Encore Restaurant and Nightclub and Metro Grill enter partnership to serve food

WICHITA — Since selling his Andover restaurant, Metro Grill owner Michael Gonzalez has been thinking of ways to expand his business, which started in Towne East Square.

“I can’t stay away from the kitchen, so here I go,” says Gonzalez, who has been making pitches to other area restaurants to carry his popular sandwiches.

“He was like, ‘Hey, I know this sounds kind of crazy, but I think I have the best food in town,’” says Encore Restaurant and Nightclub owner Michael Todd, who is one of the business owners Gonzalez made his pitch to.

“I just assumed it was another guy trying to make a dollar.”

Encore is in the former O’Brien’s Irish Pub space next to Scotch & Sirloin.

Gonzalez brought along his brother, Jose, for the pitch. Todd had two thoughts after meeting them.

“Either these are the best salesmen I’ve ever seen, or they have the best food.”

So he went to Towne East to check it out.

“Sure enough, they are the best salesmen and they have great food,” Todd says. “They’re so pumped. Their food isn’t just a product they made. It’s really from their heart.”

He quizzed people he knows about Metro Grill.

“It’s just nonstop love for the place. Not a bad remark for anything from there.”

So Todd is discontinuing most of his current menu, except for pizza, and adding eight Metro Grill sandwiches and two salads. He may expand the offerings eventually.

“I’m not saying I’m unable to put a menu together, but I feel the quality of his food is unique,” Todd says. “It made more sense to me to see if we couldn’t do some type of partnership.”

They’re calling it Metro Grill III, which will be on a sign out front along with the Encore sign.

Gonzalez says he’s close to signing on with a few more restaurants for two or three sandwiches on their menus.

“I just finally went out and trademarked this business,” Gonzalez says.

He says he’d especially love to do a deal with a chain restaurant such as Subway Sandwiches.

Whatever happens, he’s keeping his spot in the Towne East food court.

“Of course. That’s my baby. That’s not going anywhere.”