A challenging economy and increased competition is forcing Caffe Posto to close less than two years after opening near Douglas and Oliver.
"The economy is the biggest part," co-owner Kay Conklin says.
She and her husband, Cory , and Jacob Liquor Exchange wine director Jamie Stratton opened Caffe Posto in March 2008.
Conklin says not long after that, new competitors like Sugar Sisters Bakery & Cafe and the Donut Whole opened nearby.
"Certainly, they're all close enough that it affects us," Conklin says.
Caffe Posto will have normal hours through Saturday. Sunday, it will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with reduced prices on coffee and gelato to say thanks and goodbye to customers.
"We know that something great will come into the neighborhood," Conklin says. "We're working with our landlord to try and find someone."
For now, she says, they're trying to "exit as gracefully as possible."
The plan is to "just keep our heads up and smiles on until ... Sunday."
Praise be at Intrust
It was just Tuesday that Intrust Bank Arena general manager Chris Presson said he wants to bring in all kinds of acts — not just the country music that seems prevalent so far.
It looks like that includes gospel.
According to Bill Gaither's Web site, he and the Gaither Vocal Band are coming to Intrust on April 30.
The site, which shows a picture of the arena, says tickets will be presold starting Jan. 11. A public sale starts Jan. 25.
Down the road?
Former Eaton Steakhouse owners Steve and Stephanie Compton may reopen their restaurant in a new space.
The Comptons were evicted from Eaton Place for failure to pay rent. They're now looking down the street at 217 E. Douglas.
Athena Jewelry owner Sophokles Anthimides owns the building and has been talking to the Comptons about leasing the space.
"That's where they want to be to start," Anthimides says.
He also owns Century Plaza at Douglas and Main, where there's restaurant space in the basement. The well-known Lancers is one of several restaurants that was once there.
"They're talking about later on, if they do well here, they can move over there," Anthimides says of the Comptons.
He met with them Wednesday "to see what they want to do." He says they're close to an agreement.
There's no word from the Comptons on their plans because they've requested that Have You Heard? not contact them anymore.
Reflections on closing
Garden Reflections at Clifton Square is the latest Wichita business to be a victim of the economy.
A disappointed Terri Windsor plans to close her shop by the end of the year.
She opened at Clifton Square, which is at 3700 E. Douglas, in March 2007.
"Things went really, really well the first year," Windsor says. "We exceeded our initial projections. We were stunned that it was doing so well for a little shop."
She created a garden atmosphere with mulch and jute rugs on the floor and branches hanging from the ceiling. There were even garden sounds on her stereo.
"I had really, really good response," Windsor says. "Some people come here just to get away because it's so peaceful."
Then, gas prices started rising in the spring of 2008, and Windsor's business went downhill.
"People weren't spending money," she says. "It's just been a struggle ever since."
Her inventory is now on sale.
Windsor says she won't have the money to reopen.
And she doesn't have the money to stay open now in hopes that the economy rebounds soon.
"It's not important enough to me to go into debt on a what-if."
The other side
Olive Tree Restaurant Corp. president Joumana Toubia has more to say regarding the eviction notice for her restaurants —Olive Tree Bistro , its banquet hall and Chelsea's Bar and Grill .
Toubia was busy with an event Tuesday afternoon and didn't have time to respond to attorney Jeff Kennedy's comments about why her businesses are being evicted.
Wednesday, in an e-mailed response, Toubia said her rent has been paid up to September but that she stopped paying after that due to problems with the property that have not been adequately addressed.
"The unwillingness of the landlord to fulfill its obligations to repair or replace fundamental services to the building for a period in excess of two years is, from our point of view, certainly a significant issue. Rainwater pouring through the ceiling into buckets is a much better way to describe what the landlord characterizes as 'moisture problem'. We have lived with these problems repeatedly, to the extent that they are no longer tolerable. Whatever representations the landlord has made to remedy our issues since we quit paying rent in September remain inadequate."
Both sides say there is much more to come.
We'll keep you posted.
You don't say
"Wal-Mart is not, as I had expected, playing Christmas music. Instead, they have big-screen TVs playing in-store commercials, which mostly consist of one line of 'Deck the Halls' played over. And over. And over. Forget vests, those folks gonna need bright blue straitjackets."
—Karen Cravens , president of the Delano Neighborhood Association , on a recent shopping trip to Wal-Mart