Category Archives: El Dorado

Hog Wild Pit Bar-B-Q to open in El Dorado

WICHITA — It’s been a year since former Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon president and COO T.D. O’Connell purchased founder Gary Poulton’s interest in Hog Wild Pit Bar-B-Q, and it’s been a busy year.

O’Connell is close to opening a new Hog Wild in the former Taco Tico space at 1530 W. Central in El Dorado. He says he expects the restaurant to open between Thanksgiving and Christmas and may begin hiring workers yet this week.

He’s also finishing a contract on a new Hog Wild in Lawrence, though he can’t share the exact location yet. O’Connell says he expects the Lawrence Hog Wild to open in the second quarter next year.

Then, it’s on to Topeka and Manhattan, he says. O’Connell has already narrowed down the locations but hasn’t signed leases yet.

With five Wichita locations, O’Connell says he feels like Wichita is covered, especially since the restaurants cater.

“Our circles are a little bit bigger because of that,” he says. “Wichita’s been great to us.”

O’Connell also has Hog Wilds in Hutchinson and Salina.

“Hutchinson has done well – extremely well,” he says.

O’Connell says he’s going to watch how El Dorado does, being a smaller market, and make plans beyond that.

Nebraska and Iowa will be the first states he tackles outside of Kansas, he says.

“I’m going to continue to grow it.”

El Dorado’s Job Lunch closes temporarily

UPDATED — The Job Lunch, which is something of an institution in El Dorado, is closed for now.

“It’s probably going to be a little bit before it opens,” says Donna Naill, who owns the business with her husband, Mike.

The Naills own the business at 212 E. Central and previously ran it but have most recently been leasing it to someone else.

There’s a chance the Naills will take it back over to run again.

“I’m still talking to myself about … whether I want to do it or not,” Donna Naill says.

The Naills also own Hot Rod Bail Bonding.

“We really just don’t have time with the bail bond business,” Donna Naill says of running a restaurant. “That’s kind of a 24/7 job.”

Job Lunch has been around for decades and is known for its veal sandwiches, which today are made of pork due to the cost of veal.

“The veal sandwich is really what pulls them in,” Donna Naill says.

The Naills are planning renovations, such as painting and installing a new ceiling, before they reopen the tiny restaurant.

Donna Naill says she won’t mess with the restaurant’s well-established mojo, though.

“No, no.”

A Bicycle Service to open in Andover

WICHITA — A Bicycle Service owners Richard Bledsoe and Eric Patterson are preparing to open their third shop, this time in Andover.

The two opened their first store in 1,400 square feet in Derby in 2008.

A month ago, they opened an 1,100-square-foot store in El Dorado.

“It’s doing good,” Bledsoe says. “We can’t keep bikes in there.”

The new store will be in 2,200 square feet at 620 N. Andover Road.

“It’s just basically to make it convenient for the customer,” Bledsoe says.

The stores service bicycles and sell brands such as KHS, Manhattan, Torker and several lines of BMX bikes. They also have skateboards and related merchandise and Monster products, such as helmets and apparel.

Tony Utter of Utter Commercial Real Estate and Dave Lewis of Weigand-Omega Management handled the deal. Lewis also did the deal in El Dorado.

Look for the Andover store to open sometime next week.

 

Huddle House franchisees to open second restaurant in El Dorado

WICHITA — Huddle House franchisees David Key and Ron Lee are close to opening their second restaurant, this time in front of the Walmart in El Dorado.

The two opened their first Huddle House in Newton six months ago. Initially, they planned five of the restaurants over the next four years. The success of the Newton restaurant has caused them to change their plans, though.

“Just based on its success, it seems silly to build one a year,” Key says. “This is such an inexpensive place to dine in, we’re seeing record sales.   . . . So we’ve accelerated it.”

They’re planning about 14 of the restaurants in Kansas.

This is the first time the half-century-old chain has come to the state. The 24-hour diner has what Key describes as everything from breakfast food to comfort food.

There are more than 400 Huddle Houses, mostly in the southeast.

Originally, Key and Lee planned to make Hutchinson their second Huddle House site. They chose El Dorado instead because “just enough people from the city and potential customers were calling and asking,” Key says. “We’re seeing which communities reach out to us. I think that’s a safer way to play it.”

So far, he says, no one from Wichita has called. Key and Lee live here, though, and he says it’s just a matter of time before they open a Huddle House in Wichita.

Key and Lee also are looking at another franchise possibility and checking into developing their own concept as well.

“The more we can do in a community, there’s some synergistic savings,” Key says.

“Everything has to be right. In other words, there’s no rocket science to operating a restaurant. You’ve got to give people what they want. Every community is different.”

Mitchell family buys two more theaters

WICHITA — The Mitchell family, a farming family that bought its first theater in Newton five years ago, has purchased two more.

“This hobby just keeps getting bigger and bigger,” says Brian Mitchell, joking about what’s becoming a big business for the family along with the couple of shopping centers it owns.

The family, which includes Mitchell’s brother Brent, a Martin Pringle lawyer, bought Central 6 Cinema in El Dorado and Cowley Cinema 8 in Winfield from B&B Theatres.

The family also owns Chisholm Trail 8 in Newton, Northridge Cinema 8 in Guymon, Okla., SouthGate 6 in Liberal, and Sequoyah 9 Theatre in Garden City.

“We’ve just been looking at various properties through the Midwest,” Mitchell says. “The main thing is we like to own our own buildings. . . . That’s the farmer in us.”

The theaters were built in 2004 and 2005, so Brian Mitchell says there isn’t much renovating to do. More “refreshing,” as he puts it.

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