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Grand Chapel to get new sign along with possible new owner

05/21/2014 5:00 AM

06/25/2014 5:53 PM

WICHITA — The stone sign in front of the Grand Chapel event space at 828 N. Broadway has been demolished, but it's not because the business is closing.

It's because a new LED sign with a moving message is going to be installed.

"I've been fighting this for years," says co-owner Dennis Wilkie, who says his partner insisted on the new sign. The Grand Chapel’s sign is now gone, but a new LED sign will soon be in its place. "Yeah, they might get a lot more attention, but I think they just kind of look cheesy," Wilkie says. "I'd like to keep it more of a refined look."

As Wilkie told Have You Heard? in March, he's trying to sell the business and the building, which is a 1917 former church with 18,000 square feet and seating for more than 600 people in the former sanctuary. There's also a reception hall, dance floor and bar area.

"I've got a lot of interest in the business from people who just wouldn't qualify to buy the real estate," Wilkie says.

He says he also has someone who is interested in buying the building, and he says it may be a situation where he can bring two parties together for a deal.

As for the sign, Wilkie says it "could be a permanent thing, or it could be a temporary thing."

"Maybe we are better off raising the visibility of the place."

About Carrie Rengers

Carrie Rengers joined The Eagle's Business team in 2002 despite her inability to even balance a checkbook. Fortunately for her, and readers, her Have You Heard? blog is about business scoops and contains lots of news but almost no math.

A Michigan native, Carrie’s father was quite tragically transferred to Little Rock, Ark., in the middle of her sophomore year of high school. To make matters worse, her parents put her in a girls school. She recovered, though, and went on to enjoy being an English major at Hendrix College (the Harvard of the Ozarks, don’t you know). She worked for the weekly Arkansas Business and the statewide daily Arkansas Democrat-Gazette before moving to Wichita to be with her favorite writer and cook, husband Joe Stumpe.

Carrie encourages readers to contact her with tips, questions, behind-the-scenes business news and even funny quotes from business people. Reach her at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com

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