Carrie Rengers

Wichita’s Dean & DeLuca store closes after less than six months

This sign now greets people at the Dean & DeLuca store that’s been in the Shops at Tallgrass since November.
This sign now greets people at the Dean & DeLuca store that’s been in the Shops at Tallgrass since November. The Wichita Eagle

Well, Wichita, it was a short-lived run.

After much rejoicing that Dean & DeLuca finally opened here, it has closed.

It was in the Shops at Tallgrass on 21st Street just east of Rock Road for less than six months. Brown paper now covers the windows there.

Dean & Deluca vice president of retail operations Josh Hodapp discusses the store's opening at the Shops at Tallgrass near the northeast corner of 21st and Rock Road in 2015.

No one with the company could immediately be reached for comment, but a sign on the door says, “This location is closed. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.” It then directs customers to shop at its website.

An e-mail to Justin Seamonds, who was the Dean & DeLuca president who opened the store, had this automatic response:

“Thank you for your email. I have left the Dean & DeLuca business as President, and will be deactivating this email address at the end of May 2016. Please feel free to email (Bayani Lauraya) as the new Global President of the company.”

Seamonds didn’t return calls to comment.

In July, Have You Heard? reported that after all the years that Wichita native Leslie Rudd owned Dean & DeLuca – and Wichitans kept hoping that he’d bring one of the upscale grocery stores here – new owner Pace Development Corp. of Thailand would bring one to the center.

The store was unique for Dean & DeLuca in that it served as a place for the chain to test point-of-sale systems along with displays and other things it could use at its flagship stores and smaller cafes.

The store had a mix of catalog items – with occasional warehouse sales – and coffee, fresh pastries and a small sampling of meat and cheese.

With the new ownership, it’s not clear what will happen with Dean & DeLuca’s offices or warehouse here.

Look for more information as it becomes available.

Dean & Deluca president Justin Seamonds discusses the role that Wichita's new Dean & Deluca store plays in the company, which is based here. Carrie Rengers/The Wichita Eagle

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers