Carrie Rengers

'Victoria's Secret for men' at Blvd. Plaza

Marquis Henley has lived in New York and California and now is bringing a bit of each to Wichita with East & West Menswear .

He'll open the store April 1 in Boulevard Plaza at Lincoln and George Washington Boulevard.

"Our main focus is underwear and swimwear," Henley says.

He's looking to New York for fashion inspiration and California for beach styles.

"I also like to look at it as a Victoria's Secret for men," Henley says.

"Some men are very embarrassed standing in the middle of the store trying to pick underwear with people all around them."

Henley wants male shoppers to have the same opportunity as female ones.

He'll also offer accessories, such as belts, cologne and jewelry —"anything I can possibly think of that's going to cater to men," he says.

Henley says he would like to have opened on the east side, but he thinks Boulevard Plaza is ideally situated in central Wichita and close to the interstate. Also, he says, the price is right.

"You gotta crawl before you walk."

Child-care scramble

Parents of about 60 children at the Castle Childcare Learning Center , the one at 7370 E. 37th St. North that looks like a castle, got an unhappy surprise Friday.

Owner Becky Weber informed them she was immediately closing and would file for bankruptcy.

"We didn't realize we were going to do it until Thursday," Weber says. "We had planned on doing a two-week notice for everybody."

Her lawyer advised against it.

"He told us to close as soon as possible," she says.

For parents who already paid in advance for the next month or so, Weber says, "The money will be refunded. We're going to try to anyway."

The day care was open for 2 1/2 years. Weber says there are a few interested potential buyers.

She's not looking to reorganize.

"Not at this time."

2 west-side Best Buys

When the new Best Buy opens at NewMarket Square on April 24, the other west-side Best Buy at 6700 W. Kellogg will not close as some people thought it might.

"In no way is that store closing," says Shawn Barlow , customer solutions manager. "We foresee (that) store still being very successful."

Barlow says that store draws from Oklahoma and Dodge City.

"There's a very reliable customer base that we'll still serve on that side of town."

The new store is 30,567 square feet and is the new model Best Buy is using.

The other Wichita Best Buys are more like 40,000 square feet.

"What we're looking to do is serve just a portion of the community," Barlow says.

He says the new store is LEED certified with automatic lights, energy-efficient light bulbs that benefit from skylights in the building, and a wind turbine for more efficient electricity.

There also will be eight parking places in the front for people who drive energy-efficient cars.

There will be a few carpooling spots, too.

So how will the store be able to tell if someone has actually carpooled?

"Oh, we won't," Barlow says. "Obviously we're hoping the community will honor that."

No special treatment

It didn't take long for HMSHost to get its liquor license back after inadvertently letting it lapse at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport , where it couldn't serve alcohol the first five days of March.

Businesses typically are supposed to allow 30 days for renewal.

In this case, says Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Division director Tom Groneman , the licensing department "rushed it through."

But Groneman says HMSHost didn't get special treatment that other businesses wouldn't be eligible for.

"We do it quite routinely," Groneman says. "We do it more often than not."

But not always.

Groneman says it makes a difference if a business has been late renewing before and whether its taxes are up to date.

"It depends on a lot of things."

You don't say

"I love this city. In fact, the next movie I make is going to be right in this city."

—Mayor Carl Brewer , joking Sunday while walking the red carpet at the Episcopal Social Services Oscar-themed fundraiser

  Comments