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

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, siting the decision to call it quits next month in large part due to lasting effects from the pandemic and high prices.

Pinot’s Pallet and Beyond Napa owners Ruthanne Timm-Siedhoff and Shawn Siedhoff said they were isolated for about a year due to construction and 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 Pinots 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 Shawn broke the news of the closings Friday on social media. The news caught many by surprise.

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

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

Ruthanne said the hardest 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.’”

Now, Ruthanne and Shawn 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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