Rita’s Italian Ice to open next to east-side Five Guys Burgers and Fries in a month

WICHITA — The sign for Wichita’s first Rita’s Italian Ice went up Thursday next to the Five Guys Burgers and Fries near 29th and Rock Road.

“We are actually in Philadelphia right now finishing up our training on all these wonderful treats we’re bringing to town,” franchisee Jeff Miller says of himself and his brother, Jay.

“We’re on target for no later than the 27th (of March) to be open.”

As Have You Heard? reported in October, each Rita’s will be its own business but will be done in tandem with Five Guys restaurants.

“We’ve already had a lot of interest from people who have moved from this area,” Miller says of Wichitans from the Philadelphia area, where Rita’s is based.

The chain sells custard and flavored ice that almost has a creamy texture.

“We are just so excited about this product,” Miller says. “It is fantastic stuff.”

How quickly the Millers add Rita’s to their downtown and west Wichita Five Guys restaurants depends on how Rita’s is received and also the availability of space next to each site.

Jeff Miller says he hopes that a year from now he’ll be talking about those other locations. He also hopes to take Five Guys and Rita’s into Hutchinson.

“That’s our plan, but as you know, everything in the restaurant business is fluid.”

The Millers also want another Five Guys in greater Wichita. Jeff Miller says the south side or Derby make sense.

“That’s where we would like to be.”

The Millers also have exclusive franchising rights for Rita’s in Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city.

If people from other areas around Kansas are interested in opening Rita’s locations, Jeff Miller says, “We’d be happy to talk to them because we’re also the area developer for this product.”

He says with Rita’s comes an opportunity for more charitable partnerships throughout the city.

“We’re excited to be able to do more than we have in the past.”