Colorado-based Noodles is scouting Wichita for possible restaurant sites.
"We are absolutely looking at sites in Wichita," says Jill Preston , director of public relations.
In "the state of Kansas in general, we've had a lot of growth," she says.
Noodles recently opened in Lawrence, and the chain is doubling its presence in the Kansas City area.
"Wichita makes a lot of sense for us," Preston says.
She says the chain looks for college and urban settings.
"We are, obviously, looking for communities that are growing," Preston says.
The chain is, of course, known for its noodles.
"You can get anything from pad Thai to mac and cheese ... to wonderful Mediterranean dishes," Preston says. "There's really nothing else quite like it in the city."
There also are soups and salads.
"There's a bit of something for everyone," Preston says.
Small noodle bowls are $4.25. Regular-size bowls are $5.25. Protein costs $2.25 more, and there are 14 fresh vegetables from which to choose.
"We really can customize it to your liking," Preston says.
She says there are 16 dishes with 400 or fewer calories.
Diners order at a counter, and then their food is brought to them.
"We don't scream out your name," Preston says.
She says real dishes, not plastic, are what meals are served on, and customers don't bus their own tables.
"It's kind of the best of both worlds," Preston says of fast and casual dining.
The chain is opening about 35 new restaurants this year. Preston says Wichita isn't on the calendar yet "but that could change."
The chain has 240 restaurants in 18 states.
Preston says she has family in the Wichita area and keeps getting messages from them.
"Tell them to look in this part of town," the relatives say.
"It's really funny," Preston says.
Not to mention encouraging, she says.
"I'm personally excited."
'The good news'
No one with Chick-fil-A could be reached for comment Monday regarding what's likely to be the chain's first freestanding restaurant in Wichita.
On Tuesday, though, Don Perry , vice president for corporate public relations at the Atlanta chain, elaborated a bit on the company's plans.
"The good news is that our intent is to come," Perry says.
He won't confirm that there's an almost-done deal at Central and Rock.
"It is among a couple, but... we try not to get ahead of the process (or) start talking about locations that are under negotiation because it gets all kinds of crazy," Perry says. "Any day now we're going to be able to give a confirmation."
In normal years, the company adds about 75 restaurant sites. That's down to about 65 in the current economy.
"What happens (is) that doesn't allow us to do a lot in a single market," Perry says.
It may take a few years, but he says Wichita could have three or four Chick-fil-A sites in addition to the one at Wichita State University .
The chain is still just entering some major markets like Chicago, where there was an Internet campaign to woo the chain similar to the Facebook campaign here.
Perry says, "We feel like we're right there with — what's her name?"
"Can we claim that?"
She might have just a few more Facebook fans, but Perry is thrilled with the Chick-fil-A response here.
"We're just excited that there's this much excitement in Wichita."
To clarify ...
Paul Trout, owner of the new All About Used store that's coming to West Central by Barney's Deep Discount Pharmacy , wants to clarify his remarks about the nature of his business.
"How I said it was pretty much wrong," he says of explaining in Tuesday's Have You Heard? how the store will be a combination sole proprietorship and nonprofit.
"We are a sole proprietorship," Trout says.
He's partnering with Sunrise Christian Academy on some items in the store, though.
Sunrise, which is a nonprofit, gets donations of items and gives donors tax receipts.
"They take what they need," Trout says of Sunrise. "Everything else comes to us, and we resell (it), and a portion of that goes back to them."
You don't say
"That's my retirement plan. It's a lot easier than slinging 'cue."
—John "Jetman "Thien of Jet Bar-B-Q , who has a former fire truck, which he's dubbed Wichita's Firehouse Trolley , that he's now renting as a party bus