Emerson Biggin’s sell to operations director, who plans to add Rock Island BBQ

WICHITA — Dave Dunn has sold his 10-year old Emerson Biggin’s in Old Town.

“Well, I have come up with another venture I want to pursue that I’m real passionate about,” he says. “The timing’s right.”

Any hints as to what it will be?

“Something that’s getting very popular in an industry that’s starting to boom.”

Within the restaurant realm?

“I will no longer be part of the restaurant business.”

Dunn says it’s a bittersweet departure.

“It’s been fun. It’s been trying at the same time.”

Dunn says he likes to try new things.

Look for news about a change at his west-side Emerson Biggin’s sometime in the next week or so.

Chuck Miller, Dunn’s longtime operations director, has purchased his downtown Emerson Biggin’s, which includes the Rock Island Live venue.

“I’ve been with Dave since Day 1, so it’s not like somebody new has come along,” Miller says. “I’ve been running it since it opened.”

Miller plans to keep things the same except for one addition.

He’s adding Rock Island BBQ to the Rock Island space.

Miller will start with weekday lunches from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. “and see how it goes from there.”

He might add nighttime meals and catering eventually.

The restaurant will have a buffet with a wide variety of meat, including mutton on occasion and burnt ends, the crispy little bits of brisket that Miller says other restaurants here don’t seem to serve.

That’s barbecue.”

Miller is from the Kansas City area and worked at quite a few barbecue joints there.

“I’ve been wanting to get back to doing some barbecuing for some time.”

Look for the restaurant to open in early September.