Daily Archives: June 12, 2013

You don’t say

“We’re absolutely stoked about it.”

Flying Stove cofounder Jeff Schauf on the Daily Meal naming the food truck to its list of 101 Best Food Trucks in America 2013

Wheat State Distilling to open this summer

WICHITA — It’s been a long, laborious process, but Wamego residents David and Kim Bahre on Wednesday received final approval to open Wheat State Distilling in Wichita this summer.

“The city of Wichita did not know what to do with us,” David Bahre says of licensing. “It’s not that they didn’t want us.”

Wheat State will open in 3,200 square feet at the southwest corner of 37th and Hydraulic within — if all goes well — 45 days.

“I am the first ever licensed distiller in Wichita,” Bahre says. “I am proud of that.”

He says Kansas has some of the most stringent alcohol regulations nationwide.

“It’s been an uphill battle so far,” Bahre says. He says he also had a gas line issue that he worried would force him to abandon the site he chose and possibly the city as well, but he says it’s been resolved.

The Bahres, who are natives of Wichita, plan to produce vodka, flavor-infused vodka, gin, wheat whiskey, bourbon and two kinds of rum. The rum products, which will be made from a mixture of molasses from Florida and evaporated sugar cane juice from Maui, won’t be under the Wheat State name since they won’t be made from wheat.

Bahre says he’s been a business owner since he was 19. He has bought and sold a number of restaurants and has other business interests as well.

“Our real passion is what we’re doing right now in Wichita,” he says.

Bahre has a degree in milling science, which is the process of turning grains into products, from Kansas State University.

“It’s a lot of food chemistry and food science,” he says. He’s also finishing a master’s degree in agribusiness.

“I would like an identity-preserved program with … a premium grade product,” Bahre says of tracking the wheat that goes into his products.

“Kind of my dream is to buy the farm that goes with the distillery, but we’ve got to take one thing at a time,” he says. “Farms are expensive.”

Bahre says he’d like a small working farm that would be open to the public.

The distillery will be open to the public for tours, which will include Kansas history and information on distilling in general.

“This is a movement similar to … brewpubs in the 1980s,” Bahre says.

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Kobe Steak House of Japan to open in former Playa Azul space at 21st and Tyler

A Hanney & Associates Architects rendering of the new Kobe Steak House of Japan, which will open this fall at 21st and Tyler.

WICHITA — As promised, Kobe Steak House of Japan owners Jim Hamlin and Jim West have a new restaurant to announce.

Hamlin says they’re merging their former Derby business with their Kobe near 21st and Maize Road in a new west-side space.

The restaurant will open in November in the former Playa Azul space at 21st and Tyler.

“The main reason was they were just busting at the seams,” says Adam Clements of Builders Inc., who handled the deal.

“This is a larger space. It allowed them to better accommodate Wichita. They’re a destination.”

The west-side restaurant currently has 3,500 square feet. The new space will have 4,900 square feet and room for twelve hibachi tables.

Increased visibility also prompted the move.

“That was the second part,” Hamlin says.

The existing west-side Kobe opened almost five years ago. The Derby Kobe was open for three years.

When Hamlin and West closed their Derby restaurant in March, they said they’d eventually open a new one, but probably not in Derby.

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