Carrie Rengers

Caterpillar dealer to buy Topeka competitor

Almost a year ago, Foley Industries president Ann Konecny told Have You Heard? that there was a chance her company would purchase Topeka's Martin Tractor .

Now, it's happening.

Konecny says the deal to buy her rival Caterpillar dealer should close Nov. 2.

"This basically gives Foley the entire state except for one county in southeast Kansas and five counties around Kansas City," Konecny says.

Previously, the two companies each had about half the state.

Martin, a 98-year-old company, has between 250 and 300 employees.

"The vast majority of them have been extended offers, and the ones who haven't will be receiving severance," Konecny says.

Foley, which was founded in 1940, and Martin sell numerous brands of construction and agricultural equipment and engines.

Martin's various companies will be integrated into Foley Equipment , Foley Engine Systems , Foley Rental , Foley Farm Power and Foley Rebuild Center .

"We're happy to be joining (with) such a strong company," Konecny says. She thinks the companies will "be able to better serve our customers by combining the strengths of both organizations."

Martin president and CEO Harry Craig III didn't return a call for comment.

Konecny says Foley and Martin have been good competitors — and friends — for a long time.

"It was probably a natural evolution that the territories got consolidated somewhere, somehow," she says.

Borin is Delano-bound

Michelle Borin of Michelle's Beach House is in final negotiations to buy the Garage bar and grill in Delano.

In March, Have You Heard? reported that Borin and her son, Brandon , are looking to open a new nightclub separate — and different — from her Derby gentleman's club.

The Garage opened earlier this year in the former John Barleycorn's space at 579 W. Douglas after an extensive renovation.

Borin met numerous times this week and last week with Garage representatives.

The deal is expected to close today.


It looks like diners from the Wichita area will no longer have to drive to Kansas City to enjoy Hereford House .

The popular Kansas City steak house — with the slogan, "50 Years Old and Still in Our Prime!" —now has several Kansas City-area locations.

It's newest site outside of the city likely will be in what's currently the Palomino Grill at Terradyne Country Club in Andover.

Former Italian Garden owner Mike Issa is working on a deal to open in the space.

No one is talking about it yet, but look for a deal to happen as early as this week.

In August, Issa closed the west-side Italian Garden. The east-side Italian Garden closed prior to that.

Senor Tequila is now in the former Italian Garden space at 21st and Tyler Road.

After opening at Terradyne, Issa may have the rights to open one more Hereford House in Wichita.

We'll keep you posted.

Eaton trial scheduled

An Oct. 14 trial has been set in MDI Partnership #72's case against Eaton Steakhouse .

MDI, which owns Eaton Place , has filed lawsuits to reclaim $10,708 from Steakhouse owners Steve and Stephanie Compton and to evict them from the property at Douglas and St. Francis.

After a couple of postponed court dates for a previous eviction notice, the Comptons caught up on more than $50,000 in back rent in August but then fell behind again, the lawsuit says.

You don't say

"Where is Jimmy Buffett when you need him? Parrot heads RULE!"

—Retired concert promoter Buck Goodman's comment on the Have You Heard? blog upon hearing that Brad Paisley is Intrust Bank Arena's opening act (Goodman says Paisley is great and will probably sell out but isn't a superstar.)