Craig Gabel closes Mike’s Steak House

WICHITA — After a decade in business, Craig Gabel has closed his Mike’s Steak House at 2131 S. Broadway.

“We’re pretty sure it’s permanent,” says Gabel, whose lease is up in December.

“The costs are enormous,” he says of running the business.

“We’ve had street repairs there for three years straight.”

Gabel says there’s one year to go.

“It’s taken its toll.”

He says there are other factors as well.

“The economy in south Wichita is just terrible. Restaurants and bars are dropping like flies.”

Gabel says that while “there’s no traffic on Broadway anymore,” there are “lots of transient” people.

Also, Gabel says the building where Mike’s was “is overdue for a remodel.”

“It’s looking pretty dated and pretty worn.”

He’s moved some equipment and staff to Cathy’s Westway Cafe at 1215 W. Pawnee, which he says he’s been running for Cathy Hetterscheidt since she reopened the Breakfast Club in his building at the southeast corner of McCormick and Seneca.

Gabel says there’s a chance he may change the Cathy’s name. He says it makes more sense to focus on that restaurant only.

“It’s pretty hard to run two restaurants at one time,” he says.

Gabel has been in the business for almost four decades, and at one time he had five restaurants around the city.

“You’d think a guy would grow up and decide to go on to something else,” he says. “Get smart enough to learn another trade instead of this entry-level restaurant business.”