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.

Fried chicken frenzy


A couple of weeks ago, inspired by the suggestion of a reader, I wrote a story for the Go! section about where to get good fried chicken in Wichita. In the beginning of the story, I featured Neighbors, the restaurant and bar at 2150 North Amidon , where owner Chuck Giles specializes in fried chicken cooked the hard and messy way — in a cast-iron skillet in lard, made when ordered. The process takes about 30 minutes and reportedly results in out-of-this-world chicken.

Apparently, my story tantalized many local taste buds. Chuck reported yesterday that his fried chicken sales have doubled, and he’s had people waiting in lines outside the door to get it. The Sunday after the story was published, he ran out of chicken, and after scouring Dillon’s and any other supplier he could think of, he finally had to give up and close early.

“This past weekend was even better than the last weekend,” he said. “But I”m more prepared for it now.”

Giles said he’s even had three or four “older ladies” call him at the restaurant, wanting to discuss fried chicken cooking techniques and offering him unsolicited advice.

Apparently, he doesn’t need it.