Carrie Rengers

Firm hopes to be part of vibrant downtown

When Gene Foster of Foster Design learned he was losing his space at Brittany Center at 21st and Woodlawn because of InfoSync Service's upcoming expansion, his first thought was that he would move farther east.

But he didn't like the prices.

"We couldn't really justify building a Taj Mahal for our corporate headquarters when we could have just as nice (of a) facility downtown," Foster says.

So now he's moving his contract engineering firm to the Garvey Center .

"They made us the best proposal."

And he likes that he's going to be part of downtown's revitalization.

"Downtown has some ... potential," Foster says. "If it's handled right by our city ... fathers, the movers and shakers, I think it could be vibrant down here again."

He's moving into close to 3,000 square feet by the end of the year.

Adam Clements of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group handled the deal.

Foster says he thinks he'll be part of a trend.

"We'll see more people moving back downtown."

Supply and demand

Debi Pugh has been in the restaurant supply business for years, but always as an employee.

Now, she's going to own her own company.

Friday, Pugh purchased the small-wares division — which includes things like table ware, flatware and glasses — of Discount Restaurant Equipment .

"I just handed him the check at lunch," Pugh says.

Discount Restaurant Equipment had a showroom that closed this summer, but Pugh felt it was necessary to keep one.

Her Debi's Kitchen2Table will open by the end of the year at 6108 W. Central between I-235 and the Big Ditch.

Pugh says her biggest customer is Spangles , and she plans to continue to build relationships with commercial customers around the state.

"I think western Kansas is underserved," she says.

But she also wants to attract nonrestaurant customers.

"Restaurant supply stores are always open to the public, but nobody really knows that," Pugh says.

She wants to sell to "the weekend chef, the barbecue guy, the man who makes the chili," in between selling to restaurants.

"I can't do one without the other."

You don't say

"I'm very happy because the first thing those folks thought of was Hartman Arena ." —Wink Hartman Sr. on how some people wanting Intrust Bank Arena tickets are calling his Park City arena