Carrie Rengers

March 9, 2012

O’Reilly Auto Parts plans new local site

Have You Heard

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O’Reilly Auto Parts is working on another new Wichita site.

“That’s going to put us at … 14 locations,” district manager Cody Zimmerman says of the greater Wichita area.

He can’t yet say exactly where the new location will be, though. Sources say it’ll be in the 37th Street North and Maize Road area.

“I know we’ve been hunting property up there,” Zimmerman says.

He says the company has eyed several sites along Maize Road between 29th Street and K-96. The site may locate just off of Maize Road.

“It’s going to be seen visibly from Maize for sure,” Zimmerman says.

Last year, O’Reilly opened 170 new sites nationwide.

“This year, we’re looking at 180,” Zimmerman says. “We’re very active as a company.”

He says he’ll let us know when there’s a done deal here.

Easy come, easy go

If you happened to see a recent Craigslist ad saying that McCormick & Schmick’s is looking for employees for a new restaurant here, there’s some disappointing news.

“You know, somebody pranked us,” says a spokesman for the seafood chain. “They just picked some random cities and posted a Craigslist deal.”

The spokesman, who prefers not to be named, has no clue why it happened. Nor can he say if the chain, which has 85 locations – the closest of which is on the Plaza in Kansas City – would ever come to Wichita.

“It’s a hypothetical that I wouldn’t even be able to answer.”

He says the chain isn’t growing.

“We expand when it’s smart to do so,” he says.

Numbers game

Homecooked Shortcuts isn’t the only Wichita company that has entered Walmart’s Get on the Shelf competition, which could land its microwave vegetable bag on the store’s shelves ( Have You Heard? Feb. 29). also submitted a video to tout its reflective house numbers. Joni Barthelman’s family started the company, which her son, Eli, now owns.

“Lo and behold, people started writing, ‘Where have you been? … We’ve been looking for you,’ ” Joni Barthelman says of the product’s immediate popularity.

She says the numbers are larger and more attractive than most on the market. They’re reflective “so emergency services can see you at 3 o’clock in the morning.”

Barthelman says she’s not concerned about winning the Walmart competition.

“What we’re looking for most is the exposure,” she says. “Obviously, we think the exposure will be huge.”

To see the company’s video, check out

You don’t say

“I blame Wichita. Here’s why: That’s where Kirstie Alley is from. I believe that the Scientologists have gotten together … and they have created a new strain of virus to try to kill me, like the virus in ‘ Contagion.’ And I believe that they are working in tandem with Oprah and Ryan Seacrest.”

– Comedian Kathy Griffin in a Huffington Post interview on how she got the bird flu, most likely while on a recent tour that included a stop in Wichita

Carrie Rengers first reported these items on her blog. Be among the first to get her business scoops at

Carrie Rengers first reported these items on her blog. Be among the first to get her business scoops at

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