WICHITA — Jeremy Wade is going to be Wink Hartman Sr.’s executive chef when he opens a new east-side restaurant, so that means he’s out of A.V.I., the new restaurant coming to the Drury Plaza Broadview, and Jeremy Wade Catering.
“I don’t blame him one bit,” says Ben Arnold, Wade’s former partner in the two ventures.
Wade didn’t return a call for comment, but Arnold says the two have discussed the situation and his decision to leave A.V.I.
“The restaurant is not going to be a limelight restaurant like he wants, honestly,” Arnold says.
People who are already downtown or are coming to events downtown might stop by, Arnold says, but it won’t be a destination restaurant for Wichitans.
“That’s not going to be a place where everybody on the far east or far west side says, ‘Let’s go eat.’ He wanted to be somewhere more glamorous.”
Hartman’s east-side space, Arnold says, “is a home run compared to downtown.”
“It was a question of, ‘Do I live a secluded life of being downtown in a hotel restaurant?’ ”
Arnold, who also has Corporate Caterers of Wichita, is now searching for a new chef for A.V.I., which will open in late September.
He also needs a chef for his more upscale catering company that had been named for Wade.
It’s now called Culinary Catering.
In an e-mail, Arnold joked about keeping the name the same.
“I am looking for another chef named Jeremy Wade so I do not have to reprint the menus or re-logo the truck.”