“I got a lightbulb as soon as I read that,” he says.
His clients Michael Farha and Marc Humsi have “been looking for a good Douglas location for a long time.”
The two now plan to open District Taqueria in the 3,000-square-foot space, which some people remember best as Kelly’s Irish Pub.
Clements describes District Taqueria as “an urban taco bar.”
“The focus is going to be on the taco,” Farha says. “In Mexico, that’s the true food of choice, and we’re just kind of taking it to the next level.”
Farha works for his family’s Farha’s Carpet & Building Supply. He used to have the Food Group to do catering.
“I wanted to open a restaurant, so I just kind of let that fizzle out,” Farha says.
Humsi is from Syracuse.
“His mother is a Farha,” Farha says. “Technically, he’s a very distant cousin.”
The two met when Humsi moved here and some other cousins introduced them.
Farha says Humsi will handle more of the business side of things while he concentrates on food.
It was especially important to Farha to open downtown, he says.
“I’m a Wichitan. I’ve grown up here. … I love the downtown area. I’ve always dreamt about being part of the downtown and hopefully being a part of offering something to that area.”
The idea, Farha says, is “just to be part of the growth, essentially.”
“The downtown buildings have the best character on the inside already.”
Clements says the space has high ceilings and exposed brick and duct work.
“Cosmetically, it’s perfect.”
Clements thinks the restaurant, which will open by late summer with a full bar, will do well.
“Wichita’s already shown their support for Michael’s food.”
Clements, who admits he’s a sucker for puns, says, “I think that everybody in Wichita’s going to ‘taco bout it.’”