Daily Archives: Sept. 20, 2013

Firehouse Subs coming to Wichita, Chick-fil-A likely going to Derby

WICHITA — A new restaurant chain is coming to Wichita, and a much sought-after favorite may be going to Derby.

Firehouse Subs is going to be opening in Eastgate Plaza at Kellogg and Rock.

The Florida-based chain has more than 600 restaurants in 35 states and Puerto Rico.

No one with the chain could be reached for comment, but its website says a restaurant is coming soon to that address.

The restaurant will go next to where the KU Store is.

In Derby, Chick-fil-A is working on a restaurant at the Derby Marketplace.

No one with the Atlanta-based chain was immediately available for comment, but representatives of the company have said in the past that they’re interested in Derby.

A Chick-fil-A opened at Central and Rock last year followed by a second one near 21st and Maize Road.

Look for more information about Chick-fil-A and Firehouse Subs soon.

You don’t say

“Where’s Pete?”

City Council member James Clendenin’s question about fellow council member Pete Meitzner while touring the airport’s new terminal

“He only cares about trains.”

– City Council member Jeff Longwell’s response about Meitzner, who is a leading proponent of bringing Amtrak rail service to Wichita

Panera Bread franchisee Randy Simon working on drive-throughs

WICHITA — More than one diner has bemoaned the lack of drive-throughs at Wichita’s Panera Bread restaurants, but Randy Simon would like to change that.

The franchisee is working with neighbors and the city to add a drive-through at his Panera at 1605 N. Rock Road, which he thinks he might be able to do by February.

Panera has retrofitted about 90 of its stores with drive-throughs. The first was in Missouri several years ago, and the chain tested it for a couple of years before expanding to other Paneras.

Simon says his first drive-through retrofit was eight months ago in Independence, Mo.

“It has increased the sales and not distracted from the execution of the concept.”

He built his Derby Panera with a drive-through, but Simon now has to figure out a way to make the additions work at his other Paneras.

He’s talking with his landlord at his Panera near Central and Hillside.

“There seems to be just a little glimmer of a possibility that we could do something with that store,” Simon says. “Basically, it’s almost like creating a second restaurant.”

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