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Caffe Posto spot will be Wine Dive

Tuesday, November 17 2009 12:00 AM

Coffee and sandwich sales weren’t enough to keep Caffe Posto open near Douglas and Oliver, but new owners are hoping wine and food will be a hit.
 Jimmy’s Egg franchisee Whitney VinZant and some undisclosed partners plan to open Mike’s Wine Dive in the former Posto space by Marchæ1.
 They’re also taking the Hair Connection space next door for a total of 2,650 square feet.
 That business, which is still open, is losing its space after 24 years.
 “I’m really sad to see Hair Connection go,” says James Smits, who owns Aspen Boutique and bought the center three years ago with his wife, Monica.
 “There’s a lot of people there (who have) become our friends
Jimmy’s Egg franchisee Whitney VinZant and some undisclosed partners plan to open Mike’s Wine Dive in the former Posto space by Marchæ1. They’re also taking the Hair Connection space next door for a total of 2,650 square feet. That business, which is still open, is losing its space after 24 years. “I’m really sad to see Hair Connection go,” says James Smits, who owns Aspen Boutique and bought the center three years ago with his wife, Monica. “There’s a lot of people there (who have) become our friends through the years,” Smits says. “On the other hand, nobody would sign a lease, and I got tired of operating without a lease there. “What it did is it left this opportunity open.” No one with Hair Connection could be reached for comment. VinZant doesn’t want to share too many details on Mike’s Wine Dive yet, but he says think eclectic. “We’re seeing some very neat concepts in the major markets,” he says. “We thought we’d do something creative of our own in Wichita.” Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate is handling the transaction. So who is Mike? “Mike’s an arbitrary figure,” VinZant says. VinZant likes College Hill because “it’s such a tight-knit area.” “We want to be that type of neighborhood restaurant.” He likes the residential density in the area. “It’s terrific,” he said. VinZant and the Smitses are still working out details, but James Smits is confident about the change. “This brings a lot of excitement to the center that I think will really be invigorating,” he says.
 The 1,300-square-foot Myoptix Fashion Eyewear space will soon be vacant, too.
 “It’s a good, attractive little space right between Pink Saloon and Aspen Boutique,” Smits says. “I see a lot of women walking between our spaces now, which is exactly what we’d hoped for.” 

Smits says things are looking good for the center.
 “Other than looking a little empty during Christmas, I couldn’t be happier.”

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