Category Archives: Restaurant closings

One restaurant opens, another closes

Talliano’s is gone, but a new pizza buffet has taken its place. Uncle Joe’s Pizzeria just opened in the spot at 8404 W. 13th that previously housed Talliano’s.

Uncle Joe’s, owned by Joe Arensdorf, has a buffet that has the white sauce Talliano’s fans loved — plus that amazing chocolate chip dessert pizza. But it also offers a choice of thin or thick crust, and patrons can order other items, too, such as wings, stromboli and pepperoni rolls.

The restaurant opened two weeks ago, and its hours are now 11 a.. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 316-351-5545.

Meanwhile, a short-lived Wichita Mexican restaurant has closed. The phone is disconnected and there’s a “for rent” sign in the window of El Maya, the Mexican restaurant that opened a year ago in the former Dyne Quik building at 1202 N. Broadway. The building is one of Wichita’s remaining Valentine diners.

One restaurant opens, another closes

Good news for west siders: YOLO Grill, a restaurant owned by Aaron and Cindy Cline at 803 N. West St. that specializes in made-from-scratch food such as burgers, hand-cut fries, pork sliders, Reuben sandwiches, hot dogs, onion rings and more, is open.

Its hours are 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. For more information, call 316-260-8008.

But bad news for Derby-ites. It appears that Wheat State Pizza, a family-owned restaurant with a good reputation at 236 W. Greenway, has closed. Its last day in business was Tuesday, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page. The restaurant had been open since February of 2011.

Nathan Toubia closes Bocconcini Italian Eatery

It’s a sad day for fans of pillowy ravioli and pork saltimbocca.

Nathan Toubia has closed is Bocconcini Italian Eatery at 4811 E. Central. He plans to keep his Bocco Deli open at 3010 E. Central and focus his energy there.

Toubia, the son of Latour founder Antoine Toubia, opened Bocconcini in August of 2011, and it was instantly popular with foodies. 

On Labor Day weekend of last year, Toubia suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident. Since then, he said, he’s struggled personally and financially.

In June, Toubia cut out his weekday lunch hours. Though business had picked back up recently, he still had to make the hard decision, he said.

“I hate to see it go, but also, for me personally, I need to be balanced,” he said. “I think it’s bette r to cut ties and focus more on the deli.”

Asian restaurant closes, will be replaced by another

Koi Fusion cuisine, available for less than an hour

If you were a fan of Koi Fusion, the little Asian eatery I reviewed a few weeks back, today’s your last day to enjoy it.

The restaurant will close for good at the end of business today, which is 5 p.m. Owner Dave Wan has decided to move back to Oregon and is closing the restaurant, which he opened in April.

A new Vietnamese restaurant is set to open in the space, which formerly held Samurai. I’ll let you know more details when I get them.

Many courses of Metro Grill news

I finally was able to reach Chef Michael Gonzalez, the owner of Metro Grill III at the Waterfront, who recently closed his popular Towne East Mall location.

He’s putting all his focus now on his Waterfront restaurant, which opened last June at 10096 E. 13th St., suite 122. He’s also planning a VIP Night for March 30, featuring a five-course meal he’s preparing himself. Attendees will be allowed to bring their own alcoholic beverages with no corkage fee. There will be live music, and Gonzalez’s plans for the menu include Chilean sea bass, beef carpaccio, strawberry flambe and more.

Gonzalez used to put his VIP nights on regularly when he briefly owned the Metro Grill in Andover.  He plans to start offering them at the Waterfront on the last Saturday of every month. He has two seatings available for March 30 — one from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and one from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. The price is $50 a person.

Gonzalez also talked a little more about the reason he decided to close his sandwich cart at Towne East, a popular spot he had operated in the food court since 2005.

He got an offer, he said, from a former customer who was interested in moving the cart to a mall in Arkansas. He hadn’t been looking to sell, Gonzalez said, but the man offered him a good price, and Gonzalez decided he could use the extra time to focus on some new ventures — namely a consulting gig in New York City and the possibility of a downtown Metro Grill.

The spot he’s pondering now, Gonzalez said, is in the Union Station building at 725 E. Douglas that used to house Cox Communications. Occidental Management recently acquired that property and plans to fill it with shopping and dining.

For more information or to make a VIP night reservation, call 316-631-1454.

No bueno: Las Tias De Beto is closed

Me, my sad shadow, and the bad news on the Las Tias De Beto door.

Las Tias De Beto, the delicious Mexican restaurant that opened in July, is closed. Sunday was its last day in business.

The restaurant, which was at 1064 N. Waco, right next to Juarez Bakery, belonged to Juarez owner Manuel Fernandez and a partner. It sold authentic tacos, tortas, enchiladas and more. Fans of the restaurant were bemoaning its closure this weekend on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Fernandez didn’t want to go into too much detail, but he said there was a disagreement between the family members operating the restaurant about how it should be run. The disagreement couldn’t be worked out, he said, so he decided to close the restaurant.

Financial health was part of the issue too, he said. “How can I say this? You can’t spend $10 if you only make $6 or $7.”

Fernandez said he’s already had two or three offers from other entrepreneurs hoping to open a restaurant in the space, which is all brand new. But he’s going to need a while to consider those offers, he said.

He promised to update me when he made a decision.

Metro Grill in Towne East is closed

Gonzalez

***Brief update as of Tuesday morning:*** 

Michael Gonzalez’s manager at the Waterfront Metro Grill, 10096 E. 13th St., suite 122, stresses that it is still open, serving the same dishes that were available in the mall.

Gonzalez is in and out, he said, and he added that someone in Arkansas wants to buy the whole mall setup and open it there.

He promises to get me in touch with his boss as soon as possible for more details.
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I don’t want to tell you this any more than you want to hear it.

Metro Grill, the amazing sandwich-shop-in-a-cart that Michael Gonzalez opened in the Towne East Square food court in 2005, is closed. Towne East officials say it closed a couple of days ago but said any other details would have to come from Gonzalez.

My pal Natasha went there to eat this weekend and found a sign directing people to the Metro Grill at the Waterfront, 10096 E. 13th St., suite 122, which is still open. The sign in the mall indicated that the owner was moving to Arkansas, she said.

I haven’t heard back from Gonzalez, and folks at his restaurant at the Waterfront say they aren’t sure how to reach him. They expect him in the restaurant sometime on Tuesday.

I’ll keep trying to reach Gonzalez and will let you know what I find out.

In the meantime, a moment of silence, please, for the little cart that could. I’ll miss it.

Red Barn closed, but owner plans new Mexican restaurant

Michael Rodriguez, who ran The Red Barn, plans a new Mexican restaurant.

The Red Barn  is gone.

The restaurant , which sat on the east side of Lake Afton and was operated by Michael Rodriguez and his family since 2010, had its final wedding this weekend, and the owner,  state Sen. Dick Kelsey, is putting the building up for auction on Nov. 12.

Michael  is planning a new Mexican restaurant, though, said his son, Gerard Rodriguez. They’re not ready to announce details yet but will soon. It won’t be downtown, Gerard said, but will be “near.”

In the meantime, the family is focusing on its new restaurants in Wichita’s core, including Anna Murdoc’s Cafe, which opened in in July and Gerard runs, and the new R Coffeehouse, which his brother, Angelo, opened in the old Riverside Perk space a few weeks ago. Michael is hopping between the restaurants while he works on his new place.

The family is sad to see the Red Barn go, Gerard said, but it helped them gain a following that has transferred to its new restaurants.

“We’ve got three different opportunities to do some good stuff and showcase things on our own terms,” he said.

The Red Barn sold barbecue, tamales, tacos and opened for breakfast on weekend mornings. R Coffeehouse is now selling breakfast daily and tamales on weekends, Gerard said.

Kings-X at 21st and Amidon is closing

Linda and Jack Davidson

The Kings-X restaurant at 21st and Amidon is closing, its owners said today. Its last day in business will be Nov. 25.

Jack and Linda Davidson, who own the Jimmie’s Diners at 3111 N. Rock Road and 1519 George Washington Blvd., took over the business in 2007. Though they own the building, they lease the ground it stands on, which has been sold to make way for a CVS Pharmacy.

The building, which has been operating as Kings-X since 1968, will be torn down, Jack Davidson said. The restaurant was the last remaining of the original Kings-X chain, which was created by A.J. (Jimmie) King. in 1938.

The interior of Kings X, as photographed by neighbor Jaime Green, who is very sad the restaurant is closing.

The Davidsons say they hope to open another restaurant in the 21st and Amidon area. It would be called Jimmie’s Diner but would have the same service and menu.
In the meantime, the Davidsons will find places at their two remaining restaurants for the 20 or so Kings-X employees, some of whom have worked there for 20 years or more.

He’ll also put on promotions and specials for longtime customers during the restaurant’s remaining weeks, he said.

“We like that little part of town, and I think we bring something to that market,” he said. “We hope to be back.”

Brint’s Diner is closing on Sunday

Guy Fieri, host of the Food Network's show, "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives," left, talks with Brint's Diner owner Jessie Medina back in 2007.

Brint’s Diner, 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, is closing on Sunday after eight years in business.

Jessie Medina bought the business at 4834 E. Lincoln and opened it in June of 2004  inside a metal, mass produced 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. Brint’s first opened in 1960.

In 2007, the Diner was featured on Fieri’s Food Network show. At the time, the show was just about to debut.

Attention from that episode kept the diner alive, Medina said, but recent construction around the area has devastated it. His entryway has been blocked by construction crews, he said, and the down economy hasn’t helped. He hopes to reopen Brint’s somewhere in the area, preferably in a less tucked-away location with better street visibility.

Brint’s Diner will be open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday and will close at the end of business on Sunday. For more information, call 316-684-0290.

Keep reading for the article we published after Fieri’s visit in 2007.

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