WICHITA — After months of speculation — and some denials — Melad Stephan says he’s closing Uptown Bistro in Old Town Square on April 2.
“That store hasn’t lived up to my standards in food and service and sales,” he says. “I’ll take the blame for some of it. Or most of it.”
Stephan signed a new 5-year-lease last month.
“I’m not going to leave that spot. I’m going to do something with it some day.”
He’s working on a new concept, but he won’t share details yet.
Stephan grew fed up with Uptown Bistro.
“I told them the other day, if I hear one more complaint, I’m shutting the doors down,” he says. “I’m done with everybody.”
Stephan says he couldn’t be there enough to oversee and correct operations.
He also owns Sabor Latin Bar & Grille, Egg Cetera, Oeno and Press.
So has he considered perhaps limiting himself to only one or two restaurants?
“I have in the past,” Stephan says. “You know what? You do one thing . . . you get bored with it.”
He says he could don his chef’s coat and revive Uptown Bistro on his own, but he doesn’t want to.
“Do I have the passion and the time and the effort to do it at this stage in my life? I don’t.”
He’s been in the restaurant business 25 years.
“You know, just the routine kills you. You want to advance your life.”
Look for an update on the space as soon as Stephan makes a final decision.