of Wichita. “There’s no country in Old Town.”

Boots & Buckles will open May 30. Alvarez is calling it “Wichita’s premier saloon.”

“It’s not that Rage wasn’t working,” he says. “It’s just that we’re all doing the same music.”

Rage, which opened early this year, is closed as Alvarez gets ready for the conversion.

“We’re going to kind of country-nize it, I guess,” he says. “Beat it up a little bit.”

Alvarez says the space, which is at the former Club Liquid site at 235 N. Mosley, won’t change dramatically. The music will, though.

“The format is definitely going to be 100 percent country.”

Thumb wrestling event to be a fundraiser

WICHITA — Koch-Glitsch employee Wade Davis is in the running for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man and Woman of the Year, and he’s having a unique event to raise money for the group.

On Saturday, Davis is hosting a thumb wrestling tournament from noon to 3 p.m. at Heroes Sports Bar & Grill in Old Town. There will prizes for different age categories.

So is there a lot of thumb wrestling going on at Koch? Was that the inspiration?

“There’s some hand wringing sometimes,” Davis says, joking, “but no thumb wrestling.”

Google pin drop attracts attention at Corner 365, but Google has nothing to do with it

This sign in front of the new Corner 365 apartments is attracting attention -- just as Mike Garvey hoped it would.

This sign in front of the new Corner 365 apartments is attracting attention — just as Mike Garvey hoped it would.

WICHITA — The popular Google pin drop, which pinpoints sites on Google maps, has been popping up in a number of strange places worldwide.

For instance, the British tabloid Metro did a story last week about the red Google A, which looks like an upside down teardrop, showing up in a Berkshire roundabout. The paper quoted someone who questioned if it could be linked to a mysterious ghost child who supposedly haunts a nearby bridge.

Artist Aram Bartholl has a project in which he erected a giant red letter A in some cities on the spots that Google says are the centers of the cities.

Now, Wichita’s Builders Inc. has a red A in front of its apartments, Corner 365, under construction at the southeast corner of First and Waco.

No one has questioned if a ghost child is involved, but some have wondered if the A might denote what Google thinks is the center of Wichita. That’s not the case, though.

Builders Inc. president Mike Garvey says he was online one day when he saw a man in Germany standing in front of a building with what looked like the Google pin in front of it.

Garvey says he realized it was an imposter pin, but he says, “I was like, that’s a great idea.”

Hoping to bring attention to the apartments, Garvey had a sign company make him a similar pin.

“Some people have noticed it,” he says. “Maybe people drive by it and think it’s a Google pin.”

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Janelle King finds new Workroom space

WICHITA — Designer Janelle King has found new space for her Workroom, and it’s remarkably similar to her current space.

“It is just right around the corner from us,” King says of 150 N. Cleveland, which is just south of the southeast corner of Douglas and Cleveland.

Her landlord will be Bill Jackson, who is one of the landlords she’s had at the Domestic Laundry building at 1425 E. Douglas, which is just east of Old Town.

The building owners recently sold to Joe Hayes and his Open Road Brands, which is why King is having to move.

King says Jackson is “very supportive of me and my business.”

“He supports downtown growth and development as well as the local arts industry and local businesses,” she says. “That was a big … selling point for me.”

King expects to open at the Cleveland address by June 1, although she says she may not have the business’ retail space entirely ready to go.

“During the entire month of May, we’re going to do a moving sale,” she says.

Before that, though, she’s going to celebrate the one-year anniversary of her store, which has retail and offers what King calls home tech textile fabrication, such as custom drapes, pillows and bedding.

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Loft 150 likely will transform into new venue

WICHITA — Loft 150 above River City Brewing Co. in Old Town is a teenager now, and that means it’s time for a change.

“We’ve got to reinvest in our business if we’re going to keep people coming in here,” says operating partner Chris Arnold.

The 21-year-old River City Brewing created Loft 150 during a remodeling in 2001 to give it “a little more bar feel … to get that late night crowd to come in here,” Arnold says.

He says there was more of a dimly lit lounge feel with leather couches than the rustic look of River City.

“It worked great for a lot of years,” Arnold says. “That trend is just kind of over.”

While downstairs business “is really, really great right now,” he says upstairs “got stagnant, just slowed down a little bit.”

He has bids out to remodel the upstairs and create a feel more similar to the downstairs with hardwood floors, exposed beams, a lighter look and new garage doors onto its balcony.

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A 1,500-square-foot Scooter’s is second tenant for Union Station

WICHITA — Occidental Management now has its second tenant in its new development at Union Station, which it is planning to transform into a multi-use destination in the heart of the city.

“We’re going to be putting in a Scooter’s coffee cafe,” says Occidental president Chad Stafford, who handled the deal with chairman and CEO Gary Oborny.

Wichita businessman Tad Fugate will open the Scooter’s in 1,500 square feet on the east end of what was the Grand Hotel immediately to the west of The Wichita Eagle. The businesses are across from the entrance to Old Town.

“So they’ll have great presence along Douglas,” Stafford says.

“To have them in this with their coffee brand is pretty exciting,” he says of Fugate and his company.

This won’t be a typical Scooter’s kiosk.

“This is a little bit different for them in that they’re getting into a little cafe style.”

There are similar Scooter’s cafes on the Plaza in Kansas City and in Overland Park.

There will be a drive-through at the cafe.

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You don’t say

shocker“I think when it comes right down to it, everybody’s got a pretty good sense of humor.”

PumpHouse owner Jim Ross, who has had only a few complaints about the Old Town bar’s new mural of a Shocker beast (a cross between the Hulk and a wheat shocker) squeezing the necks of a tiny Jayhawk and Wildcat

Al’s Old & New Book Store looking for new home after almost six decades in Delano

WICHITA — Al’s Old & New Book Store owner Anita Siemer says she’s “reeling.”

That’s because in about three months she’ll be forced to move her store from its home at 1710 W. Douglas between Seneca and Meridian.

Siemer has owned the store for nine years, but it’s been in that location for four decades and in Delano for almost 60 years.

“I’m trying to stay in Delano,” she says.

Her landlord is selling the building, and Siemer says she’s not sure where she’ll find such accommodating rent again.

“My rent here has been really friendly over the years.”

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