West-side Abuelo’s to open at Taft and Ridge Road in early 2015

WICHITA — In January, Have You Heard? reported that Abuelo’s was getting closer to a deal at a site near the Kellogg and Ridge Road corridor not far from where the new Twin Peaks is going to open.

East-side Abuelo’s manager Chuck Ouellette says we “nailed it.”

He confirms the Lubbock-based company will open its second Wichita Abuelo’s at the northeast corner of Taft and Ridge Road, which is south of Panera Bread and Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers and across the street from where Twin Peaks is under construction. Among other restaurants in the area is another Mexican chain, Wichita’s Carlos O’Kelly’s.

“My philosophy has always been the more restaurants you have, the more opportunities guests have,” Ouellette says. “It’s better for everyone.”

Construction will begin on the almost 8,000-square-foot building and a 1,000-square-foot patio in late summer or early fall, and the restaurant will open in the first quarter of next year. There will be seating for about 250 people, and the restaurant will employ 80 to 100 people.

Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

The first Abuelo’s opened in the Waterfront development at 13th and Webb Road in 2004.

“We’ve been very well received in this market,” Ouellette says. “That’s why we’re taking the opportunity to open a second one in Wichita.”

He says the west-side property’s proximity to Kellogg and the airport make it an ideal site. Though the east-side Abuelo’s business may be affected when the west-side restaurant first opens, Ouellette says he expects both to do well.

“West Wichita’s its own trade area.”