Cindy Warren confirms what Have You Heard? reported last week: She's bringing a New Balance to the west side along with a new Heads shoe store.
Both will locate in the former Blockbuster space at 10231 W. 21st St. near Maize Road.
"We think that the area deserves the type of service and quality that we bring to town in a shoe store," Warren says. "We think that they're going to be very receptive of it."
She says she's done a lot of market research.
Never miss a local story.
"It's a different demographic out there than it is on the east side of town," Warren says.
Warren owns Heads Village Shoe Store at Douglas and Oliver, Fair Village Shoe Store at 2407 W. 13th St., the New Balance shoe store at 1720 N. Webb, and the Little Feet Boutique children's shoe store adjoining Heads.
"We're taking our Fair's shoe store on West 13th, and we're lowering the price point," says Warren's son Andy , who is general manager.
Shoes have been averaging $90 to $100 at Fair.
"We're going to try to bring that down to about $60 to $70," Andy Warren says.
The new stores will have the higher price point with more fashionable comfort shoes.
Warren says he sells a wide range of footwear, including orthopedic shoes, boots and "a cute little gladiator sandal."
He says proper size and comfort are his main focuses.
At the 6,000-square-foot former Blockbuster space, New Balance will take 2,000 square feet and Heads will take 4,000 square feet.
"New Balance doesn't require a lot of space," Andy Warren says.
Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal. Farha Construction is the contractor.
Construction will start in early November, and the new stores should open in early February.
"We're doing a complete overhaul of the existing facility," Andy Warren says.
Spangenberg Phillips Tice has created the plans.
"They've done just a phenomenal job," Andy Warren says.
Expanding in the current economic climate isn't daunting to Cindy Warren.
"You know, it should be, but at the same time, we've done our homework, and we feel like we've picked a spot that is central to the part of Wichita that's growing very quickly. So hopefully our homework will prove out that we made a good choice."
Sedgwick County lost its website Thursday (www.sedgwickcounty.org) after not renewing its domain in time.
"That kind of slipped through the cracks," says spokeswoman Amanda Matthews . "So, yeah, it was an oops there."
The domain expired, and Matthews says there was some kind of disconnect that the county's IT department wasn't sent any renewal notifications.
The site has now been renewed for the next nine years — the maximum time the county could get.
Matthews says the county also now has an automatic renewal in place and automatic notifications for several e-mail addresses at the county.
"We're definitely trying to make sure it doesn't happen again."
Il Ponte opens
The new Il Ponte restaurant that's going in the former Le Monde Cafe space at 3101 N. Rock Road is opening today.
Imad Youssef, who had been a partner in Le Monde, is opening the new restaurant.
His former business partner, Mohamad Krichati , still owns the Le Monde Cafe & Deli at 602 N. West St. and is doing contract engineering work, which is why he wanted out of the east-side Le Monde.
Il Ponte, which is Italian for "the Bridge," will continue to serve Mediterranean fare like Le Monde, including the popular hummus.
The restaurant will be open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Too busy to stay open
Zoomdweebie's Tea Bar is closing, but not due to a lack of business.
"We've got too much business online and with wholesale channels," owner Frank Horbelt says. "We just don't have the time to devote to the retail shop like we should."
He'll be leaving his retail space on East Central and looking for office space to continue his online and wholesale business.
Zoomdweebie's last days in business are Friday and Tuesday.
Horbelt can't say if he'll ever have another retail outlet.
"You never say never, but for right now, it's not in the plans."
You don't say
"I thought the full moon was going to make things exciting today, but it's been rather dull."
—Private investigator Emery Goad , who spends Thursdays doing evictions