WICHITA — Cathy Hetterscheidt, the peripatetic restaurateur, is opening another new restaurant.
She says she’s planning to open Seneca Street Cafe in the former Tepa Cafe space at 3835 S. Seneca, which is next to Seneca Street Bar & Grill.
Hetterschedit has had a string of cafes in various spots around town over the last several years, the most recent being the Breakfast Club at 1002 S. Seneca.
She says she decided to close because of “basically the gentleman that I was dealing with, Craig Gabel.”
Gabel was Hetterscheidt’s landlord, though he says he wasn’t certain the restaurant was closed.
“I’ve done everything I can for this woman,” Gabel says.
He says he paid Hetterscheidt’s water bill for the entire time she was in the restaurant, and he says she further wanted him to give her free or reduced prices on her rent and other things at the building.
“Everything’s in my name right now,” Hetterscheidt says.
Gabel says the biggest issue was poor management at the restaurant.
“I don’t want to be negative and whatnot, but you cannot have a 24-hour-a-day restaurant, and you work from 6 to 2, and you go home and shut your phone off.”
Gabel says there was a break-in at the restaurant recently, and the alarm company couldn’t reach Hetterscheidt, so the building stood open for hours.
Hetterscheidt says she was trying to not get into particular issues related to Gabel.
“I was going to try to be nice about it,” she says.
“The reason why I’m leaving there is Craig Gabel put illegal gambling machines there without my permission,” Hetterscheidt says. “I’m not going to take fraud charges for Craig Gabel.”
Gabel says Hetterscheidt is referring to legal machines that are found in a lot of bars and restaurants.
“Do you really think that any of that is humanly possible, that somebody can unwittingly put machines in your business that you’re running?” he says.
Gabel says he’s bent over backward to help Hetterscheidt.
“You know what they say. ‘No good deed goes unpunished,’” he says. “I don’t quite get all this. Some people thrive on drama.”
Gabel says he plans to try to lease his South Seneca space again.
Hetterscheidt says family members will run her new business while she returns to nursing to make what she hopes will be more money.
Seneca Street Cafe will be similar to the Breakfast Club, Hetterscheidt says. It will be open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m Monday through Thursday and then be open continuously from Friday at 6 a.m. through Sunday at 2 p.m.
Look for the restaurant to open in the next few weeks.