Presto gone from 127th and Central

WICHITA — The Presto gas station near 127th and Central has closed, but why it closed is unclear.

“The Pantry continuously evaluates the store portfolio of more than 1,530 stores across the southeastern United States,” Sarah Haas, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina company, said in an e-mailed statement.

“On occasion, circumstances lead to closing a store location.”

Haas wouldn’t address what circumstances those were.

“Presto continues to serve guests in the Wichita area with 18 store locations,” Haas said. “​There are no plans to close additional stores at the present time.”

Haas wouldn’t say whether there’s a chance the store could reopen elsewhere, writing only “I greatly appreciate your inquiries. These are the statements provided by The Pantry.”

Chick-fil-A signs lease for Central and Rock

WICHITA — Rest easy, Chick-fil-A fans.

Chick-fil-A has — finally — signed a lease for a freestanding restaurant on the northwest corner of Central and Rock.

“We got the deal done,” says Andy Boyd of Walter Morris Cos.

Boyd handled the deal with Jeff Berg of Lane 4 Property Group in Kansas City.

Have You Heard? first reported the restaurant was a possibility in May.

There have been updates since then, including confirmation from the Atlanta-based company that it was interested in the space.

More recently, there was updated information that the owner of the property was working with the planning department to enlarge the parcel where the restaurant will go.

The former Presto gas station on the property will be demolished to make room for a new building that will feature two drive-through lanes.

It still will be a while before the restaurant is ready. It could be early 2012 before it happens.

It will, though, happen.

Planning commission to consider expansion at future Chick-fil-A site

WICHITA — For those of you who are concerned that Chick-fil-A isn’t actually coming to Central and Rock, here’s proof that it’s in the works.

The owner of the property at the northwest corner of the intersection is working with the planning department to enlarge the parcel where a Presto gas station used to be. If approved, this will allow for a drive-through lane or lanes.

The item is coming before the planning commission on Jan. 6.

A Chick-fil-A representative has previously confirmed for Have You Heard? that the chain is coming to that corner, though it may not be until late 2011 or early 2012.

With this planning agenda item, perhaps it’s an indication that the deal may happen sooner rather than later.

Chick-fil-A fans can hope, anyway.

Chick-fil-A: Yes it’s still coming, but not anytime soon

WICHITA — First, the good news.

Chick-fil-A is still on course to open at Central and Rock, among other Wichita sites.

Now, the bad news.

It won’t be until at least late 2011 or early 2012.

“The confirmation is that we are indeed very committed to the location and to the market to get in there,” says Don Perry, a spokesman for the Atlanta-based company.

“The timing was always next year,” he says. “We haven’t even dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s.”

In May, Have You Heard? first reported Chick-fil-A was negotiating for space at the northwest corner of Central and Rock where a Presto gas station had been.

Perry says it’s not uncommon for Chick-fil-A to acquire land for a restaurant and not build for a year or two or even three.

“It kind of confuses the public,” he says.

In this case, the deal isn’t even done yet, though Perry thinks the restaurant will open in early 2012 at the very latest.

So why does it take so long? That’s just the due diligence process, Perry says.

“Sometimes this is just kind of hard for people to comprehend.”

He says the bottom line, though, is “definitely we are committed to the market. We’ll be in there as soon as we can.”

Chick-fil-A likely to come to Central and Rock

WICHITA — Wichita Chick-fil-A fanatics, you asked and you shall receive.

The Atlanta-based fast food chain is in final negotiations to bring a freestanding Chick-fil-A to the northwest corner of Central and Rock where a Presto gas station has been.

The deal basically is all but signed. Presto’s last day in business was Saturday.

Chick-fil-A has space in the Rhatigan Student Center at Wichita State University, but Wichitans have long requested that it bring at least one if not more of the restaurants somewhere off campus.

Commercial broker and Chick-fil-A die-hard Cory Harkleroad started a one-man campaign to bring more of the restaurants to Wichita and has a Facebook page to promote the idea. The page has more than 8,000 friends.

“While it’s not my deal, I’m excited (about) any hand I might have had in getting them motivated to move forward in this area,” Harkleroad says. “I’m really excited to go pick up a chicken sandwich in their drive-through.”

No one with Chick-fil-A could be reached for comment, but it looks like the chain plans more than one restaurant in addition to the WSU location.

The deal at Central and Rock isn’t contingent on other locations.

We’ll keep you posted.