Carrie Rengers

Paramount Antique Mall adds site east of Wichita

About a decade after the first Paramount Antique Mall opened on the west side, a second is opening on the east side.

"We have been doing so well," says co-owner Cynthia Branch . "Even with the bad economy ... it has just kept getting bigger and bigger."

Paramount East Antique Mall will be at 10187 S.W. Highway 54 in the former Walnut Valley Furniture building, which also used to house the White Eagle Antique Mall . That's an Augusta address, though it's partway between Augusta and Andover.

At 20,000 square feet, the building is about half the size of the west-side Paramount Antique Mall at 13200 W. Kellogg.

Branch owns that business with Sandy Hudspeth and their mothers.

Hudspeth, Branch and another partner are opening the east-side store.

Branch says the economy seems to be helping business as shoppers look for deals. Recycling is a factor, too, she says.

"Everybody buys and repurposes things."

Vendors who have spaces at the west store have been asking for east-side space, too, Branch says.

"We've been looking for a long time," she says. "Hopefully, it's not going to be out too far east."

Branch says the building is great, though she thinks it may not have enough space.

"It probably won't be enough, but it will be full."

Jeff Englert, Nathan Farha and Troy Farha of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group handled the deal.

Branch says there's enough land at the east site to have monthly outdoor flea markets, which the west site has, too.

Look for the new store to open in early October.

No fix for this Junkie

When Massage Junkie co-owner Heather McKendry changed store sites earlier this year, she didn't return inquiries to discuss it.

Nor is she talking now that her store is closed and she is facing a lawsuit from her former landlord at Douglas and Rock Road.

A number of past Massage Junkie customers are wondering what happened and whether they can be reimbursed for gift certificates and packages they purchased.

"We're chasing them just like everybody else," says Jim McIntyre , the lawyer for Jehan Family Investments , which leased space to Massage Junkie at the family's center on the northeast corner of Douglas and Rock Road.

"They just packed their bags in February and moved out of my clients' ... retail space," McIntyre says.

The group filed a lawsuit for $29,000, which includes $21,000 for what the suit says is unpaid rent and $8,000 for reduced rent through the end of the lease in October 2012.

Smoothie King is now in that space at a reduced rent, which is why the landlord is willing to deduct from the full amount of the Massage Junkie lease, McIntyre says.

Massage Junkie briefly moved to 9390 E. Central earlier this year and opened for only a brief time before closing without notice.

McIntyre says that business was conducted under the name Massage Junkies .

"They set up two companies with one letter difference between them to confuse their creditors," McIntyre says.

"I, quite frankly, don't expect a good resolution on this one."

There is, though, a resolution for Massage Junkie customers who still have gift certificates and packages that they purchased.

Sue Looney, who owns Body Wellness Massage & Spa at 1033 N. Rock Road in Derby, and Alicia Dale , who owns Dynamic Bodyworks Massage in west Wichita at 8722 W. Maple, will honor most of those certificates and packages through Dec. 31.

"We decided we can't let those people go without," Looney says. "It's just bad."

There will be some restrictions.

For instance, if someone bought a package of three massages and was supposed to get a fourth one free, Looney says she and Dale will honor only the three paid ones.

Looney says this could be good advertising for their businesses.

"Well, sure, but you know our first thought was, 'Oh, gosh, we've got to do something for these people.' "

Part of the intent also is to change some people's minds, Looney says.

She says some people have the wrong idea about massage businesses, particularly after a number of them in the Wichita area were raided for an alleged prostitution ring last year.

"Now here's this big, black mark," Looney says. "We've got to put a different spin on this."

Most importantly, though, she says, the idea is to "just to make a wrong a right."

You don't say

"I want to know what 12 people out of 100 think we are doing a good job! They're out of their mind."

—Republican U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins , commenting Monday at the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association annual meeting about a recent poll that showed 12 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing

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