The fate of the Gaslamp Grille & Lounge has been in flux for a while, but its future became even more puzzling on Friday.
That’s when Gaslamp general manager Dave Jewett started letting people know the restaurant will be closing. Specifically, he was alerting musical acts that were scheduled to appear this weekend and on future dates.
Musicians who have played at the bar and restaurant, which is in the former Shadow space near Central and Rock Road, were informed they won’t be needed anymore.
Neither Jewett nor owner Whitney VinZant returned calls for comment. Nor did anyone answer or return a voice mail left at the restaurant, nor did Gaslamp’s marketing director return a call.
After Have You Heard? posted something online to say the restaurant would be closing, Jewett e-mailed to say it was open and would not be closing after business Friday.
When asked, via e-mail, why he was telling people the business is closing, Jewett didn’t reply.
Prior to the Gaslamp’s late 2010 opening, VinZant told The Eagle: “It’s going to be surprising to a lot of people. When we open, they’re going to see a side of dining they haven’t seen in Wichita.”
The business has struggled, though.
Earlier this month, Have You Heard? reported that VinZant was in talks to possibly change the restaurant’s concept, which has been focused on more upscale dining. A dueling piano bar seemed to be in the running.
Whether that’s still a possibility or whether VinZant may do something else in the space isn’t clear.
We’ll keep you posted.
‘The big day’
A new auction house debuts in Wichita today.
It’s “the big day,” says Josh Ricketts.
He and Dick Challacomb are opening PB&J Auction and Oddities in Delano at 1600 W. Douglas. That’s across from the Wichita Fish Co.
“We just wanted to raise the bar a little bit and have an auction house that has more antiques … more unique and odd things where you can come in and enjoy a fun environment,” Ricketts says.
PB&J, which his 8-year-old daughter, Reagan, helped name after peanut butter and jelly, will sell new and antique furniture, early 20th-century memorabilia, medical memorabilia and antique advertising.
The company also will handle major estate sales and offer certified appraisal services. Ricketts says PB&J also will offer consultation on antique pieces for free.
Auction previews will be every Saturday at 10 a.m. Auctions will follow from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Ricketts has been a manager at Kohl’s and JC Penney for the last 15 years. Challacomb has Dick’s Junque & Treasures at 53rd and Seneca.
Ricketts says he wants people to know PB&J is a safe and reliable auction house.
“We’re going to make sure you understand what you’re getting when you walk out the door,” he says.
The important thing, he says, is that people come in and “know it’s a friendly place.”
Motor City Kansas, a 15-year-old hobby and motor-related collectibles store, is converting from a retail shop near Central and Tyler to an online business.
Sheldon Birmingham says he and his father, Motor City owner Ron Birmingham, made the decision when Boeing announced it was leaving Wichita.
“It kind of provoked the whole thing,” he says.
Birmingham says 2009 was a particularly tough year.
“We lost a lot,” he says. “Last year was significantly better than the year before, but we really didn’t want to go through another downturn in the Wichita economy.”
Ron Birmingham, who bought Motor City four and a half years ago, also wants to retire.
Sheldon Birmingham, who says he already does a lot of shipping internationally, wants to liquidate the merchandise to a manageable level and then close the shop.
Discounted merchandise, fixtures and shelves are on sale now.
Carrie Rengers first reported these items on her blog. Be among the first to get her business scoops at blogs.kansas.com/haveyouheard.
Carrie Rengers first reported these items on her blog. Be among the first to get her scoops at blogs.kansas.com/haveyouheard.