The area around the new Best Buy at NewMarket Square near 21st and Maize Road continues to fill up.
The White Dress , a bridal boutique, is going to open in June between Best Buy and Dustee's Fashion Accessories .
Best Buy opens late this month. Dustee's opened Thursday. The new Michaels craft store opened there Feb. 28.
"It really provides us with a lot of exposure right there," owner Kristi Mouser says. "We are kind of a good match for the Dustee's and Michaels clientele, too."
April Reed of Slawson Cos. handled the deal for the 3,500-square-foot space.
Mouser has been planning the shop for three years with her mother, Debbie Mouser , who will be a manager in the store.
"We picked up some great lines that we are really excited about," Kristi Mouser says.
She says those lines include a lot of dresses women might see in magazines but not in other stores here.
The White Dress will sell wedding gowns, bridal accessories, mother-of-the-bride dresses, flower girl dresses, homecoming and prom dresses and special-occasion dresses.
Wedding dresses typically will range from $550 to $2,000.
"We feel like our price point will be good for the Wichita area," Kristi Mouser says.
As customers shop, Mouser says she'll serve tea and water and try to create as pleasant of an experience as she can.
"The customer service is really what we're going for," Mouser says. "We just wanted to bring this elegant experience to brides in Wichita."
The White Dress isn't the only new shop for women opening at NewMarket Square.
Heidi Pullman and her sister Laura Carpenter will open Alter Ego Fashions by June.
Carpenter recently moved from South Dakota, where she's worked in a boutique the past three years.
"She kind of learned the ropes there," Pullman says.
The two have since been doing in-home fashion shows with various product lines.
"People really like the product," Pullman says.
Alter Ego will sell women's apparel, shoes, jewelry and accessories.
"Really, just to get more exposure, we thought a location would be better," Pullman says.
She says NewMarket Square was easily her choice.
"It's just kind of the place to shop on the west side."
As with the White Dress, April Reed of Slawson Cos. handled the deal for the almost 2,000-square-foot space.
Pullman's husband, Dustin , owns two Beds For Less and has been offering retail advice.
"He's just kind of guiding us on how to start a business," Heidi Pullman says.
She's already thinking of future stores.
"We'd like to expand," Pullman says. "So we're going to start here ... and then grow."
Let's make a deal
At a time when most commercial brokers would be happy to be making any deals, April Reed of Slawson Cos. is making multiple deals.
"My phone is ringing off the hook," she says.
So far in the new year, Reed has closed deals for White Dress, Alter Ego Fashions, Complete Nutrition and Picture Perfect to open at NewMarket Square; for Wichita Pilates Group and Zeni to open at the Shops at Tallgrass ; and for Sport Clips Haircuts to open at Tallgrass Centre .
She has at least one more deal coming this week and possibly a second as well.
"I think there's a little bit of pent-up demand," Reed says.
She says the market is more positive now than it has been.
Also, she says, "This time of year is traditionally busy for retail leasing."
Reed says part of it is being "willing to make some deals, too."
She adds, though, "We're not doing any deals that don't pencil out for us."
On second thought ...
Monday was supposed to be the grand opening of the new Yuca Latin Bistro , which Jason-Paul Febres and Roni Attari planned for the former Quiznos building on Tyler just south of Central.
The two chefs have parted ways, though.
"I'll be honest," Attari says. "It's probably better that we didn't make it to opening day.
"If there's a disagreement in the beginning, there might be a bigger disagreement in the end."
That's the one thing on which he and Febres apparently agree.
"We definitely have to be (on) the same page to open the restaurant," Febres says.
"We were ready, ready, ready to open," he says.
Food already was coming in.
The two couldn't agree on several things, though, such as a final menu.
"Money sometimes is very nice, and money sometimes causes trouble even between family," Febres says. "My philosophy of life is everything happens for a reason. That's all I have to say about this situation."
So Attari now plans to open the restaurant on his own next week in the same space.
He'll call it Yuca Bistro . Though Yuca will have some Latin dishes, that no longer will be the focus.
Febres is now looking for his own restaurant space.
In the meantime, he says he'll offer a rent-a-chef concept in which he'll cook or teach classes in people's homes. He's working on a Web site.
This was Febres' second failed attempt to start a restaurant, but he says that's not stopping him from trying again.
"I guess the third (time) is going to be the charm."
You don't say
"That doesn't bug me — pun intended!"
—Ulrich Museum director Patricia McDonnell upon learning a photo of the museum's Tom Otterness sculpture Millipede is being used in promotions for a Where the Wild Art Is show at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center