Category Archives: About-to-open

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

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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.

Rita’s Italian Ice opens Monday with free ice for all

Just in time for the arrival of warmer weather, Wichita is getting a new frozen treat option: Italian ice.

Rita’s Italian Ice will open Monday at 2929 N. Rock Road, right next to Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and it’s inviting Wichita to enjoy a free regular-sized serving of Italian ice on both Monday and Tuesday. The shop will be open from noon to 10 p.m., which are its daily hours.

Mango is the most popular flavor at Rita's Italian Ice.

Mango is the most popular flavor at Rita’s Italian Ice.

Franchisee Jeff Miller, who along with his brother, Jay Miller, has all the Five Guys franchises in town, said that Italian ice is something most Wichitans probably aren’t familiar with.

“Italian ice is a new thing to the Midwest,” he said. “When people hear ice, everyone assumes it’s a Slushee or a Snow cone or shaved ice. But that doesn’t do justice to this product.”

Miller said Italian ice is so smooth, it has the texture of ice cream. The ice is infused with the flavors, and Rita’s has 65 different choices. They’ll have 12 available each day. He said his favorite is a dulce de leche that came out last year. The most popular is mango, and flavors such as banana, cheesecake, cherry and lime also will be available, as will be a few sugar-free options.

Rita’s also serves vanilla and chocolate frozen custard and other ice cream products. Miller said he’s hoping to eventually add Rita’s near all Wichita’s Five Guys.

For more information, call Rita’s at or check out the local Rita’s Facebook page.

West side Metro Grill opens on Saturday, will serve late on weekends

IMG_0168Michael Gonzalez will open his new west side Metro Grill on Saturday, he said.

The chef, who also has Metro Grill III at the Waterfront at 10096 E. 13th, announced in early November that he would be taking over the old Bartelli’s Pizzeria spot at 10330  W. Central. Bartelli’s closed in September after 10 years in business.

The new restaurant will be similar to the Metro Grill that Gonzalez once ran in Andover but sold to a former employee in 2011. Instead of the upscale dining experience he offers at the Waterfront, the west side Metro Grill will have more of a casual atmosphere. Customers will order at the counter and will be served on disposable plates. It’ll have all the menu items Gonzalez is famous for, including his Cuban sandwich, Bob sandwich and more.

Gonzalez also said he’s going to experiment with late-night hours on the weekends, which is something the west side Wichita doesn’t have a lot of. He’ll be open from 11 am. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and from 11  a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays.

For more information, call the restaurant at 316-295-3265.

West-side Wasabi opening Monday, offering half-price sushi all month

photo-4After a long wait, the Wasabi Sushi Bar West is finally set to open — and owners are rewarding customers’ patience with a fabulous sushi deal.

The restaurant, which is at 2404 N. Maize Road near Logan’s Roadhouse, will open for business at 11 a.m. on Monday and will be open for both lunch and dinner daily. Throughout the month of February, it will be offering all of its sushi for half-price, said manager Matt Polk.

Plans for the west-side Wasabi were first announced in 2012, but the opening was slowed down by construction delays and the fact that Wasabi founders Steve and Jasmine Young were focused on selling their other two Wasabi restaurants. Those two, at 912 E. Douglas and 32432 N. Rock Road, are now operating under new ownership.

The west-side Wasabi will have a full bar, Polk said. The menu is almost identical to the menu at the existing Wasabis, he said, but it will have a few new rolls and appetizer options, and the Youngs are also adding some items to the menu that were once popular at the original Wasabi restaurants, including Korean bibimbap and a pork katsu.

For more information, call the restaurant at 316-613-3318.

Chop Shop will make the Anchor more delicious

Schane Gross’ Douglas Avenue Chop Shop, a high-end butcher shop she’s opening next to her popular bar/restaurant the Anchor, is close to finished. She’s aiming for a soft-opening on Feb. 11 and 12 that will include an artisan cheese and wine tasting. (The grand opening won’t be until late March.)

In the meantime, she’s talking about how the new meat shop will benefit diners at the Anchor.

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Gross has plans to add steak specials to the menu next door. The Anchor has lots of good bar food at the moment, but steak isn’t on the menu.

The Douglas Avenue Chop Shop, 1113 E. Douglas, also will be able to produce its own sausages, which will be added to the menu next door. Gross is working on signing up local restaurant/bars to purchase their own signature sausages from the shop. She envisions future “sausage fests” where diners could travel from restaurant to restaurant, sampling sausages and tasting beer.

Other additions to the Anchor menu that the Chop Shop will make possible include meatballs and samples of high-end cheeses.

The Douglas Avenue Chop Shop at 1113 E. Douglas is coming right along.

The Douglas Avenue Chop Shop at 1113 E. Douglas is coming right along.

Gross has a million ideas for her new business, including a cheese club where customers would be able to sample fancy cheeses and buy them at cost. She says she’ll be selling thin-sliced meat appropriate for making pho at home, and she’ll also have hard-to-get items such as rabbit.

When the Chop Shop is up and running, Gross will sell Creekstone Farms meat and other fancy cuts.

For information on the Chop Shop opening and the wine and cheese party, check the Douglas Avenue Chop Shop Facebook page.

Taste & See 3 opening at McConnell

Chef Jason Febres posted this picture of the keys to Taste & See 3 on his Facebook page on Thursday.

Chef Jason Febres posted this picture of the keys to Taste & See 3 on his Facebook page on Thursday.

Chef Jason Febres, who just opened his second Taste & See at 255 N. Washington in Old Town, has just made a deal to open Taste & See 3.

But not just anyone can go.

The new restaurant will be at McConnell Air Force Base. Febres said base officials approached him about the idea of opening there because people from the base had become a big fans of his original Taste & See, which is nearby at 3825 E. Harry.

The McConnell Taste & See should open on Feb. 3 in the Dole Center on the base, said Stefan Bocchino, a McConnell spokesman.  It will start off serving just breakfast and lunch.

The restaurant will be open only to those authorized to be on the base, Bocchino said.

Febres said he wasn’t looking to expand yet but that when McConnell officials approached him, he saw it as an opportunity he didn’t want to pass up.