Carrie Rengers

Hereford House to open in Terradyne

Restaurateur Mike Issa and the owners of Terradyne Country Club confirm it: Hereford House is going to open there.

"The deal is going forward," Issa says.

The restaurant likely will open in the first week of December.

Have You Heard? reported the news earlier this month, though at that time no one involved would comment.

Even if you're not a member of Terradyne, you'll be able to eat at the restaurant. In fact, that's what Issa is counting on.

"Being in that location, it can serve Wichita and all the surrounding area," he says.

"People are going to come from all over," says Craig Smith , an owner of Terradyne and the club's current restaurant, Palomino Grill .

The grill will remain open until Hereford House is ready, but the restaurant is scaling back to a simple menu while Issa remodels the kitchen.

Also, he says, a designer is coming "to put the Hereford House theme inside that building."

Hereford House originally opened in Kansas City half a century ago and has numerous locations around that area.

"We haven't run across anybody that hasn't said, 'Wow,' " Smith says of the new plans.

He also likes that Issa will be the operator.

Issa previously owned the Italian Garden at 21st and Tyler, which he closed in August.

His agreement with the restaurant chain will allow him to have one more Hereford House in the Wichita area, but Issa says that's down the road.

"Right now, we're going to focus exactly on what we have at hand," he says.

He likes Terradyne in part because it has banquet rooms that offer a wide range of seating, and "it's a beautiful establishment."

"It's really beautiful scenery overlooking the golf course," Issa says.

Smith says, "We always are trying to figure out how to make things better and nicer out here."

And he says he thinks Issa and Hereford House will go a long way toward that.

"We're very enthused about it."

Barrier's to liquidate

Barrier's, the longtime jewelry and gift store on the northeast corner of Douglas and Oliver, has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy with $938,788 in liabilities and $2,815,582 in assets.

"We have made a Chapter 11 filing, and now we're in the process of planning our next steps," says Mary Ellen Barrier .

Barrier says she can't say whether the bankruptcy means the store will close or sell.

"I just do not know yet," she says. "All these final decisions have not been made."

According to the bankruptcy filing, though, the store is having a liquidation sale.

"There's a teachable moment here," says Barrier's attorney Ed Nazar .

"We've lost an icon for Wichita, and I feel very sad about that. And we've lost that icon for two reasons.

"One: the overall economy. And two: the lack of succession planning for a small business, and to me that's the important teaching tool."

Barrier's husband, John , joined the business in the mid 1930s a few years after his father, Carl , started it with a jewelry case in a downtown building.

After John Barrier's death in 1992, his son, Jay , became president. Jay Barrier died from an accident in October 2008.

The bankruptcy filing says the family decided to liquidate with a sale beginning in November and ending in early 2010.

But Mary Ellen Barrier says that may or may not happen.

"We haven't made a lot of final decisions yet," she says.

She will say Barrier's is getting ready for a sale, though.

"We look forward to seeing all our friends and customers at that time," Barrier says.

As for the bankruptcy, she says, "We regret doing it very much."

According to the filing, Barrier's had $3 million in sales in 2008. It's current inventory is listed at $1.6 million.

Of the largest 20 unsecured claims in the filing, Barrier's next-door neighbor, Citizens Bank of Kansas , has the largest at $82,658.

"Everything's going to work out," says Jane Deterding , Citizen's executive vice president and general counsel. "We don't have any concern."

Deterding says Barrier's assets are greater than its liabilities, which is why she's confident everything will be OK.

"Obviously, we're sad that we're losing a neighbor that's been... the centerpiece of that corner for years and years and years," Deterding says. "That's been the constant on the corner. And they've been very good neighbors.

"We're going to miss them that way."

No Depot

It was this time last year that developers Tom and Mike Boyd started doing dirt work to prepare the former Carleton Elementary School site on Broadway near Lewis for Office Depot .

A year before that, the national retailer had announced plans to bring a 20,000-square-foot store there but continually put them on hold.

Now, Classic Real Estate is marketing the property for a possible new occupant.

"They are trying to market it for sublease," Tom Boyd says of Office Depot.

"They've decided to wait on construction... because of the general retailing woes out there."

If no one is interested in the property, Office Depot could still build on the site one day.

But Tom Boyd says if someone else is interested in locating there and doesn't want to sublease from Office Depot, "Then we'll let them off the hook."

He says, "More than likely, we would make a deal with Depot and release their lease rights and make a deal with the new party."