WICHITA — Officially, Dan Crandall has been the general manager of Spear's Restaurant & Pie Shop for most of the 26 years he's worked there.
Unofficially, he's known as "the pie guy."
Now, he has a new title: owner.
"It's really one of these neat deals," Crandall says. "It's kind of a progression of things that I'll just take over."
The business has been in the Spear family since Gene and Betty Spear founded it in 1956. Spear's had a chain of six restaurants at one time. Now, it has one restaurant at 4323 W. Maple.
The Spears' son, Randy Spear, first became a co-owner in 1980. Through the years, various family members have been part of the business, but Spear has been the sole owner for the last decade.
"It feels really good going with Dan," Spear says of selling. He calls it "kind of a mixed blessing, I guess."
"It would be much harder if it was someone else coming in that we weren't familiar with. Dan has been a strong member of our team for so long that it's very easy for it to happen now."
Crandall says he's "worked with him very, very closely over the years" and he "pretty much (knows) everything there is to know about it."
Still, he says, "it's a really scary venture."