Applebee’s to open in front of Warren Theatre on April 15

WICHITA — Jim Stevens is about to move his east-side Applebee’s into a new neighborhood, and he’s feeling a little nostalgic.

In November, Stevens told Have You Heard? his plans to open a new Applebee’s – one of 25 he owns – in front of the Warren Theatre at the Plazzio development at 13th and Greenwich.

That will open April 15. That means the Applebee’s near 21st and North Rock Road is closing at midnight Friday.

“This is my second Applebee’s I opened,” Stevens says of the North Rock Road restaurant.

“It was very memorable.”

Stevens says it was 1990.

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Laham Development starts new development; LongHorn Steakhouse is first tenant

WICHITA — Construction has begun at Laham Development’s latest development, which is on almost six acres at the northwest corner of Kellogg and Towne East Mall Drive.

LongHorn Steakhouse is the first tenant to sign a lease there. The chain already has a Wichita site on the west side near 21st and Maize Road.

Its east-side restaurant will be 6,200 square feet, which will allow for more than 240 diners, and will open in September.

On property next to Laham’s, Old Chicago is already in business, and further east BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse is under construction.

Other deals are in the works for the new development, says Cathy Erickson, vice president at Laham Development, which also has Bradley Fair, Regency Lakes and Plazzio among other developments.

“We have had interest from several different groups for different types of businesses,” Erickson says. “We’re evaluating all our options.”

That could be more restaurants, retail or even a hotel.

“We hope to have announcements on some of the other parcels later this summer.”

Original Timberline Steakhouse & Grill closes after 14 years in business

UPDATED — It was just a matter of time.

Eight months after the east-side Timberline Steakhouse & Grill closed, so has its sister restaurant on the west side.

“It was a very difficult decision that we needed to make,” says Scott Redler, who owned the chain with Bill Simon.

“We’re looking at this as a celebration of 14 great years of business for Timberline . . . and appreciate everyone involved.”

The Timberline near 21st and Tyler was Redler and Simon’s first in the chain, which had seven restaurants in six cities over the years.

There’s one Timberline left.

Salina licensee JRI Investments owns that restaurant and has purchased the concept with plans to open more Timberlines.

“You know, we had an opportunity to sell, and it just seemed to make sense,” Redler says.

He and Simon plan to continue to focus on Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, which they run with Simon’s brother, Randy, who also is a Panera Bread franchisee.

Redler says Freddy’s average ticket of about $6.50 makes a lot more sense than Timberline’s $17 average.

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Restaurant roundup: What’s opening — or not — soon

WICHITA — By popular demand, we’re debuting a new mini feature of sorts, which will be a regular “what’s up with that?” update on businesses we’ve already reported on that now are close to either opening, closing or changing in some way.

If you have any questions or suggestions for the list, just let us know.

Today’s collection:

– The new Braum’s at 201 N. Seneca is scheduled to open Nov. 8. This will replace the older Braum’s just around the corner on West Douglas, which will close after business on Nov. 7.

The new 5,756-square-foot store will feature the company’s latest design, which includes two drive-through lanes and seating for 86.

There’s no word yet on when construction might start on Braum’s stores planned near Harry and Rock and just north of the Residence Inn by Marriott at Plazzio at 13th and Greenwich. In May, a company spokesman said both stores are still happening.

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Braum’s still plans three new Wichita stores

WICHITA — Readers have been wondering about the status of a few Braum’s stores coming to Wichita.

“The economy must be getting better if that’s the major concern,” says Braum’s marketing director Terry Holden, laughing.

As Have You Heard? previously reported, a Braum’s will open on Seneca near First Street just north of QuikTrip. The Braum’s on Douglas just around the corner will close when the new store opens.

There are also Braum’s stores planned near Harry and Rock and just north of the Residence Inn by Marriott at Plazzio at 13th and Greenwich.

Braum’s, which has 278 stores nationally, also has about 50 more in the planning stages, including the Wichita stores.

“I’ve kind of got a whole bunch of things hanging out there,” Holden says.
“It becomes a choice. This year we’re going to do this.”

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Braum’s to close one site, open several more

WICHTIA — Braum’s is having an active month in Wichita.

The ice cream and grocery chain is closing one store, readying two other sites for future Braum’s stores and has purchased property for a store at least a year or two down the road.

First, the Braum’s on Central near West Street is closing after business Sunday.

“The store’s been there for quite a while,” says marketing director Terry Holden. “Twenty years roughly.”

He said the new Braum’s just west of 21st and Amidon is attracting some of the Central customers.

“Customers gravitate to the newer, better,” Holden says.

The chain hopes to eventually open a new store somewhere near the one that’s closing.

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SpringHill Suites by Marriott set to open

The first of three new east-side hotels will open later this month.

Jim Korroch’s SpringHill Suites by Marriott will open April 17 next to his Residence Inn by Marriott at the Plazzio development at 13th and Greenwich.

In addition to more hotels in the area, Korroch says, “Certainly, there’s been a downturn in demand as well.”

He’s not worried, though.

“I just believe that over time it’s going to be a really good investment,” he says.

The project has gone especially smoothly, too.

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BG Bolton’s closes; Jose Pepper’s to open

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Businessman Bud Gates’ “baby” is no more.

“This is the lousiest feeling on one of the best days I’ve ever had,” Gates says of closing his namesake BG Bolton’s Sports Grill today.

He sold the business to Kansas City-based Jose Pepper’s, a chain of nine Mexican restaurants.

“There’s so much to be happy about,” Gates says. “But it was my baby. It does have my initials and the town I grew up in.”

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