Category Archives: Restaurant reopenings

Lotus Leaf Cafe has completed its move

The pretty patio at the new Lotus Leaf.

The pretty patio at the new Lotus Leaf.

Lotus Leaf Cafe is back in business.

It reopened on Saturday in a bright sunny space with a bright sunny patio right next door to Taste & See at at 251 N. Washington in Old Town.

Lotus Leaf, which opened at 613 W. Douglas in Delano in November of 2010, closed in late March to start its move. The restaurant, owned by Jacquelyn Keefer, serves healthy foods made with all-nature, non-GMO ingredients.

The restaurants hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Additions in the new spot include a coffee/juice/smoothie bar, organic wine and beer and more menu item
For more information, call 316-295-4133.

Birds on the Roof Restaurant: New name, new chef, new approach

Among the pretty new dishes being served by chef James Risner at Birds on the Roof Restaurant: Eggs Benedict.

Among the pretty new dishes being served by chef James Risner at Birds on the Roof Restaurant: Eggs Benedict.

The owners of Birds on the Roof have found a new chef, and they’re also taking a new approach with their whimsically pretty restaurant, which opened in August at 550 N. Rock Road.

The new chef is James Risner, who most recently worked at Taste & See. He’s been revamping the restaurant’s menu, adding new breakfast, lunch and dinner items such as eggs Benedict with salmon, seafood crepes, omelettes,  filet mignon and more. (Chef Nathan Toubia, who had spent several months working at the restaurant, recently took a new job at the Wichita Country Club.)

Owners Jimmy Nguyen and his wife, Thao Luu, also changed the name from Birds on the Roof Bakery & Cafe to Birds on the Roof Restaurant and want to focus more on “romantic, French-style dinners.”

The owners also have lowered prices, they said, and retrained the staff. Anyone whose food takes longer than 20 minutes to arrive gets 50 percent off.

To celebrate its grand reopening this weekend, diners on Thursday and Friday evenings will get 50 percent off the dinner menu. (Reservations are required to get the deal.)

Saturday’s grand-reopening activities will include live music and giveaways.

For more information, call the restaurant at 316-558-8288 or 316-708-9799.

Starbucks at Central and Rock slated to reopen Thursday

A Starbucks spokesperson says that the Starbucks at Central and Rock roads, which has been closed since Sept. 29 for remodeling, should be reopened by Thursday morning.

When it does, customers will find new furniture and a new Clover brewing system, which uses a vacuum press technology.

For more information, call the Starbucks at 316-315-0662.

New Ruben’s should be open by Oct. 15

Construction workers inside new Ruben’s Mexican Grill space on Tuesday

Construction is coming along nicely at the new Ruben’s Mexican Grill spot at 915 W. Douglas and it looks like it could open by Oct. 15.

Owners Ruben and Anita Acosta started their move from their longtime spot at the corner of Douglas and McLean back in April, hoping to be reopened within four weeks. But unexpected delays held things up.

I stopped by on Tuesday, and construction guys were busy at work. It’s easy to see the bones of a nice little dining room taking shape.

The outside of the new Ruben’s Mexican Grill space

Anita said that the new restaurant’s dining room will be much nicer than the old one, which was in a former gas station. The food will be the same, though they may pare the menu down a bit, she said.

Customers have been calling frequently wanting to know when the restaurant will reopen, Anita said. She can’t wait for them to see the new and improved Ruben’s. “It’s going to be totally different,” she said. “It’s going to be really great.”

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.

South Seneca Pizza Hut crossing the street

The Pizza Hut at 2417 S. Seneca closed about two weeks ago after its lease expired and owners decided not to reup.

But that Pizza Hut is going to reopen on Monday right across the street in the space at 2452 S. Seneca recently vacated by Blockbuster Video.

The Pizza Hut is one of the smaller stores that’s mainly focuses on carryout and delivery but also has a few tables for dine-in customers.

Those who call the South Seneca store (316-265-6565) before Monday will be automatically redirected to the Delano store at 700 W. Douglas.

If Angelo’s happens, it will have parking, owners say

A waitress delivering plates of Angelo's goodness back in 1999

After I posted my story about Gina Fasciano-Hogan’s plans to try and reopen her family’s business — iconic Wichita Italian restaurant Angelo’s — in the former Barrier’s spot at Douglas and Oliver, the online comment-a-palooza began. (Of course it did.)

Some commenters claimed to be moved to joyful tears by the news. Many offered words of support. And several articulated one big concern: that the Barrier’s lot would not have adequate parking for the business.

I spoke with both Gina and her father, Jack Fasciano, this morning. If the deal for the space works out, the landlords have offered several possibilities, but all of them include more parking than the single strip that runs alongside the east side of the building, they said.

Fasciano-Hogan is planning a smaller restaurant that would seat between 36 and 40. It’s possible that the Barrier’s building would be split in half and the restaurant would use only part of it, leaving the other side open for a retail business.

It’s also possible, she said, that the back part of the building could be taken off, making room for more parking. The landlord also owns some duplexes on the property that sits to the south of the building, and some of those could be torn down to make way for parking.

Since it’s all still preliminary, Fasciano-Hogan said, nothing is for sure — except that there’d be enough parking for her customers. “That was one of our biggest concerns when we talked to them,” she said.

d’Sozo chef still planning new place

Chef Miguel Larcher

When Chef Miguel Larcher bought vegan restaurant d’Sozo from former owner Larry Cook back in December, his plans were to close it and reopen it with a new name.

He did — briefly. Larcher called the restaurant Miguel’s Eat-In Cafe, and he said he’d continue to operate at the original location at 1812 S. Seneca until he found a new location.

That didnt’ last, and he ended up closing to devote himself to the search. He thought he had a place picked out last week in downtown Wichita, but at the last minute, the deal fell through. Larcher now says he has a line on a few other spaces that look good. He hopes to be reopen by the end of this year.

In the meantime, Larcher is about to publish a new cookbook. It’s called “Three Olives – Of the Sea” and will be ready in July. It’ll feature vegan recipes and will be avaialable in local bookstores.

I’ll let you know when he finds a spot.

Two closings, one reopening

Pimiento, the Mexican restaurant that opened last summer in the former Quizno’s space at 738 N. Waco, has been closed for a couple of weeks, a sign on the door citing a family emergency.

Former owner Claudia Orozco has been having health problems, the restaurant’s landlord said. She and her husband Javier have sold the restaurant to Hector Hernandez, a McPherson resident who once owned a restaurant in Dodge City. He will sign the lease this week and plans to reopen Pimiento soon. He’s planning to keep the name and the current menu but may add burgers.

I’ll update you when I get more information.

Readers also alerted me to another restaurant closing. The doors are locked, the equipment is gone and the phone number is disconnected at D’s Dairy Freeze, a hamburger spot that opened a couple of years ago in a former Pig-In Pig-Out space at 1935 S. Hydraulic.

I heard nothing but good things about the burgers at the tiny restaurant. I’ve sent a message to owners asking if they plan to reopen. I’ll let you know what I hear on that one, too.

Bite Me BBQ moves downtown

This place is big. And by big, I mean huge.

Bite Me BBQ just finished its long-planned move from Goddard to downtown Wichita and re-opened on Monday in a ginormous space at 132 N. St. Francis.

Owner Coleman Lockett announced his plan to relocate last year. He closed his restaurant at 151st Street West and Kellogg in March and has been busy since then relocating. I stopped in the new space on Wednesday and was surprised by how cavernous it was. I was struck by the big bar, the number of tables, the shiny cement floor and the smell of new paint mixed with smoked meat.

Bite Me’s menu includes traditional barbecue favorites plus a few unexpected items (deep fried lobster! mountain oysters!).

While it waits for its liquor license, the restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Once the license is obtained, which Lockett predicts will take a couple of weeks, he’ll extend the hours to 11 a.m. to midnight Mondays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

For more information, call 316-729-2904.