Carrie Rengers

Central, Woodlawn gets more home decor

There's a new home decor store opening by a couple of other well-known ones near Central and Woodlawn.

Roo Grayson is opening next month at 515 N. Woodlawn not far from Twigs and Home Gallery by Cohlmia .

"It's just a little bit of everything," Karla Binns says of her shop.

And she means it.

She'll have antiques, furniture, a jewelry line from Sweden, handmade mahogany pieces from Indonesia, salvaged pieces from other countries and, believe it or not, a small area for spray tanning.

Several years ago, Binns owned Salons Inc. on South Rock Road, which was a hair and tanning salon and combination gift shop. So she's reviving that concept somewhat.

Mostly, though, Binns is focusing on home decor. Her salvaged pieces will come with story cards that explain their origin.

"A lot of it is green," Binns says of the repurposed products.

The store will have almost 4,000 square feet.

It's named in part for "Roo," a nickname she had for a girlfriend.

Her husband, Julian , inspired the other part.

"Grayson was my husband's spy name when he was little," Binns says.

She hopes to open the store in early November.

"It's just a fun place to shop because there's always going to be something different there," she says. "That's what our goal is."

At a Crossroads

Last month, Tomey Shabshab said construction forced him to close his Crossroads Bistro and Steakhouse , 1930 S. Oliver, for lunch.

Then, late last week, he closed the restaurant entirely to make room for Mary Villar and her new Mary's Mexico Cafe .

"We were hanging in there until (she came) through," Shabshab says.

The new restaurant should open early next week.

Shabshab says construction is finally easing — in time for Villar, but not for him.

"I've never done business in my life to where I'm at someone else's whim," Shabshab says.

"I did the best product I know how with the cheapest prices I know how."

He thinks Villar will do well.

She has a long restaurant history in Wichita.

In 1970, Villar and her husband, Bill , opened Mexico Cafe at 1714 George Washington Blvd.

Their son, William , says his parents opened several more restaurants through the years under the name El Mexico Cafe .

Their popular El Mexico on South Seneca briefly closed last year before William Villar and some partners reopened it.

He's now out of the restaurant, though it's still in business, and Villar has returned to his Mexico Cafe Delano .

Mary Villar has been running that restaurant for her son, but now she'll be at her new place.

William Villar says Mary's Mexico Cafe will have a lot of the same dishes his mother has offered through the years.

More Mexican

Playa Azul is opening its second Wichita restaurant next month, this time on Rock Road.

The first Playa Azul opened in Old Town in 2005.

The new one is opening in the former Ajuua space at 360 N. Rock Road.

"It's a good choice to go to Rock Road," says manager Victor Camarena . "Everybody wants to be on that street."

The restaurant, which will have a full bar and be open for lunch and dinner daily, will open in early November.