Metro Grill abruptly closes at the Waterfront; owner ‘gutted the place,’ landlord says

WICHITA — As he opens a new Metro Grill on the west side, Michael Gonzalez abruptly left his restaurant of the same name at the Waterfront.

“He just went in there and gutted the place a couple of nights ago,” says Johnny Stevens, a partner in the development at 13th and Webb Road.

“Pulled lights out of the ceiling. Pulled cabinets off the walls. Took everything he could.”

Stevens says Gonzalez didn’t leave many things behind.

“Not much. A sink. A toilet. A few odds and ends.”

Gonzalez couldn’t be reached for comment.

There’s now an eviction notice on the door, but Stevens says that came only after Gonzalez moved out.

“There’s nothing to go back in for,” he says. “But we’ve got to … go through that process.”

Stevens says Gonzalez “was behind in his rent and wouldn’t pay.”

“We kept pressing him and pressing him, and then finally he just moved out.”

Stevens says Gonzalez had some issues with being late on his rent in the past, but he says it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.

“Nothing unusual. He might have gotten behind a little bit. He always tried to catch up,” he says.

“People liked his food over there. I don’t know if he was not doing good there or what the deal was. All of a sudden, he’s gone,” Stevens says. “It’s unfortunate. That happens sometimes.”

The hunt is on for a new restaurateur to take the space.

“We’re talking to several people,” Stevens says. “I think it’d make a nice restaurant in there for somebody.”