WICHITA — Applebee’s franchisee Jim Stevens soon will offer diners a chance to eat good in a new neighborhood, to borrow from the chain’s slogan.
He’s moving his Rock Road Applebee’s to the Plazzio development at the southeast corner of 13th and Greenwich.
“It probably won’t be till March of next year,” Stevens says.
“I kind of hate to close,” he says of the Applebee’s near 21st and Rock Road. “It’s still one of my better stores.”
With new car dealerships on a couple of corners of 13th and Greenwich, and restaurants, the Warren Theatre and the Alley already at Plazzio, Stevens says it “just seemed like … the right place to go.”
“There’s just so much development taking place out there,” he says.
“The whole intersection is really, really developing quickly,” says Cathy Erickson, vice president at Laham Development.
She says that “13th and Greenwich is the next 21st and Rock Road of east Wichita.”
Stevens will build the new Applebee’s between Sumo and Jose Pepper’s, which is at the light at the main entrance to the development.
The new Applebee’s will have a patio, which is a first for Stevens.
He had considered another concept – which he’s still thinking about – for the Plazzio space initially. Stevens says corporate wanted him to build a new Applebee’s prototype, though.
“They have some different things they’ve done to the bar and the inside area.”
Stevens will keep the Rock Road space.
“I don’t think it’s going to be too hard to lease out,” he says.
He says Rock Road frontage is hard to find. Stevens knows after conducting his own search for space for the Pie Five Pizza franchise he’s bringing to Wichita.
Erickson says there are four sites still available at Plazzio, including two outparcels and two interior spaces that could hold a couple of restaurants or a big-box retailer.
“We’re open to looking at … all possibilities,” she says. “But we’d like for the use to be … compatible with the rest of the development.”
Erickson says plans for the new Applebee’s are making their way through the city.
“It will be a nice addition to the neighborhood, no pun intended.”