Dining With Denise Neil

The Anchor’s owner is closing one of her three Wichita businesses

Schane Gross, pictured here with Studium ICT’s Tony Jacobs, is dusting off the blueprints for a long-planned remodel of The Anchor. There’s no definite plan but she hopes to make some changes before the 2018 NCAA Tournament brings its opening rounds to Wichita.
Schane Gross, pictured here with Studium ICT’s Tony Jacobs, is dusting off the blueprints for a long-planned remodel of The Anchor. There’s no definite plan but she hopes to make some changes before the 2018 NCAA Tournament brings its opening rounds to Wichita. Studium ICT

The Anchor’s owner Schane Gross is closing one of her restaurants – and the decision is making her happy.

On Wednesday, Gross told her 11 staff members at Fork & Fennel, the French-style bistro she opened at 3425 E. Douglas in October 2014, that the restaurant’s last day in business would be Oct. 7. She’s offered them all jobs at her other businesses: The Anchor at 1109 E. Douglas and the Douglas Avenue Chop Shop next door at 1113 E. Douglas.

“It’s happy, not bittersweet,” she said. “I want to focus on The Anchor. That’s where my heart is.”

(FILE VIDEO -- AUGUST 25, 2016) Schane Gross, owner of The Anchor, The Chop Shop and Fork and Fennel, talks about her three favorite restaurants to eat at when she's not eating at her own.

Running three businesses just got to be too much for Gross, who said she decided to make some changes in her life. She wasn’t able to focus fully on being a mother, an employer and a business owner, she said, and something had to give.

“This is my way of finding balance,” she said. “I want to enjoy life. If you’re not enjoying it, you’re not going to be happy.”

Gross had just purchased the building that the Fork & Fennel was in, a former Taco Tico, earlier this year. It’s now on the market, and she’s had some interest already.

She extensively remodeled the place when she opened Fork & Fennel, so the next owner should be in a good position, she said.

“I’m super excited to see what goes in there next,” said Gross, who lives in the neighborhood. “I’ll definitely be a regular at that place.”

Meanwhile, Gross has been dusting off blueprints she formulated several years back when she was planning an extensive remodeling of The Anchor. She’s not sure what her timeline is but said she’d like to have the bar how she wants it before the NCAA Tournament stages its first-round games in Wichita in 2018.

Gross said she would provide an update when she settled on a buyer for the Fork & Fennel building.

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