Metro Grill will celebrate makeover on Monday

metro-grill-3Metro Grill III, which opened at 10096 E. 13th St. N. in June of 2012, is celebrating a grand-reopening on Monday that will highlight some changes — including new menu items, the addition of a liquor license and some cosmetic changes.

The restaurant, owned by chef Michael Gonzalez, will have an official ribbon cutting with the Chamber of Commerce at 11 a.m on Monday. All day, customers can get 10 percent off their bills, and the dining room will have live music during lunch and dinner. (Hours that day are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.)

Diners will be able to order from the new menu, which includes a list of appetizers such as sauteed little neck clams and beef carpaccio, some new salads and entrees such as a filet mignon served over a grilled portabella mushroom. Gonzalez also has added a few chicken dishes and a grilled pork chop as well as a mini-Cuban menu, featuring picadillo, bisteck empanizado and boliche.

The upgraded Metro Grill has a full bar, candlelight in the evenings and live music on the weekends, Gonzalez said.

Also, an update on the west side Metro Grill, which is going in the old Bartelli’s space: Gonzalez said he’s aiming for an early-January opening. I’ll provide more updates as the day draws near.

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.

Metro Grill III will open Thursday

With all due respect to the many sandwich artists in town, no one makes a better sandwich in Wichita than Michael Gonzalez.

The outspoken chef has a legion of fans in town, earned through years of making gourmet sandwiches and other dishes in the unlikeliest of places — out of a cart in the food court at Towne East Square that he called Metro Grill. By Thursday, he’ll have his latest restaurant open, this one in the Waterfront at 13th and Webb.

Metro Grill III is “the big one,” Gonzaelez likes to say. He’s had his share of personal and business drama over the past several years, which resulted in him selling his Metro Grill II in Andover to an employee — but this restaurant is the one he’s always wanted.

It’s in the former Chill Gelato Space at the Waterfront, 10096 E. 13th St. N., suite 122. Gonzalez has remodeled the space, adding a granite bar, a giant New York City skyline on the wall, and an open kitchen where diners can watch him work.

Michael Gonzalez

There’s seating for about 45 inside and a 16-seat patio outside. Gonzalez will be open for lunch and dinner daily except Monday and has several upscale dinner-ish items on his menu as well, including Pasta V.I.P., made with seared chicken and shrimp over linguine with pine nuts, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, arugula and asparagus, and his Steak Christopher. You can see the full menu here.

Customers order at the counter and servers will deliver the food to the tables and offer drink refills. Gonzaelz should have his liquor license within a month, he said.

He’ll have live, Frank Sinatra-esque music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. He also plans to have live music all day on Thursday, his official opening day.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. The restaurant can be reached by calling 316-631-1454.

“I want to thank Wichita for giving us so much support,” he said. “Metro Grill is back.”