Carrie Rengers

Another eatery closes at Kellogg and Webb

Seven months after opening, Mediterraneo has closed. "This location's tough," says Zak Tazkargy , who owned the business at Kellogg and Webb with Moe Hlayhel .

Italian Garden was in the space before that.

Tazkargy says construction in the area made it too hard to attract customers.

"We had people calling saying, 'We can't get into your building,' " he says.

Hlayhel is heading overseas for a job, but Tazkargy says he may have another restaurant by fall.

"If we find a good location, you know, we may reopen."

Ron Groves of Groves Retail Liquor , which is just down Kellogg from Mediterraneo, has purchased the restaurant's fixtures.

He wants to use the 5,000-square-foot building for more storage and for an occasional wine tasting.

Groves is working with the state to get approval to rent the space for tastings.

His store is 8,000 square feet, but Groves says he's out of space.

"The wine has overwhelmed us," he says. "We have a lot of demand and great prices."

Mediterraneo's closure is creating calls for Mediterranean Grill owners Mustafa Sawli and Youssef Youssef .

Their restaurant at 335 S. Towne East Drive is not closing, but customers are calling and wondering if it is.

"A lot of people get confused," Sawli says. "They hear 'Mediterraneo,' they hear 'Mediterranean.'

"I wanted people to know it's not us."

He says business is great.

"We want to thank all customers for keeping us in business there, actually."

A lot of Frou Frou

At a time a lot of businesses are closing or downsizing, the 6-year-old Frou Frou at the Shops at Tallgrass is expanding.

"We just have this place so cram-packed with stuff," owner Betsy Morrison says of the jewelry, handbags, shoes and gifts she sells.

"It's too packed."

Morrison has 2,686 square feet at the development, which is at 21st and Rock Road, and she's adding 1,750 square feet more.

April Reed of Slawson Cos. handled the deal.

"Betsy's a great example of someone who upgraded her location and saw that pay off," Reed says. "It speaks volumes that she's now expanding."

Morrison is expanding into the former Emily's A Salon space.

Owner Emily Shonka downsized last year and moved her salon two buildings over at the same center.

Morrison is knocking out a wall between her store and the former salon space.

Construction should start this week, and the new space will be ready in early May.

Morrison thinks this is all the space she'll need for the future.

She doesn't plan to open on the west side or in other cities, as she's been approached to do.

"What I like about this store is the hometown feel," Morrison says. "I like a hands-on approach to a store. You get yourself spread too thin, and it causes problems.

"I'm just kind of happy right here."

'Out of the blue'

"Countryman's Kansas "started as a 13-week trial talk show in 1989 but grew into a 21-year regular Saturday feature on KNSS , 1330-AM .

That's going to end in two weeks.

"I had hoped to make it to 25 years, but it didn't work out," says host Gene Countryman .

"It kind of came out of the blue."

Entercom Wichita vice president and general manager Jackie Wise says she's shuffling the Saturday morning lineup and moving "Health Insurance Advocate "from noon into the 10 a.m. spot.

She says it's a "really hot topic right now."

Wise offered Countryman the noon or 7 a.m. slot in exchange, but he's not interested.

Countryman says he was offered the 7 a.m. slot 21 years ago.

"It was too early then ... and it's too early now."

He says the noon show is often pre-empted by sports.

Countryman says he's open to moving to another station, but he realizes this could be the end of his radio run.

City Manager Bob Layton is the guest Saturday, and Countryman figures he'll spend his final show on May 1 reminiscing about the past two decades.

"I will miss it," he says. "It's great fun."

You don't say

"Jeff, I hope you don't let it go to your head the way Jim did."

Wichita City Council member Paul Gray congratulating new Vice Mayor Jeff Longwell with a laughing jab at his longtime council adversary, outgoing Vice Mayor Jim Skelton