UPDATED – Jason-Paul Febres is heading back to Old Town.
“Now I’m moving back to my roots,” says the man who became known as Sabor Latin Bar & Grille’s first executive chef.
The Venezuela native is returning to Old Town with his own place — a second Taste & See.
“Well, first of all, it’s about time,” Febres says. “I don’t think it was a matter of if we were going to expand. It was a matter of when we were going to expand.”
Febres is taking 4,532 square feet at 252 N. Mosley, which is part of the space developer Dave Burk is converting at the former Doc Howard’s Lounge building.
“I love Old Town,” Febres says. “I like the crowded scene. That’s what I’m made for.”
Febres bounced around to various restaurants before opening Taste & See with a partner at Office This in the former Wichita Mall. Febres says he plans to keep that site, which will be open for lunch, classes and private events. It will be known as Taste & See The Venue.
The new Taste & See will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Febres is planning a “very, very upscale tapas lounge” and “a beautiful patio.”
He’s also working on a new menu.
“It’s going to be a little more out there, and it’s going to be more fun,” Febres says. “I’m going to have the chance to play with more food than I was able to.”
Febres says it’s currently hard to find Taste & See at Office This.
“We’re hiding in the mall,” he says.
“We’re ready to be exposed. . . . “I’m ready to bring out my full potential. I’m excited to be able to play.”
Bree Kelley with J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.
Burk is planning to have five businesses in 25,000 square feet at the Mosley address.
There will be about 21,000 square feet of leasable space, and the rest will be common areas.
“That could change,” Burk says.
Two of the businesses will have entries off the east side on Washington, including Taste & See. It’s in the northeast part of the building at Second and Washington.
Burk says Febres and his restaurant will be draws for the area.
“Anyone who’s eaten at Taste & See really knows the quality of the food he produces.”
The new Taste & See won’t open until about October, but Febres is already thinking ahead to a restaurant in Kansas City next, then maybe Dallas. He says he won’t stop until he has several nationally.
“It’s our ultimate goal.”