I’ve been curious about what Whitney VinZant and his partner, former Yia Yia’s man Patrick Shibley, were up to at the former Shadow space at 550 N. Rock Road. As you can see at left, some pretty serious construction is going on.
I met with the duo at the construction site yesterday, where they let me climb a ladder and didn’t even make me mess up my hair with a hard hat. The restaurant they’re planning — Gaslamp Grille & Lounge — is going to be pretty spectacular, I think.
They’ve totally gutted the old Shadow space and are adding touches like mahogany stained wood, u-shaped booths, a marble staircase and a balcony. The restaurant will have a raw bar featuring all sorts of oysters, shrimp and other seafood, and another specialty will be dry-aged steaks. The two describe the menu as “classical with a French flair,” and their design concept was inspired by the high-end Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego.
It’ll have a lot of other un-Wichita-like touches, including complimentary valet service, an absinthe fountain, dramatic chandeliers, a grand piano, and a bunch of high-end, hard-to-find liquors and an all-season patio that’s a bit more casual.
Shibley and VinZant, who also owns Mike’s Wine Dive and local Jimmy’s Egg restaurants, plan to open Gaslamp in the first week of December and initially will offer dinner only, though they may add lunch after the first of the year. The menu should include several $20 to $30 entrees as well as some more expensive steak options, they said.
“It’s going to be surprising to a lot of people,” VinZant said. “When we open, they’re going to see a side of dining they haven’t seen in Wichita.”