Inflation a factor in long-running Old Town business owners announcing closures

A pair of popular businesses sharing space in Old Town are closing next month.
Published: Jun. 18, 2022 at 12:09 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A long-running business in Old Town, enjoyed by many over the years as a creative date-night option with painting and wine, is among a pair of downtown Wichita businesses that share a location and are planned to close next month.

Pinot’s Palette and the small retail wine and spirits store, Beyond Napa, have the same owners who announced plans to close both businesses, citing the decision to call it quits next month in large part due to the lasting effects of the pandemic and high prices.

Pinot’s Palette and Beyond Napa owners Ruthanne Timm-Siedhoff and Don Siedhoff said they were isolated for about a year due to construction. Soon after their street reopened, the pandemic hit.

Factor in rising prices of goods, on top of fewer customers, the owners said it was fiscally impossible for them to keep their doors open.

“Especially Pinot’s Palette because that is an entertainment venue, and our cost [was] going up there, and we can’t raise our prices anymore,” Ruthanne said.

And getting basic, brand-named alcohol has been a challenge for local shops. Ruthanne and Don broke the news of the closings Friday on social media. The announcement caught many by surprise.

The couple has been Old Town business owners for 35 years.

City Arts Executive Director Alisha Gridley, the building neighbor to Pinot’s, said the situation is “heartbreaking” and, referencing Pinot’s closure, said the city “will definitely feel it” with the loss of a creative business.

Ruthanne said the most challenging part of the decision to close has been sharing that news with customers.

“There was a man the other day (at Pinot’s Palette), and I told him we were closing, and he said, ‘I’ve been here 81 times to paint,’” she said. “And he had tears in his eyes, and he said, ‘this place brings me such joy.’”

Ruthanne and Don say they’re looking forward to the next chapter and are trying to sell all of their alcohol before they close next month.

“We have a lot of things to sell, and we’d like to go out with a bang rather than a whimper,” Ruthanne said.

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