Carrie Rengers

The right place for a Kitchen Place

Kitchen Place owner Pat Lang, left, is moving his business from Piccadilly Square to 3234 E. Douglas in the Douglas Design District. His new landlord, Traditions Home owner Robin Van Huss, says the business will be “a perfect fit” for the area.
Kitchen Place owner Pat Lang, left, is moving his business from Piccadilly Square to 3234 E. Douglas in the Douglas Design District. His new landlord, Traditions Home owner Robin Van Huss, says the business will be “a perfect fit” for the area. The Wichita Eagle

Why would a business leave one of the city’s busiest intersections for another location?

For the Kitchen Place, there are several reasons.

“Businesses need to adapt, and this is the time,” says Pat Lang, owner of the Kitchen Place in Piccadilly Square.

The 70-year-old business has been at the center at Central and Rock, which sees almost 50,000 cars daily, for 23 years.

It’s moving to the former Foggy Bottom space at 3234 E. Douglas, which is just east of Hillside.

Douglas and Hillside sees 35,000 cars a day, but Lang says more of them will have an opportunity to see his business because he’ll be along the road instead of in the back of Piccadilly.

“The repetitive drive-by, it gets locked in your mind,” Lang says.

The Douglas Design District and other nearby businesses – Traditions Home, Juliana Daniel Antiques and Reuben Saunders Gallery – are a factor, too.

“The Design District is morphing, and it’s growing, and there’s activity there,” Lang says.

He says he’s unable to expand at his current 1,700 square feet, which is limiting what he wants to do.

The new space, where the store will open around October, will be 7,000 square feet.

“It’s like it’s going back to being what it was built and designed to be,” says Robin Van Huss, who owns the building.

She says the building started as a high-end showroom for Cunningham Carpet.

“Since it was built as a beautiful showroom … it’s nice to see it going back,” Van Huss says. “It was what I always hoped it would be. I’ll be obsessed with that store.”

The Kitchen Place does kitchen, bath and other room remodeling with its main focus being custom cabinetry.

“The focus isn’t going to change,” Lang says. “What we are doing is going to enhance the client’s experience.”

There will be more displays and the ability to offer more demonstrations and events, though Lang says he doesn’t want to reveal too much about those yet.

Until now, the Kitchen Place has had events that have “been more noncooking – just wine and cheese … introducing new cabinetry lines or appliances or whatever we’re featuring.”

Lang says there will be some new features that shoppers generally can’t find outside of markets such as New York and Chicago.

“There are going to be some unique things to Wichita in the space.”

Lang says he won’t immediately use his new building’s upstairs, but he says he has ideas for the future.

He says his business “plays well” with its future neighbors. Van Huss agrees.

“It’s like a perfect fit,” she says.

Van Huss says the businesses “complement each other and give people a reason to … come down to this part of College Hill and to just window shop.”

“It’s hilarious, because we always have nose prints on our windows in the morning.”

She says she expects that to happen even more with the Kitchen Place’s arrival.

Look for details of Lang’s plans, including a video tour of the new space, closer to its fall opening.

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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