Category Archives: About-to-open

New airport terminal will have Dunkin’ Donuts, Chick-fil-A, River City Brewing

The new airport terminal will have an all-new lineup of restaurants.

The new airport terminal will have an all-new lineup of restaurants.

Can we all agree that the dining situation at the current Mid-Continent Airport terminal is beyond sad?

That will change when the new terminal opens next spring.

The Wichita City Council is expected on Tuesday to approve a plan for food and beverage service in the new terminal that will feature a food court filled with Dunkin’ Donuts, Chick-fil-A and a branch of River City Brewing Co., complete with its craft beers.

That’s worth buying a ticket.

Read more about it in this story I just whipped up.

Anchor’s Schane Gross opening new College Hill restaurant

The Anchor's Schane Gross is planning to open Fork & Fennel in the old Taco Tinga space in August.

The Anchor’s Schane Gross is planning to open Fork & Fennel in the old Taco Tinga space in August.

The Anchor’s Schane Gross, who just opened her Douglas Avenue Chop Shop at 1113 E. Douglas, is about to open another restaurant.

Fork & Fennel is the name of the restaurant Gross is putting in to the old Taco Tinga/ Taco Tico building at 3425 E. Douglas, which is right next door to College Hill Deli & Catering.

The restaurant will showcase the locally produced products Gross has become excited about while supplying her new butcher shop: Creekstone Farms beef, Red Wattle pork, Good Shepherd poultry and Heritage eggs. She also plans to plant a garden near the restaurant and grow her own herbs and other produce. She’s already hired a gardener to work on that part of the project.

The menu will feature Parisian-style sandwiches on baguette plus entrees made with the local meats. She’ll have locally-made beers on draft and bottled craft beers and also will feature a menu of cocktails.

Fork & Fennel will be open for lunch and dinner, and Gross, who lives nearby, is hoping to attract a neighborhood crowd. She’s even planning to turn the area where the drive through is now into a bike rack.

The building needs a lot of cleaning, Gross said, but she is planning on an inexpensive remodel. She’ll document her efforts at “opening a restaurant on a dime” on a blog that she’s setting up.

Gross hopes to have the restaurant ready by August. Stay tuned for details.

Pie Five Pizza opening a second location

pie fiveBy the end of fall, Wichita will have two Pie Five Pizza Co. restaurants.

Applebee’s franchisee Jim Stevens already announced that he will open the first one in August at 334 S. Ridge Road, right by his Applebee’s at the corner of Maple and Ridge. Construction is underway on that location.

Then, in September, he’ll begin work on his second Pie Five. This one will be in a strip center in front of the SuperTarget at NewMarket Square. That one should be done by October. A second Firehouse Subs is going into the same strip center.

Pie Five is a build-your-own pizza restaurant, with four different kinds of crust, including gluten-free.

T.O.P.S. Steaks and Hoagies will open next week

tops

Bernard Knowles knows Philly cheesesteak sandwiches because he grew up in Philadelphia.

He also knows the restaurant business because his parents owned a barbecue place in Philly for years, and helped run it.

Now Knowles, who works in his regular life as a general contractor, is opening a business that will utilize all that knowledge.

T.O.P.S. Steaks and Hoagies at 2251 E. 21st St., near 21st and Grove, is set to open next week, probably on Wednesday, Knowles said. The title stands for “Taste of Philadelphia Style,” and the restaurant will specialize in Philly cheesesteak sandwiches made with meat shipped in from The Original Philly Cheesesteak Co. in Philadelphia. The restaurant also will serve chicken cheesesteak, several styles of hoagie sandwiches and breakfast items such steak and eggs, omelets, home fries and grits.

The restaurant’s initial hours will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. On Friday nights, the restaurant will serve dinner specials such as barbecue ribs with collard greens, Knowles said. He’s planning a grand opening event for June 21.

Reach the restaurant at 316-239-6403.

Sweet Willy’s restaurant opens May 28, food truck in a month

Sweet Willys

Sweet Willy’s Redneck BBQ should open on May 28.

Sweet Willy’s Hillbilly BBQ will open in the next couple of weeks at 4628 S. Seneca, said owner Randy Hare, and in about a month, he also plans to add another barbecue food truck to the growing fleet.

Next week, Hare said, he’ll build his barbecue pit and accept delivery of his smokers. He’s aiming for an opening date of May 28 for his 36-seat restaurant,

In the meantime, he’s put out a menu that features standard barbecue fare plus items such as meatball subs, corn on the cob on a stick, and an interesting invention called “Redneck Tacos,” which feature polenta topped with pulled pork, coleslaw and mustard balsamic barbecue sauce.

The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and from 11 a.. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Hare said that within the month, he also plans to have a Sweet Willy’s food truck parked and serving around Wichita about five days a week.

Here’s a look at the menu: Read More »

A second Wings & Things will open this summer

The first Wings & Things opened last July.

The first Wings & Things opened last July.

The first Wings & Things, a restaurant owned by football star and Wichita native Kamerion Wimbley— opened in July of last year at 2800 E. Central.

The second should open in late June.

It will be on 31st St. South between Broadway and Seneca, said general manager Michael Mann. Wimbley also will open a third Twice as Nice barbershop right next door. He already has two Twice as Nice shops in Wichita, one of which is next to the original Wings & Things.

Wimbley, a graduate of Northwest High and member of the Tennessee Titans, doesn’t live here but has relatives who do. The restaurant serves wings, fish sandwiches and more.

Wimbley was a quarterback, punter and linebacker at Northwest High. He went on to play as a defensive end at Florida State and was a first-round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. He played four seasons for the Cleveland Browns, then spent two seasons in Oakland before playing for Tennessee.

Rip’s Rib Shak food truck adding stationary restaurant

1794733_1461838624047355_1598875291_n

Rip’s Rib Shak, the mobile barbecue trailer that Steven Pittman and his father-in-law Kevin Smith opened last summer, is about to get a brick-and-mortar brother.

The duo plus Pittman’s wife and Smith’s daughter, Alexis Pittman, are opening a stationary version of Rip’s Rib Shak in an old Phillips 66 station at 611 W. Harry. They hope to have it open by mid-June and plan to serve the same menu made popular by the trailer: St. Louis-style spare ribs, pulled pork, hotlinks, burgers and chicken legs cooked on a Himalayan salt block. The small space has some room for seating, and Pittman hopes to eventually add outdoor seating, too.

In the meantime, Pittman is serving from the trailer, which is parked right in front of the future business, starting at 11 a.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. He keeps serving until he runs out of food, which he said is usually around 5 or 6 p.m.

Pittman, who has worked at several barbecue restaurants over the years, plans to still use the truck for special events and to travel to barbecue competitions.

Keep up with the progress on the Rips Rib Shak Facebook page.

Wasabi west owners plan Bel Aire expansion

photo-4Business has been good for Steve and Jasmine Young since they opened their Wasabi Sushi Bar West at 2404 N. Maize Road  in February. It’s been so good that they’re already talking about an expansion into Bel Aire in the next year or two.

The Youngs, who own the New Market Square Wasabi but not the downtown or east side Wasabi, have made firm plans to open another location in the planned Caban Marketplace along North Rock Road in Bel Air. That’s still a year or two away, though, says Wasabi general manager Matt Polk.

In the meantime, the restaurant is extending its half-price sushi offer that it started when it opened. Originally, the plan was to offer sushi for half price only during February, but customers responded so enthusiastically, Polk said, that the special has continued and will remain intact indefinitely.

Polk said he wanted to make clear, though, that Wichita’s various Wasabi restaurants are under different ownership and that the half-price deal is only good at the 2404 N. Maize Road location. The Youngs sold the restaurants at 912 E. Douglas and 32432 N. Rock Road before they opened out west.

Wasabi Sushi Bar West is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call the restaurant at 316-613-3318.

Jacky Chan Sushi to open on April 18

Jacky Chan Sushi will open on April 18 at 4910 E. Central.

Jacky Chan Sushi will open on April 18 at 4910 E. Central.

Several curious diners have written me lately to ask what’s going in to the former Sit at Thai Express space at 4910 E. Central.

I stopped by this morning and had a very spirited conversation with Binh Tran, the owner of the about-to-open Jacky Chan Sushi. (He insisted we take a selfie together before I left.)

Tran, whose nickname is Jacky Chan, was the longtime sushi chef at Kwan Court, which closed in 2011. He also made sushi for Sakura, the restaurant at 7820 E. Harry  that  closed on New Year’s Eve. It was owned by his brother.

A sampling of Jacky Chan's sushi

A sampling of Jacky Chan’s sushi

Tran’s new restaurant, which will open on April 18, has seating for about 20 and a drive-through. He’s offering a huge, multi-page menu that features daily $6.50 lunch specials. It also has tempanyaki grill specials, pho, udon soup and wonton soup. The sushi menu includes nigiri, sashimi and dozens of rolls, both simple and complex. Rolls range in price from $5.50 to $12.95.

The restaurant’s hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, call 316-239-6178 or visit the restaurant’s Facebook page, which also offers several photos of Tran’s food.

Next generation of Wichita food trucks almost ready to roll

1912258_741070625912859_743610629_nTake heart, Wichita food truck fans.

We may have lost Cake Face Bake Shop & Deli and The Rolling Dough, but a new generation of Wichita food trucks is preparing to roll out over the next couple of months.

One is the barbecue truck formerly known as BJs Smokeshack. Owners Jennifer and Brad Vieux have been working on getting the truck up and going for almost a year and decided a few months ago to change the name to Park-n-Pork. They’ve custom ordered a 28-foot-truck from Ohio, which should in Wichita soon. The couple plans to have it up and running by the end of the month and even have committed to serving at The Red Barn Outdoor Market in Benton on April 26.

The truck will serve smoked meat items such as pulled pork, brisket, ham, ribs, chicken, and specialty sandwiches plus homemade sides. They’ll be open for lunch and sometimes dinner and breakfast and also will do special events.

Funky Monkey Munchies, a food truck in the works by Lisa Palacios and her husband, Eddi, should be open in early May. Palacios said her vintage truck is almost ready to go, as are her menus focused on healthy fusion food made mostly from non-GMO, organic and locally sourced ingredients. She plans to have a rotating menu featuring a variety of cuisines from Mexican to French to Asian and will open for lunch and dinner in typical food truck parking spots.

And Rochelle Collins’ Kind Kravings, a vegan food truck focused on healthy fare that tastes good, also is getting closer to a launch date. She plans to be open by the end of May. She’ll be at Earth Fest VI on April 19 at Herman Hill Park, offering samples of the type of food she’ll be serving once the trailer is ready to go.  Menu item will include dishes such as lettuce wraps, bean wraps, rice bowls and vegan manicotti.

I’ll keep you updated on specific opening dates for all three food trucks.