Category Archives: Restaurant closings

Yamasa Japanese Grill is closed for remodeling, manager says

unnamed (8)Yamasa Japanese Grill, the fast-Japanese/sushi restaurant that opened in 2007 at  327 N. Hillside, is closed — but apparently only temporarily.

The restaurant, which belongs to Great Wall empire owner Benny Lin, has been closed for about a month. A manager at Great Wall says that Lin is out of the country until the end of December but said that Yamasa will be remodeled and should reopen in a few months.

For now, the doors are locked, the chairs are upside down on the tables and part of the sign is missing.

Lin opened a second Yamasa in 2010 at 407 E. Pawnee, but it converted into a Great Wall about a year later.

I’ll keep you posted.

Sakura Japanese Restaurant is closing, but owners hope to relocate

Sushi from Sakura Japanese Restaurant.

Sushi from Sakura Japanese Restaurant.

Sakura Japanese Restaurant, which has served sushi and other Japanese fare at 7820 E. Harry since 2006, will close at the end of business on Dec. 31.

The lease on the space is up, said owner Ernice Low, and she wants to move the business elsewhere.

She hasn’t been able to find a new place yet but says her plan is to relocate the restaurant. For now, she says, she’s going to rest while she searches.

She promised to update me if she found a new space.

Call 316-613-2828 for more information.

Kosta the Greek will close soon

Kosta the Greek, the restaurant that opened at 2308 S. Meridian in February, is closing. Kosta Kiosses says the last day will be right before Thanksgiving — probably Nov. 25 or 26.

The area just wasn’t busy enough, Kiosses said. He’d love to reopen someday, he said, but if he did, it would be somewhere like the east side.

Kosta the Greek serves traditional Greek foods such as gyro sandwiches, Greek salad, souvlaki with homemade tzatziki sauce and spanakopita.

For more information, call 316-260-3230.

Taco Town closes two months after opening

Two months after opening Taco Town in the old Taco Tico building at 11333 E. Central, Larry and Rosemarie Ross have closed the business.

They just weren’t making it, said their daughter, Amber Hehnke, and negative reviews on Yelp didn’t help, she said.

“People who utilize technology such as Yelp don’t realize how much it hurts new local businesses,” she said.

The Rosses previously had operated a Taco Town in Scottsbluff, Neb. They decided to move themselves and the business to Wichita to be closer to their Hehnke and her family.

Bartelli’s Pizzeria is apparently closed

It’s not looking good for a very good pizza place in Wichita.

I got an e-mail from a reader this weekend telling me that on Sunday, he was in Bartelli’s Pizzeria, the restaurant at 10330 W. Central opened in 2003 by Bruce Bartel, and that employees told him it was the restaurant’s last day in business.

Though I have been unable to reach Bartel, the restaurant space is listed for lease, and an agent with Landmark Commercial Real Estate confirms that the space is available.

I drove to the restaurant today, and it was closed during what should have been normal business hours. The tables had cleaning products sitting out all over them.

I used to love Bartelli’s, which served big, delicious New York slices long before Picasso’s even existed. But since I don’t have much occasion to get to Central and Maize anymore, I haven’t been there in a while.

I’ll let you know if I get any more details.

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.