Chuck Caro is in Italy and not just for vacation

WICHITA — Developers scout businesses all the time with the plan to possibly lure them to their developments.

It sounds like Chuck Caro is taking that to an extreme.

We hear Caro is in Italy to find a potential Italian restaurant to come to his Siena Plaza development at 37th and Rock.

It’s hard to believe, and we can’t confirm it with Caro because, of course, he’s in Italy.

Sounds like he has family there, though, who just might help him make a connection.

We’ll let you know how it went when he returns.

Third Orange Leaf planned for Wichita

WICHITA — On the heels of Orange Leaf opening in Wichita and a second one on its way, there’s now a third planned for the market.

Franchisee Sean O’Brien is going to bring the frozen yogurt shop to Caro Development’s strip center near the northeast corner of Central and Greenwich.

His first Orange Leaf will open at Caro’s Siena Plaza at 37th and Rock in about four weeks.

Jeff Finnell, the other Orange Leaf franchisee here, just opened Wichita’s first Orange Leaf at the retail center at 21st and Tyler in front of the Warren Theatre.

The self-serve yogurt comes in 16 flavors and has 40 toppings from which to choose.

O’Brien already has identified a couple of other potential Orange Leaf sites, but he wants to see how the first two do before signing deals for other spaces.

Look for the third Orange Leaf to open by Oct. 1.

Game Time Wine & Spirits to open at Siena Plaza

WICHITA — Aussie’s Wine & Spirits at Siena Plaza has closed, and Game Time Wine & Spirits is opening in its place.

Stacy Reed is opening the business in almost 3,000 square feet at the Caro Development property at 37th and Rock.

Reed’s sister-in-law, Shelli Reed, will manage the store.

Shelli Reed previously managed her son Seth’s K&S Liquor in Derby.

“He’s doing excellent,” Shelli Reed says. “I feel very, very comfortable starting something new.”

In addition to expanding the wine selection, including possibly adding a climate-controlled area, Shelli Reed says Game Time will have an extensive selection of import, domestic and microbrew beer.

“The liquor store has a huge cooler,” she says.

Reed says she hopes to open the store by the end of August, but it could be a bit later.

She thinks it will do well.

“It’s in a really great shopping area.”

Second Orange Leaf coming to Wichita, followed by a possible third

WICHITA — There’s a second Orange Leaf self-serve yogurt shop coming to Wichita, but it’s not by the same franchisee who is bringing one to 21st and Tyler.

Jeff Finnell is bringing the Oklahoma-based franchise to the west side in front of the Warren Theatre next month.

Franchisee Sean O’Brien also has an Orange Leaf planned for Siena Plaza on the northwest corner of 37th and Rock by mid-August.

“The shopping center’s great,” O’Brien says of the Caro Development property.

He likes how upscale it is and that it has a high traffic count.

The shop, which features a large variety of flavors and toppings, will be about 1,900 square feet and seat 40 inside and more outside.

O’Brien also is working on another Wichita site which he may finalize in the next week or two.

“We are the fastest-growing yogurt franchise going right now,” says CEO Arty Straehla.

When he and a business partner bought the chain in April, there were 15 Orange Leaf sites.

Now there are 25, and there are 15 more under construction and another 15 in the leasing stage.

The concept started in Oklahoma last year.

“It really caught on,” Straehla says. “We’ve seen that pretty much everywhere.”

He says the stores generally serve areas within a couple of miles of where they’re located, so he thinks Wichita could support several Orange Leaf shops.

“We’re not going to oversaturate the market,” Straehla says.

“Five or six is definitely within reason,” he says. “Maybe a few more.”

Fizz Burgers & Bottles to open in the former Amici space at Siena Plaza

WICHITA — A planned bistro in the former Amici space at Siena Plaza isn’t going to happen, but a high-end hamburger restaurant will instead.

Scott Bergeson is opening Fizz Burgers & Bottles — at least that’s the working name — in early September at the development at 37th and Rock Road.

Siena is a Caro Development property.

Amici closed following a fire in June 2008.

“We’re starting from scratch,” Bergeson says. “It’s pretty much like a brand-new building.”

Bergeson is opening the restaurant with backing from his father, David Bergeson, a former investigator for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration who now is a consultant.

Scott Bergeson has been in the restaurant business in Wichita for two decades.

The restaurant will seat 60 inside and another 40 to 50 people on a patio.

“We want to do something simple — simple but really good,” Scott Bergeson says.

Fresh food is particularly important to him.

“We’re not even going to have a freezer in the place,” he says.

Along with burgers, Bergeson says he’ll have salads and sandwiches, all of which he hopes to add a creative twist to, though not too far out.

“Not scary, but still high end.”

Martinizing Dry Cleaning to open at Auburn Pointe

WICHITA — Also at Occidental Management’s Auburn Pointe, where PostNet will be opening, Nancy and Mark Staal are opening their second Martinizing Dry Cleaning.

“We like the demographics,” Nancy Staal says of the area.

Their first store opened almost four years ago at Siena Plaza at 37th North and Rock.

The 1,000-square-foot Auburn Pointe store will open in mid-May.

Occidental chairman Gary Oborny handled the deal. Cristi Howell of J.P. Weigand & Sons represented Martinizing.

Nancy Staal says more locations are likely.

“We’ll do maybe up to four . . . locations total.”

Shapiro brothers to open new restaurant in former Amici space and remodel Liquid

WICHITA — The new year could shape up to be a better one for Bryan Shapiro than the last several years.

“We’ve got all kinds of stuff going on,” he says.

First, he and his brother, Keith, are opening a new bistro in the former Amici space in Siena Plaza at 37th and Rock.

“We haven’t even named it yet,” Shapiro says.

He says they’re planning something along the lines of a neighborhood bar with good food.”

Shapiro wants people to be able to pop in, have a martini, watch a game or relax on the patio.

Look for the restaurant to open in late March.

Read More »

Cocoa Dolce and Il Vicino to open at Bradley Fair on Monday

WICHITA — Monday is going to be a particularly tasty day at Bradley Fair.

Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates and Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza are opening their new locations next to each other there.

choc“We’re just excited — and exhausted,” says Beth Tully, the owner of Cocoa Dolce.

She’s moving the retail portion of her 4-year-old store from 1,200 square feet at Siena Plaza at 37th and Rock to 1,800 square feet at Bradley Fair at 21st and Rock.

Today is Tully’s last day in business at Siena Plaza. She reopens Monday at 10 a.m.

“We’re trying as hard as we can just to recreate in a larger scale what we had in Siena Plaza,” Tully says.

Read More »

Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates to open at Bradley Fair

tully4WICHITA — Bradley Fair has landed a sweet deal — literally.

Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates is moving from Siena Plaza at 37th and Rock to Bradley Fair next to where Il Vicino is opening in August.

“Siena Plaza is a lovely little shopping center, but we’ve kind of outgrown it,” says Cocoa Dolce owner Beth Tully.

She’s moving the retail portion of her business into 1,800 square feet in early September. That compares to the 1,200 square feet Tully has now.

Last year, Tully moved the production side of her business to 3540 N. Comotara near House of Schwan.

Cocoa Dolce opened in November 2005.

“We’ve grown so quickly,” Tully says.

And she likes the potential for more business at Bradley Fair since the Laham Development center attracts a lot of foot traffic.

Read More »

Cottage Garden to close; owner will do floral arrangements from home

flowersWICHITA – Cottage Garden Floral and Gifts at Siena Plaza at 37th and Rock is going out of business.

The store, which opened in late 2005, is struggling with the economy, says Aaron Hallacy, who owns the shop with his wife, Kay.

Hallacy says Kay is still going to do floral arrangements out of their home, which he says is her passion.

A liquidation sale starts this weekend and runs to the end of the month.