UPDATED — He’s not planning “Grilled Cheez” for the menu, but Kababs owner Syed Jillani finally is ready to open a restaurant in the former Red Mesa Grill space at 756 N. Tyler.
Jillani moved his catering business, Wichita Private Chef’s Catering, into the space four years ago. Three years ago, he announced plans to open Grilled Cheez to serve a combination of American and European food.
He says the economy forced him to put those plans on hold. Now, Jillani has decided to open Olives & Pitas, a Mediterranean restaurant, there instead.
That’s even though the economy still isn’t where he’d like it to be.
“It’s too long, me sitting on this building for three years,” Jillani says. “I need to change my thinking based on the market needs.”
He says there’s no Mediterranean food in the area except for Bella Luna Cafe near 21st and Maize.
“My focus is going to be 100 percent Mediterranean,” Jillani says.
His Kababs, which is at 746 N. Tyler, serves Indian and Pakistani food.
At Olives & Pitas, Jillani will have chef stations where customers can choose shawarma toppings and order flatbread pizza from a clay oven. They also can be seated and order from a limited menu.
In another area, customers can watch pitas being made.
Look for the restaurant to open within the next two or three weeks.