Midwest Sewing Center moving to Maple and Ridge Road for more foot traffic

WICHITA — Troy Heinrich says the owners of the shopping center at the northeast corner of Maple and Ridge Road have been trying to woo his family’s west-side Midwest Sewing Center there for a couple of years.

So Heinrich says he sat in the center’s parking lot one day. In the space of about an hour, he saw 175 people walk into McAlister’s Deli, which is a few doors down from where he considered relocating.

“People would walk right in front of that store,” Heinrich says.

He says he saw more people “than we have had in our store in probably a month.”

So he and his mother, Dixie, who owns the store, decided to move it from 21st and Ridge Road where it’s been for a decade. That center on the northwest corner is where the west-side Piccadilly once was. Heinrich says he watched year after year as retail businesses left the center and commercial tenants moved in that didn’t have customers who visited throughout the day.

In addition to increased traffic at the new center, Heinrich says he likes that the Picket Fence Quilt Co. will be his store’s neighbor since they attract a similar clientele. He’s opening the store this week, including on Sunday, to coincide with the Central Kansas Quilt Shop Hop event.

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Piccadilly Express at the Cargill building downtown closes

WICHITA — After 13 years in the Cargill building downtown at 151 N. Main, Piccadilly Express has closed.

“Last Friday, Piccadilly was notified that they were not going to make the cut for those being considered to provide food services here in the building,” says Cargill spokesman Mike Martin.

“They were given three weeks’ notice and basically given the notice as soon as it was decided they would not make the cut, and they ceased operations immediately.”

No one with Latour Management, which owned the restaurant, returned calls for comment.

This is the latest restaurant in what has become the dismantling of a dining dynasty in Wichita.

Latour’s Chelsea’s Bar & Grill and Olive Tree Bistro were evicted from Comotara Center late last year.

The west-side Piccadilly closed in 2005.

The east-side Piccadilly and Bagatelle Bakery are the only restaurants Latour has left.

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Lilli Mae’s to open in former 54 Diner

WICHITA — A new restaurant is going in the former 54 Diner space at 206 E. Kellogg.

Lilli Mae’s will open Monday.

“It’s going to be country cookin’,” says Cathy Hetterscheidt, who is opening the restaurant with Judi Young.

The diner closed after just a few short, troubled months earlier this year. Owner Robert Potter said he planned to reopen but then died in March.

Previously, he operated his R&S Barbecue in the space.

Hetterscheidt and Young used to work together at Piccadilly, but each wanted her own place.

“Every time I go out to eat, I always think, man, where can I go get some mashed potatoes and real gravy and country cooking?” Hetterscheidt says.

That’s why they’re going to offer what she calls “a country way of cooking.”

Hetterscheidt and Young, who will be the cook, will offer breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily in the 65-seat restaurant.

Breakfast will be served the entire day.