316 Vapes to open in Tallgrass Plaza

WICHITA — It may seem like a lot of electronic cigarette shops are opening around town, but store owner Derek Hoover doesn’t think there are many here.

“That’s one reason I chose Wichita,” he says of opening his second shop. “My friends and I, we all have stores. We always try to stay ahead of the game.”

His first store is in Muskogee, Okla.

Hoover is now working on opening 316 Vapes in Tallgrass Plaza at the northeast corner of 21st and Rock Road.

The store will sell electronic cigarettes, the liquid that goes in them and related accessories.

“The way we have it set up is it’s a bar,” Hoover says. He says anyone 18 and older can sit at the bar and sample his products.

Hoover says he has an acquaintance who is a chemist and a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma who will mix their liquids.

“I hate to say it,” says Hoover, an Oklahoma State University graduate.

The store will open in almost 1,500 square feet sometime next week.

Krista Lowry with J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Great Clips to open at Tallgrass Plaza

WICHITA — Great Clips franchisee Lisa Schneider is getting ready to open another salon.

She’s taking a former salon space at Tallgrass Plaza at the northeast corner of 21st and Rock Road. The salon will be between Great Wall and Boba Zone.

“This is actually my fourth salon, but my third in Wichita,” Schneider says.

She’s one of a few Great Clips franchisees here.

Schneider says the salon is a select service salon, meaning it offers haircuts, styles and perms but no color service. She says that’s because Great Clips wants to be able to guarantee its services, and it’s hard to guarantee color.

Great Clips officially will open on Oct. 26, but Schneider says she’ll probably have a soft opening a couple of days before that.

The salon will be in 1,400 square feet. Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

Schneider already is thinking of future salons.

“I really don’t have plans to stop,” she says.

She’s interested in quantity, but only if the salons are quality as well.

“As long as I can continue to open them and maintain that for customers,” she says. “If the quality isn’t there, it’s time to stop.”

Hey, what’s going on there . . . ?

UPDATED — There are several pockets of activity that have readers wondering what’s going on. Here’s an update — or, in some cases, a reminder.

– There’s more construction happening near where the new LongHorn Steakhouse has been built in front of the Lowe’s near 29th and Maize, but it’s not for another restaurant or shop.

It’s simply an extra parking lot behind the steak house, which will be opening soon.

– Colorado-based Natural Grocers By Vitamin Cottage is close to opening in the former Borders Books space at 1715 N. Rock Road.

The grocery will open Nov. 23. The chain’s first Kansas store opened Nov. 11, 2010, in Lawrence.

The store sells organic produce, gluten-free products and offers nutritional education and counseling.

What shoppers won’t find is anything with high-fructose corn syrup, sugar substitutes or hydrogenated oils, among other things, which — as a spokeswoman puts it— makes studying labels a little easier.

Right at Home, which offers in-home care and assistance, has moved just down from where it’s been in the shopping center on the northwest corner of 21st and Ridge.

The business this week moved into the former Ruthie’s Hallmark space, which offers more room.

– Finally, except for Chick-fil-A questions, the most popular question we’ve heard lately is, “What’s that building by the McDonald’s at 21st and Rock?”

Laham Development is building a new retail center at Tallgrass Plaza, which is at the northeast corner of 21st and Rock Road where a BP filling station used to be.

Vitamin Shoppe is the first announced tenant for the 6,200-square-foot center. Look for an announcement on the second tenant soon.

Supplement Giant and Home Fitness Exercise Equipment Co. to move to Rock Road frontage

WICHITA — Supplement Giant and Home Fitness Exercise Equipment Co. are taking a short jaunt across the parking lot at Tallgrass Plaza at 21st and Rock Road to larger space in the former Blockbuster store there.

“Front-row visibility” was the draw says Wayne Ragsdale, who owns the business with his wife, Lisa.

The Ragsdales opened their first Supplement Giant at the intersection 21 years ago. They also have one on the west side at 2556 N. Maize Road and one in the Denver area.

The 5,200-square-foot former Blockbuster space is 1,000 square feet more than the Ragsdales currently have.

Wayne Ragsdale says this will allow them to have better displays and expanded product lines.

That wasn’t their main reason to move, though.

Vitamin Shoppe is opening in a new retail center under construction on the northeast corner of 21st and Rock Road.

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Laham Development to build retail center at Tallgrass Plaza at 21st and Rock Road

WICHITA — Laham Development is building a new retail center at Tallgrass Plaza at the northeast corner of 21st and Rock Road where a BP filling station had been until a few weeks ago.

“We’re building a new, 6,200-square-foot retail center that will have space for two tenants,” says Cathy Erickson, Laham Development’s vice president.

One tenant, the Vitamin Shoppe, is already signed.

The store will take 3,000 square feet to sell nutritional products such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, supplements, homeopathic remedies, sports nutrition formulas and health and beauty aids.

Erickson says a deal with a second tenant for the remainder of the space is close.

Laham Development purchased the property, which is across from its Bradley Fair development on the southeast corner, in 2008.

“We’re . . . excited about the redevelopment of that corner since it is the third-busiest intersection in the city of Wichita,” Erickson says. “It hasn’t been used to its highest and best purpose in the past.”

The building should be ready by the end of the year.

Erickson says it will be “a very nice addition to the intersection.”