A few restaurants going on summer vacation

Felipe's at 21st and Woodlawn is about to go on summer vacation.

Felipe’s at 21st and Woodlawn is about to go on summer vacation.

The Fourth of July is near, and a few restaurants and food-related businesses are planning vacations. I’m telling you now so you don’t show up hungry pre- or post-fireworks.

Among them:

Molino’s at 1064 N. Waco, one of Wichita’s best Mexican restaurants, is closing down for a week so owner Mario Quiroz can take his family on a trip. The restaurant will be closed starting July 7 and will reopen on July 13.

Tanya’s Soup Kitchen at 1725 E. Douglas will be closed on Friday, July 4, so the staff can “have fun and blow up things with friends and families.”

Felipe’s at 2241 N. Woodlawn will be closed July 1 through July 7 and will reopen with normal hours on July 8.

The Spice Merchant at 1308 E. Douglas will close on July 4 and July 5. It will re-open on July 7.

I’ll continue to update this list as I notice more closings. Let me know if you’re aware of one I don’t have.

Spice Merchant opening a tea room

Bob Boewe, tea man

Tea rooms have come and gone from Wichita over the years — but mostly gone lately.

Wichita’s local tea expert Bob Boewe plans to change that soon. By the end of this week, Boewe will open a new tea room in The Spice Merchant, the shop he runs at 1308 E. Douglas.

It’ll be called Tea Room at The Spice Merchant, and it will be set up in the building’s mezzanine that faces Douglas. Boewe said he’s refreshed the room with bright colors and inviting decor, and it’ll seat about 50.

The tea room won’t serve lunch or high tea, but he will serve scones, cookies and brownies baked on site, as well as daily selection of the shop’s many teas.

Last fall, Boewe opened Eli and Alan Teas for all Tastes in a space in his shop that until 2004 housed a popular lunch spot. He initially planned to put a few tables in the space for tea service but ran out of space. Several customers had asked him to find a way to offer tea service, Boewe said, especially since all of Wichita’s tea rooms have closed over the past several years.

The tea room will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.  to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Boewe says he will accept appointments for large groups of tea drinkers.

Call 316-263-4121 for more information.

Sample the mayor’s sauces on Saturday

Mayor Carl Brewer, left, showing off his barbecue skills to Dale Goter, the city's government relations director.

Mayor Carl Brewer, who also is a competitive barbecue chef, is releasing his own line of bottled barbecue sauces and is putting on a public tasting on Saturday.

He’ll be cooking barbecue coated the Brewer’s Best Bar-B-Que sauces in the north parking lot of The Spice Merchant, 1308 E. Douglas, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or until the ‘cue is gone.

Starting on Saturday, the sauces will be available for purchase at The Spice Merchant, at All Things BBQ, 615 W. Douglas, and at Holmes-Made Salsa, 2252 N. Coolidge.

I’ve judged barbecue competitions with the mayor and have heard tell that he knows his way around a smoker. His sauces come in several flavors, including hot, sweet and mild.