A former Rock Island Cafe manager is bringing back the restaurant, this time on the east side.
“Just bringing back the Rock, that’s what I’ve been saying,” says Kirsten Teague.
The restaurant, which was open from 1985 until the mid-1990s, was next to Union Station in the former Rock Island Railroad baggage terminal. That’s the building that became home to the original Tanya’s Soup Kitchen.
Teague has been working on leasing space on North Rock Road.
“It’s kind of like a divorce to me,” Teague says of negotiations. “Here’s what I want, here’s what you want, now can we meet in the middle?”
It’s looking like she can’t meet in the middle on the place where she’s been negotiating, but Teague says, “I’ve got Plan B.”
Teague says she ran Rock Island Cafe after Sabrina Parker bought it from founders Chris Farha and Janet Cohlmia.
Parker, who owns Merle’s Place and the Walt’s All American Bar and Grill on West Central, isn’t involved in the new restaurant.
“She’s just my moral support,” Teague says.
She describes the new Rock Island as a gourmet sandwich shop with “weird combinations that are not normal.”
For instance, she’ll serve chicken salad with almonds and pineapple in pita bread.
“It’s not like all the sandwich shops in town,” Teague says. “I have people who still remember what we did.”
She hopes to open the restaurant by April. She plans to serve lunch and then open again for a couple of hours at dinner.
“My plan is to get the lunchtime crowd,” she says.
At the old Rock Island, Teague says a big part of business was catering to business meetings, especially for pharmaceutical reps.
“I’m really looking to market to that group,” she says of businesses in general.
Teague had been working for developer Jay Russell, but since real estate is down, she thought the timing might be right to start a restaurant.
“It’ll give my son a place to work,” she says of 17-year-old Wesley.
Besides, Teague says, “I’ve always wanted to do my own thing.”
Another new scrapbooking store is coming to Wichita.
Carmen Ned is opening Across Time and Page in Cambridge Market at 21st and Webb.
Earlier this month, Kathryn and Jeffrey Welch told Have You Heard? that they’re opening Kat Scrap Fever in Clifton Square in College Hill.
A scrapbooking store is a big departure for Ned, who has almost 30 years of HR experience. When the company she was working for here was purchased by another company, Ned’s position was eliminated.
“My husband brought to my attention that WSU was having a new ventures program,” Ned says.
She attended to learn how to do business planning.
Ned says Timothy Pett, the director of Wichita State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship, was instrumental in her decision to start Across Time and Page.
“He actually liked the idea,” she says. “He saw that it was just a viable business idea and just encouraged me to move forward.”
The store will be in almost 2,000 square feet between Sports Time Fan Shop and Chelmsford Tea & Gifts.
Scott Harper with Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.
“It has been a hobby of mine,” Ned says of scrapbooking, “and I always noticed that there wasn’t a store in the northeast area.”
She says she’ll have space for 20 people to work on projects or have a scrapbooking party. Ned also plans to offer classes along with “just the latest and greatest scrapbooking merchandise.”
Carrie Rengers first reported these items on her blog. Be among the first to get her business scoops at blogs.kansas.com/haveyouheard.