Category Archives: About-to-open

West-side Twin Peaks aims for Oct. 6 opening

The west side Twin Peaks is taking shape at 7325 W. Taft.

The west side Twin Peaks is taking shape at 7325 W. Taft.

Wichita’s west-side Twin Peaks restaurant is going up at 7325 W. Taft, near Kellogg and Ridge, and it should be open by Oct. 6, said Rusty Rathbun, the local Twin Peaks franschisee.

The new restaurant will have some perks that the original, which opened in 2011 at 8310 East 21st St N., doesn’t, including an outdoor fire pit and a 110-inch video wall inside. It’ll also have more seating than the east side.

The new Twin Peaks will start hiring staff members on Aug. 18. For construction updates and information about how to apply, visit the Twin Peaks West Wichita Facebook page.

Downtown’s District Taqueria to open early fall

IMG_0450

The sign is up and demolition has begun inside the old Kelly’s Irish Pub to make way for District Taqueria, a new “urban taco bar” at 917 E. Douglas.

Owners Michael Farha and Marc Humsi originally hoped to have it open this month, but standard delays have pushed the date back to late September or early October, Farha said.

When it opens, the restaurant will have a full bar and will serve what Farha calls “inspired street tacos.” It’ll be open for lunch and dinner Mondays through Saturdays.

This restaurant, by the way, is right next door to the Wichita Eagle. We haven’t been this excited or hungry since the pre-Wasabi days.

New McDonald’s opening at 21st and Greenwich

The Regency Lakes development at 21st and Greenwich keeps filling up with new tenants, and now, there’s news of another one.

Crews are about to break ground on a new McDonald’s at 11130 E. 21st St. N. It’ll be owned and operated by Matt and Beth Raper, who have two other Wichita McDonald’s, including the one at 21st and Rock plus one in Andover and one in Haysville.

111004040429_mcdonalds-logo

The restaurant should open between mid-October and early November and will feature the latest McDonald’s design, including LED lighting, digital menu boards, a split front counter, flat screen TVs and 24-hour dual drive through lanes. The store is accepting applications for assistant managers, manager trainees and crew at www.mcwichita.com.

Regency Lakes already is home to SuperTarget, World Market and Cabela’s, Subway and Chili’s and recently added a Hobby Lobby.

Derby gets its Picasso’s Pizzeria on Thursday

How soon is now?

How soon is now?

Kurt Schmidt will open his second Picasso’s Pizzeria at 620 N. Rock Road in Derby on Thursday.

The restaurant, which is in Bristol Square, will have the same big slices and sandwiches as the original, which opened at 621 W. Douglas in Delano in March 2012, but it will have slightly different hours. The Derby store will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

For more information, call 316-201-1743.

Churn & Burn will serve liquid nitrogen ice cream

Local businessman Christian Shomberg and his fiancee, Jamee Lowe, will open Churn & Burn, a new ice cream and coffee shop at 556 S. Oliver, on Tuesday.

Churn & Burn owners Jamee Lowe and Christian Shomberg.

Churn & Burn owners Jamee Lowe and Christian Shomberg.

The shop, which is filled with colorful relics and signs from the old Joyland, will specialize in ice cream made with liquid nitrogen, which results in a fast freeze and a dense, smoother product. Kansans who visit the Eisenhower Building at the Kansas State Fair each year might have tried liquid nitrogen ice cream before.

The shop will stock several pre-made specialty ice creams in flavors including avocado lime, Earl Grey Sriracha, strawberry balsamic, and popcorn.

Churn & Burn is decorated with several old signs from Joyland.

Churn & Burn is decorated with several old signs from Joyland.

Customers also can watch as their ice cream is made in front of them. They can have coffee and espresso drinks frozen into ice cream treats, or customers can choose made-to-order chocolate or vanilla ice cream with candies and nuts mixed in. The shop will also sell regular coffee drinks and is getting its beans from the local Reverie Coffee Roasters.

Hours will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 1 to 8 p.m. Sundays. On opening day, Tuesday, the store will open at 1 p.m. For more information, call 316-425-7766.

New restaurant in Delano will focus on ‘Eastern Cuisines’

The old Lotus Leaf space on west Douglas will soon be home to Eastern Cuisines.

The old Lotus Leaf space on west Douglas will soon be home to Eastern Cuisines.

A new restaurant is moving into the space that Lotus Leaf vacated in March when it moved to 251 N. Washington in Old Town.

Tumaini Kilangwa, a native of Tanzania, Africa, says she will open Eastern Cuisines in the space at 613 W. Douglas on Aug. 11.

The restaurant will serve breakfast and a lunch buffet that focuses on foods native to countries such as Africa, England, Ireland, India, Italy and the Philippines. It will include items such as rice pilaf, samosas, noodle dishes and kabobs. She’ll also have meat pies, beans, vegetables and many styles of potatoes.

Once open, the restaurant will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except for Saturday. The buffet will end at 3 p.m. each day, but pastries and coffee will be available until close.

Kilangwa, who moved to Wichita in 2000, said she’s been doing catering from home while saving up her money to open a restaurant — and building her own confidence.

I’ll let you know more as the opening date draws near.

Second Wings & Things opens on Saturday

2mwl1.SlMa.80I reported back in May that a second location of Wings & Things, the restaurant owned by football star and Wichita native Kamerion Wimbley and his aunt Valerie Mitchell, would open this summer, and the day arrives on Saturday. The new restaurant is at 331 W. 31st St. S. and just like the original at 2800 E. Central, it specializes in wings with several sauce choices, catfish, burgers and more. It also will have the same hours as the original Wings & Things, which opened a year ago: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m.t o 8 p.m. Sundays.

To celebrate the grand opening of the new store and the original store’s first birthday, both restaurants will offer specials daily from Saturday through July 20. Customers can get 75-cent wings, $5 cheeseburger and fries baskets and $5 one-piece catfish baskets. For more information, visit www.wingsandthings.com.

New Italian restaurant Albero Cafe about ready to go

IMG_0473I’ve been getting a frenzy of e-mails from College Hill-ians noticing that the new Albero Cafe, which is going into the former Bocconcini building at 4811 E. Central, is about to open.

This morning I stopped by and talked to Hassan Ballout, who said opening day for his Italian restaurant is still almost two weeks away. He hopes to have the restaurant ready to go the week of July 21.

Ballout, who worked for 10 years at nearby Bella Luna Cafe, has remodeled the space, adding new flooring, new tables and chairs and a fresh coat of paint. It looks and smells brand new, and it’s bright and open.

He also has his menu ready to go. It features flatbreads, salads, panini sandwiches and pasta dishes such as spaghetti and meatballs, Italian sausage penne and shrimp scampi. Entrees included grilled grouper, grilled salmon, strip steak, chicken Parmesan and eggplant Parmesan. The restaurant also will offer several Italian sodas and will have a liquor license.

Hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

I’ll let you know when Ballout settles on a firm opening date.

Dempsey’s Burger Pub coming to Clifton Square

A burger from Dempsey's Burger Pub.

A burger from Dempsey’s Burger Pub.

The man who got his start in the restaurant business with one of my favorite college haunts is opening a burger place in Clifton Square.

Steven Gaudreau, a Wichita native, is opening Dempsey’s Burger Pub in the old John Browns Space in Clifton Square, 3700 E. Douglas. He’s started work on the remodel of the space but won’t know for several more weeks when he’ll be able to open.

Gaudreau got his start in 1991 with Quinton’s Bar & Deli, a delicious soup and sandwich place on Massachusetts Street in Lawrence. I ingested many calories there in the early 1990s.

He also owns a Quinton’s in Topeka, and there are Quinton’s franchises in Missouri and Iowa, too. He’s a  partner in Bison Witches Bar & Deli, too, which has locations in Norman, Okla., Lincoln, Neb., Tuscon and Tempe, Ariz.

Six years ago, he opened an Irish pub at 623 Vermont St. in Lawrence. Three years ago, he added gourmet burgers to the menu there. A year ago, he opened a Dempsey’s in Lincoln.

Wichita’s Dempsey’s will have all the menu items Lawrence’s does, but because he’ll have more space in Wichita, Gaudreau plans to expand the menu and add more heavy appetizers and sandwiches. The burgers are made with hormone-free beef and also offers Kobe burgers.

The dining room will take up both the upper level and lower level of the space, and Dempsey’s will serve alcohol as well.

It will not, however, have my beloved college staple: Wisconsin cheese soup in a bread bowl. (I plan to visit anyway.)

This is Clifton Square’s third attempt in recent years to get a restaurant in the space, which has been vacant since 2011. French restaurant Au Paris-Bruxelles was slated to open but never did. Mortimer’s Piano Bar was slated to go in before, that but also never happened.

Gaudreau grew up in Wichita, attending Blessed Sacrament and Kapaun Mt. Carmel high school. He remembers frequenting a candy store in Clifton Square as a child.

“This is a homecoming,” he said.

Stay tuned for more details.

Sweet Basil aims for early August reopening

Firefighters battle the April 2 fire at Sweet Basil.

Firefighters battle the April 2 fire at Sweet Basil.

It’s been a long three months for Charli Singh, whose Sweet Basil restaurant at 2424 N. Woodlawn has been closed since early April because of a kitchen fire that resulted in an estimated $400,000 damage.

But when the restaurant reopens, possibly in early August, customers won’t recognize it.

Singh is working with an architect to re-imagine the interior of the 23-year-old restaurant. He’s adding a bar on the south wall, which the restaurant never had before, and he’s also getting all new tables and chairs. The paint job will be different, too.

“It’s a lot of work,” he said. “I wish I didn’t have to do it, but it’s also exciting.”

Singh has been asking his customers for feedback on what he should change and keep the same on the Sweet Basil Facebook page, where he also posted a remodel blueprint.

Stay tuned for updates.