Ciao Italian Kitchen to open in former Tommy’s Restaurant space Nov. 12

WICHITA — It took longer than expected, as most restaurant deals do, but Guillermo Perez-Munoz has finalized plans to open his second Ciao Italian Kitchen on the west side in the former Tommy’s Restaurant and Lounge space at 2121 N. Tyler.

“We are looking at opening November 12,” says COO Matt Tompkins.

In June, Have You Heard? reported that Perez-Munoz was working on the west-side deal less than a year after opening his first Ciao at the Waterfront on the east side where Piztros, Sabor and Press once were.

Tompkins says the former Tommy’s space makes sense for a number of reasons.

First, there’s the amount of traffic in the area, though Tompkins says it’s not as busy as the 21st and Maize Road area, which he says is a good thing.

“We’re not in the congestion of all the other restaurants.”

Also, Tompkins says there’s not another mom-and-pop Italian restaurant nearby.

“We think we have a really good opportunity to be successful there,” he says.

Tompkins says the fact that a restaurant was in the space for almost two decades will help, though he doesn’t think the Tommy’s diners will automatically become Ciao diners.

“I don’t think we could necessarily ride those coattails.”

Though the west-side Ciao will look a little different than the east-side one, it will offer the same menu and service and share the same name.

“We’re trying to develop and create a brand here, so we’re trying to stay consistent,” Tompkins says.

More Ciaos are possible in the future, he says.

“That’s always the goal. … Perhaps some people aren’t interested in growing, but we are.”