WICHITA — Bryce Kuhn is a familiar face to many Wichita diners from working for others at a number of restaurants here. Now, he’s going to have a place of his own in the space that Shorty Small’s left at the Westlake Retail Center at 119th and Maple.
“I’ve always loved the west side,” Kuhn says. “My heart’s over here.”
He’s opening Twelve Restaurant & Bar, which he describes as an American grill, in June.
“Twelve has been my favorite number since I was about 5 or 6 years old.”
Kuhn’s first basketball jersey was No. 12.
“It stuck with me.”
Also, he says 2012 “was pretty much my best year ever.”
Kuhn married last year, bought a house and found out he was going to become a father.
After a career traveling to various cities with Houston’s restaurants, Kuhn returned to Wichita to work for several restaurants here, including Bonefish Grill, YaYa’s Eurobistro, Newport Grill and the Lakeside Club most recently.
Kuhn plans for Twelve to be “upscale casual.”
“We want to give people an upscale dining experience, but we don’t want to make them feel like they’re paying an arm and a leg to have a nice night out on the town.”
The restaurant, which will have seating for about 150 and another 25 on the patio, will serve dishes such as hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood and roasted chicken along with sandwiches and salads.
Shorty Small’s closed in February after seven years in business.
Part of Kuhn’s decision to locate his restaurant in Westlake is because of owners Bill and W.G. Farha.
“We found a really great landlord in the Farhas,” Kuhn says. “They were willing to work with us. … It’s going to work out perfectly for what we’re looking for.”
He says he likes how much the west side has been growing as well.
“I feel like the west side has a lot to offer, and I’d like to offer the west side something in return.”