Dining With Denise Neil

Owner of Old Town’s The Arcade is opening a sweet-and-spicy new business in Delano

He has a hit with The Arcade, the Old Town retro video game palace he opened with partner Michael Jensen in late 2017.

Now, Derek Sorrells is preparing to open another business on his own, one that also will appeal to fans of all things retro.

Sweet ‘n Saucy — a store that will sell retro candy, unusual bottled sodas, salsas, hot sauces and barbecue sauces — should open by mid-June at 535 W. Douglas, suite 110. The space is a few doors east of Milkfloat and Planet Sub in Delano.

Sorrells said he was struck with inspiration for the store when vacationing.

“Since I own an arcade, I’m big on nostalgia,” he said. “I live in the 1980s. I saw an old-fashioned candy store in Colorado and thought, ‘Something like that would be a little bit of fun.’”

Sorrells said he also wanted to capitalize on the “hot-and-spicy” trend that’s become so big.

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The logo for Sweet ‘n Saucy, a business that should open in Delano this summer Courtesy

“Hot sauce and salsas are up 150 percent over the past five years, and bottled pop with real sugar that doesn’t include the high fructose corn syrup is also big” he said. “I thought, ‘Why not merge these great ideas together?”

Sorrells said the store, which will be set up in 2,123 square feet, will stock 250 different types of real-sugar sodas and 250 types of hot sauces. His candy selection will include retro favorites like Pop Rocks, Fruit Stripe Gum, Ring Pops and Clark Bars along with more modern offerings like Nerds.

The store will also include a custom-built, 12-foot soda bar where people can open cold bottles of soda and hang around to enjoy them. His offerings will include choices like real sugar Coca Cola and Pepsi and offbeat flavors like Ranch dressing, dog drool, dirt, and grass.

This fall, Sorrells also plans to start offering classes at the shop on how to make salsas and other sauces. He envisions a BYOB date night or girls-night-out type of setting.

Sweet ‘n Saucy will appeal to all ages, from kids to grandparents, he said. And the spot he found offers the perfect fit.

“We believe in Old Town, and that’s why we opened The Arcade there,” he said. “But I also very much believe in Delano, and this is the perfect kind of eclectic, nostalgic, fun business to open in Delano.”

Sorrells said the store will likely be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. I’ll let you know when Sweet ‘n Spicy is ready to open.

Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.