Carrie Rengers

September 1, 2012

Space to double at Auntie Mae’s Attic & Cafe

If the last information Michael Goens shared was “crazy news,” as he declared, this news is even wilder.

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If the last information Michael Goens shared was “crazy news,” as he declared, this news is even wilder.

Three months after Goens and Albert Conrad moved their Auntie Mae’s Attic from Delano to 3,000 square feet at 9125 W. Central and added a restaurant, they’re more than doubling their space.

“We just cannot keep up with the business,” Goens says.

“When we first started this, it was just going to be (this) little, small thing. We did not anticipate that it was going to be quite this well received.”

The made-from-scratch cooking and homey atmosphere at Auntie Mae’s Attic & Cafe is a hit.

Goens thinks people have “really been yearning for that kind of mom-and-pop place … as opposed to these big-box corporate places.”

“This day and age we live in has become so corporate,” he says. “It’s so nice to be able to go out and talk to your customers and their families and their kids.”

Goens says he often hears about how customers like the atmosphere and service.

“That makes such a big difference anymore.”

The antique shop also had been doing well, Goens says, but then he had to move dining tables into that area.

“So I think that has kind of caused a barrier there.”

Goens wants comfortable – and separate – areas for shopping and dining, and the current arrangement “just isn’t effective in achieving that goal.”

“We want everyone to feel like a guest when they come in.”

Goens and Conrad want to add their own line of coffee and start catering as well.

“This has been a very good year for us,” Goens says.

Still, he wants to be careful how fast the business grows so it won’t affect the qualities that have made it popular.

“We could possibly lose some of that,” Goens says. “I just want to take my time.”

Street food

A new restaurant is opening in the former British Banger Cafe space in Delano, and it’s going to have some of the same dishes.

Ben Madison is opening Douglas Street Eats at 1713 W. Douglas where Austin Newby’s restaurant closed in July.

“We’ll continue using his recipes for the bangers,” Madison says.

He’ll also have mashed potatoes and cottage pies and will add several “home-style” sandwiches, as he calls them, to the menu.

Madison has been a design engineer, not a restaurateur.

“But my bride, she’s general manager at the Best Western Airport,” Madison says of his wife, Kim. “She’s going to be telling me how to do it.”

You don’t say

“Wow these people in Wichita know how to party.”

Orpheum Theatre director of development David Austin, quoting what Bernadette Peters said to her road manager after the theater’s 90th anniversary gala Saturday

Carrie Rengers first reported these items on her blog. Be among the first to get her business scoops at blogs.kansas.com/haveyouheard.

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