Question of the week: Biggest dining development in 2011?

Bocconcini Italian Eatery was one of many restaurants that opened in Wichita in 2011.

My story for Friday’s dining page in Go! is a look back at many of the most exciting/upsetting/oddball developments on the Wichita restaurant scene in 2011. From openings (Tanya’s Soup Kitchen, A.V.I.) to closings (Kwan Court, Johnny Carino’s) to undeniable trends (frozen yogurt, anyone?), the year was anything but dull.

My question for you: Which event did you think was the most interesting or significant? You can read my story for ideas or nominate your own.

Answer in the comments section below.

Open today: Jersey’s Grill and Bar

A peek inside Jerseys Grill and Bar on its VIP night.

Today is the first official day in business for Jersey’s Grill and Bar, the business taking over the space at 3213 N. Toben Road (near K-96 and Webb) formerly occupied by Johnny Carino’s.

Jersey’s is a sports bar full of televisions, projection screens and video games. The menu, which you can see here, features sports bar classics such as nachos, pizzas, wings, burgers and steaks.

Food is served from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, and the bar stays open until 2 a.m.

I inspected a bunch of pictures on the restaurant’s website, and it appears to have been nicely remodeled, though I can still recognize all the Carino’s landmarks. Jersey’s sits right by the similarly themed Palmers Grill, which opened earlier this year in the old Fritz Co. Grille space.

For more information about Jersey’s, call 316-636-5000 or visit the restaurant’s website.

Farwell, Carino’s

In case you haven’t heard, Wichita has lost another restaurant. This time, it’s Johnny Carino’s, the Italian chain that opened in 2004 at 3213 N. Toben Road.

Don’t know where that is? Well, that was part of the problem, in my estimation. I had some pretty good meals at Carino’s in its early days, though in later visits, things seemed to have declined. But it was pretty difficult to get to the place. You could see it from K-96, but you had to find the right exit and the right twisty side-road to actually get into the parking lot. I have to believe the same problem did in neighboring Ted’s Montana Grill and Fritz Co. Grill (though another restaurant is now taking over that space.)

The exit of Johnny Carino’s, which closed on Wednesday, makes Wichita’s Italian restaurant pool even smaller, which might be good news for DeFazio’s, Marchello’s and Bella Vita Bistro.