Category Archives: Diners

Famous Valentine diner Brints closed again

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Brints Diner is closed again. But it could reopen soon, said the building’s landlord, Homer Morgan.

The restaurant, which has operated in a Valentine Diner at 4834 E. Lincoln for more than 50 years, has been through several owners over the past year.

Longtime owner Jessie Medina closed it in October of 2012. Shortly after, Neighbors Bar & Grill owner Chuck Giles took it over and ran it until this summer before deciding he was more of a one-restaurant man.

Morgan found new operators, but they recently fell behind on the rent, he said. He served them with an eviction notice a week ago, and by Friday, they were gone. The diner has been closed since.

Morgan says he has another restaurateur interested in running Brints under the same name, but he speculates the diner will be closed for at least a month.

Brints is famous not only for its 2007 inclusion on Guy Fieri’s show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” but also for operating inside a Valentine diner. About 2,000 of the buildings were made by Wichita’s Valentine Manufacturing between 1938 and 1971, and architecture buffs are still passionate about them.

Former Brint's Diner owner Jessie Medina with Guy Fieri back in ???, when the diner appeared on

Former Brints Diner owner Jessie Medina with Guy Fieri back in 2007 when the diner appeared on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”

Other Valentine diners in Wichita include Grinder Man at 510 E. Pawnee, Sport Burger at 134 N. Hillside, and the now-closed Dyne-Quik/El Maya at 1202 N. Broadway.

Brints first opened in 1960 but was called Hunt’s Diner. Its next owners changed the name to Brints, which has stuck through present day.

I’ll keep you updated on the new owner.

Where would Beccy Tanner eat?

Beccy and her pals on Thanksgiving Day at Johnsons Smokehouse BBQ in Great Bend.

No one, except maybe the Kansas Sampler Foundation’s Marci Penner, loves Kansas more than my colleague, Beccy Tanner, who has written about the state for 30 years for the Eagle.

Not only does she commute between her country and city homes, but Beccy can tell you an interesting tidbit about every county in Kansas and can share a fact from every year that the state has been in the union.

Beccy often regales with me delicious tales from her stops at little cafes, barbecue restaurants and bars all over the state, and we have a lot of them. Their specialties range from chicken fried steak to pan-fried chicken to burgers and fries.

In honor of Kansas Day, which was earlier this week, I gathered up a list of some of Beccy’s favorites from around the state. For good measure, I threw in a list from Marci Penner, too.

Save this story, which will also be printed in Friday’s Go! section, and use it to plan either your next day trip or your next meal stop when on your way elsewhere.

Opening next week: new bar, old diner

A couple of businesses plan to open their doors next week, and one is right down the block from me.

Jon’s Ale House should open on Tuesday in the former Kelly’s Irish Pub spot at 917 E. Douglas, next door to The Beacon. Its focus will be craft beers from labels such as New Belgium, Free State, Tallgrass and more. The bar also will serve breakfast and lunch and is planning a menu filled with cold cut sandwiches, salads and soups such as a Guinness beef and vegetable soup. They’ll also have a few franks, including a quarter pounder topped with bacon and blue cheese.

Hours will be 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Owner Anthony Lynch has all but gutted the place, adding new furniture, new restrooms and a new bar top attractively decorated with craft beer labels.

Across town, Chuck Giles, the owner of Neighbors Restaurant & Bar at 2150 N. Amidon, says he’s almost ready to reopen Brint’s Diner at 4834 E. Lincoln. The restaurant, set up in a classic Valentine Diner building, was closed by former owner Jessie Medina back in October. Giles hopes to be ready to go by Thursday.

Baxter Springs’ Cafe on the Route closes

Guy Fieri with Cafe on the Route owners Amy and Richard Sanell.

My colleague Jerry Siebenmark alerted me to a sad Kansas restaurant event. Cafe on the Route, a well-regarded restaurant in Baxter Springs owned by Amy and Richard Sanell and once featured by Guy Fieri’s Food Network show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” has closed. The couple had operated the restaurant for 14 years in a building that was built in 1865.

I’ve never visited this place, despite the fact that my parents live in nearby Carthage, and now it looks like I never will. Too bad, because I like the sound of fried potato salad, which was one of their specialties.

I’m starting to wonder if a visit from the recently vilified Mr. Fieri is a blessing or a curse. Another Kansas restaurant featured on the show, Brint’s Diner, closed in October. We just reported today that Neighbor’s Restaurant & Bar owner Chuck Giles is going to reopen it, though.

In the next couple of weeks, I’m going to partner with Kansas expert Beccy Tanner to create a guide to tiny Kansas cafes that must be sampled before it’s too late. Know of one? Nominate it in the comments section below.

Doo-Dah Diner changes hours

Doo-Dah Diner owner and chef Patrick Shibley, clowning in the kitchen

The Doo-Dah Diner at 206 E. Kellogg  may possibly have been misnamed, says owner Timirie Shibley.

The restaurant, which has developed a steady word-of-mouth following since it opened three months ago, isn’t really all that diner-ish, customers have noted. The dishes, which include biscuits and gravy, meatloaf and chicken fried steak, all are fresh-made from scratch by Shibley’s husband, longtime restaurant fixture Patrick Shibley. The food might be a bit more cafe than diner, she says with a laugh, but c’est la vie.

Now, the restaurant is changing its hours because of a demand from customers. Previously, the restaurant’s only day off was Saturdays, but weekend breakfast seekers have been disappointed by that and asked the Shibleys to add Saturday service.

Starting this week, Doo-Dah diner’s new hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. It’ll now be closed on Mondays.

The Shibleys just introduced a new breakfast special that’s a monster of a meal and includes half-servings of three of its most popular dishes — the crispy corn beef hash, the “Timmy’s Benny,” and the banana bread French toast. It’s “a meal and a half” at $12.99, Timirie said.

For more information, call 316-265-7011.

Southside restaurant adds round-the-clock weekend hours

Cathy’s Westway Cafe, the diner that took over the space at 1214 W. Pawnee in August after the short-lived On the Fly Family Restaurant closed, is going to start experimenting with 24-hour weekend service starting on Friday.

Owner Cathy Hetterscheidt, who’s operated several restaurants around town, including the former Cathy’s Diner at 206 E. Kellogg,  said that there’s a demand for dining among the third-shift working crowd, especially between 2 and 4 a.m. She’s had several customers ask her to provide it, she said.

Her new hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Then, she’ll open at 6 a.m. on Fridays and remain open until 2 p.m. on Sundays. The restaurant specializes in breakfast dishes and items such as country fried steak.

Hetterscheidt also is planning a benefit event on Saturday for Rylee Spears, an 8-year-old Goessel girl who was seriously injured in a rollover car accident in August. The restaurant will put on a car and bike show in the parking lot all day on Saturday and will serve hot dogs and hamburgers. There’s a $5 entry fee for those who want to show their cars and bikes, and trophies will be awarded. Entrants can register the day of the show.

For more information, call the restaurant at 316-260-8787.

Can there ever be enough chicken fried steak?

I would like to apologize for the uphill slope on this picture. Not sure if it's the parking lot, my camera or my general equilibrium.

Wichita’s latest  family-style restaurant  is Auntie Mae’s Attic & Cafe at 9125 W. Central.

It opened a little over a week and offers offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. The cafe’s owners recently relocated their Auntie Mae’s Attic s antique store from Delano to the bigger building and decided to open a café, too. Menu items includes traditional breakfast fare, sandwiches and diner specialties such as meatloaf, fried pork chops and country fried steak. They also served hot cinnamon rolls daily. Hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 316-263-1800.

A string of these types of homespun cafes have opened this year, including Kinfolk Cafe, which opened in late March in the former Nifty Kitchen spot at 1815 S. Broadway. It’s open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays and specializes in breakfast and diner-style dinners, including chicken fried steak, burgers and more. For more information, call 316-263-1468.

There’s also On the Fly Family Restaurant, which opened at 1215 W. Pawnee back in February. Owned by Chris & Sheila Hare, it also specializes in breakfast and dishes such as chicken fried steak. An interesting fact about that restaurant: Servers will bring food over to an attached smoke shop, meaning diners can get around the no-smoking rule in that section. Hours are 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays; 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 316-977-9277.

The return of Dyne Quik

I’ve been surprised by how many readers have asked me lately about Dyne Quik, the little Valentine diner at 1202 N. Broadway.

New owner Richard Jack reopened the spot, officially renaming it to Lil’ Joe’s Dyne Quik (after his 7-year-old son), about a week and a half ago.  He’s now open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

His menu includes daily blue plate specials such as pork chops (today’s special), a hot roast beef sandwich (tomorrow’s special) and staples such as burgers, chicken fried steak, sandwiches, salads and more. He also serves traditional breakfast items daily.

Jack, who used to operate a little restaurant near Manhattan a decade ago, says he’s readjusting to life behind the grill. Dyne Quik closed in 2008, and Jack and his crews have spent the past several months removing “50 years of grease,” he said.

Former fans of Dyne Quik have been stopping in to check out the new menu, and all of them compliment Jack on how nice the place looks.

“A lot of people come in that had come here before and say they didn’t know that the walls were actually white,” he said.

For more information, call 316-263-1117.