Category Archives: Restaurants

Sake to open in former Taiwan Restaurant

WICHITA — The 2-year-old Taiwan Restaurant in the Sweetbriar shopping center at 21st and Amidon has closed, but the owner is opening a new restaurant in its place.

Lin Jason says he had a buffet at the restaurant but decided he has too much buffet competition.

Instead, he’s converting the restaurant from a Chinese buffet to a Japanese restaurant called Sake. There will be no buffet.

In addition to changing the concept, Jason says he’s painting and refreshing the space as well and should be ready to open it around November.

DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers to move to former Palmers Grill space

WICHITA — A new business is opening in the former Palmers Grill space near K-96 and Webb Road where Fritz Co. Grille used to be.

Not surprisingly, it’s not a restaurant.

DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers has bought the building.

“We’ve been growing fast,” says Dustin DeVaughn, who founded the firm with Richard W. James in early 2012.

Their firm, which has 14 employees, including five lawyers, is now in 2,000 square feet a half mile east of Greenwich on Central.

The new space is about 7,500 square feet, and DeVaughn says the firm will be using the whole building.

“Oh, absolutely.”

He says the firm is adding another attorney and a couple of employees.

“We’re wanting to be in there and working before the beginning of the new year,” DeVaughn says.

Classic Real Estate handled the deal.

“We loved the visibility there on K-96,” DeVaughn says. “It’s a beautiful environment right there, and there’s going to be some exciting stuff happening out there.”

Fuji Japanese Grill & Sushi to open in former Yamasa Japanese Grill space

WICHITA — A new Asian restaurant is opening in the space at 327 N. Hillside formerly occupied by Yamasa Japanese Grill, which closed late last year.

Lin Daniel and his wife, Chen Hong, are opening Fuji Japanese Grill & Sushi around Aug. 28.

“We changed everything,” Daniel says. He says, “Everything’s better than before.”

The restaurant will have sushi and grill items.

Daniel says he and Hong would like to have the restaurant become a chain “all over the U.S.A.”

“That’s our goal,” he says. “Our dream.”

Sneak peek of Wichita’s first Pie Five Pizza

Wichita’s new Pie Five Pizza opens Friday next to the Applebee’s at Maple and Ridge.

This is the first of at least three Pie Fives that franchisee Jim Stevens, who also is the Applebee’s franchisee, plans for Wichita. The second will open at NewMarket Square. Stevens is close to announcing the third site as well.

In the meantime, Pie Five area director Joe Chandler a sneak peek of the restaurant from a VIP lunch Stevens hosted Tuesday.


Retail center, restaurant under development at Regency Lakes at 21st and Greenwich

WICHITA — One of the last phases of the Regency Lakes shopping center at the northwest corner of 21st and Greenwich is under development.

Ken Saville (from left) and Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate and Tom Schmeidler with SBA Construction are building a new retail center at Regency Lakes at 21st and Greenwich.

Ken Saville (from left) and Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate and Tom Schmeidler with SBA Construction are building a new retail center at Regency Lakes at 21st and Greenwich.

Four S Development, a group of local investors, is building an 11,375-square-foot strip center on the lake in front of Cabela’s.

“We envision it being a four-tenant building,” says Brad Saville, a partner in the group and president and CEO of Landmark Commercial Real Estate. “We’ve got one lease signed.”

Saville confirms the tenant is a restaurant that should be open before the holidays. It will take 2,900 square feet and have a patio overlooking the lake.

Sources say Papa John’s Pizza franchisee Terry Newman is doing a new concept in the space, and it’s likely based on burritos. Newman didn’t return calls to comment.

Landmark’s Ken Saville is handling leasing for the rest of the strip center.

“We’re thinking there could be one other small restaurant, and the rest would be retail,” says Brad Saville.

Saville says he first began work at Regency Lakes when he helped Cabela’s purchase property there. Then, he helped Hobby Lobby with its lease there.

“That’s all kind of led to this last parcel.”

Innovative Construction Services designed the center, and SBA Construction is building it. Andover State Bank provided financing.

Saville says retail development in the K-96 and Greenwich area will be significant in the next three years.

Along with the Waterfront development at 13th and Webb, he says, “Really, I think this is the highest-growth area in the whole city.”



Charlie’s PizzaTaco to start food truck

WICHITA — It almost seems like anymore, if you’re going to have a restaurant, it’s the norm to also have either catering or a food truck with it.

The owners of Charlie’s PizzaTaco are going to have both.

“We’re purchasing a food truck,” Tim Holmes says.

Holmes and David Hoffman opened the restaurant in west Wichita near Central and Tyler a couple of years ago. Hoffman’s father, the late Charlie Hoffman, started the business in Pratt in 1965. The Pratt connection is “kind of one of the reasons why we came up with the food truck,” Holmes says.

“The store in Pratt, Kan., where we originally are from, has closed down due to the death of Charlie Hoffman,” he says.

“The Pratt people have really been our foundation behind us.”

Holmes says when the truck becomes operational, it will go to Pratt once a week “to continue to give that customer base – that’s been so supportive to us – the product.”

He says the truck also gives the restaurant a chance to visit places such as east Wichita and Derby where Charlie’s fans keep asking for the restaurant to open.

“Hopefully everybody in town will have at least seen the truck by this time next year,” Holmes says.

The truck will offer the restaurant’s original pizza taco, which is part taco and part pizza, along with bierocks and pizza pups, which are hot dogs wrapped in flatbread.

“A lot of the kids really like that,” Holmes says.

The truck, which will debut in the middle of September, also will allow the restaurant to cater.

“It’s going to be a really nice truck,” Holmes says.

There will be a TV screen in the middle of the truck “so you can kind of really see what you’re getting,” he says. “A lot of people still don’t know what a pizza taco is.”

Town & Country will remain open until God or the highway intervene

WICHITA — The rumors are once again swirling that Town & Country might close.

“As far as we know, we’re not going anywhere,” says Sharon Conover, who owns the popular restaurant with her husband, Larry.

The restaurant, which opened in 1957, is on West Kellogg near Interstate 235.

Last summer, Larry Conover explained that eventually the restaurant would be torn down to make room for a highway bypass, but he said he was starting to wonder if it would even happen in his lifetime.

Sharon Conover says a few months ago it looked like it might happen so the state could make room for some utilities.

“Then whatever problem it was disappeared,” she says. “Last we heard … it’s going to be a very long time away.”

Of course, she says, something else could always happen.

“I mean, God may intervene. Who knows?”

Abuelo’s west-side deal gets inked

UPDATED — The deal for the new west-side Abuelo’s has closed.

“When we talked last, we had a gentleman’s agreement,” says Chuck Ouellette, manager of the chain’s east-side restaurant. “Now it’s all signed and delivered.”

Construction will start soon on the almost 8,000-square-foot restaurant, which will be at the northeast corner of Taft and Ridge Road. That’s south of Panera Bread and Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers and across the street from where Twin Peaks is under construction.

“The revitalization of the west side is growing, and that area is fantastic,” Ouellette says.

There also will be a 1,000-square-foot patio with the new Abuelo’s.

“This one’s going to be covered,” Ouellette says.

There will be a stage at the patio as well.

“So we can do some live music out there,” Ouellette says. “It’s going to be cool.”

Inside, the restaurant will feature some new design elements for the chain, including some skylight.

“The plans are in the city right now,” says Randy Simon, one of the property owners who also owns Panera and is a partner in Freddy’s.

Simon says Abuelo’s is “a higher-end concept that I think will bring … new people to the intersection.”

The restaurant should open in early spring.

Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal. Saville also is going to handle leasing on an additional 8,400 square feet of space that will be attached to the Abuelo’s space.

That could include retail or office users and possibly one more small restaurant concept, but Simon says he’d want to choose something that wouldn’t compete with the other concepts already there.

“We’d like to keep the rest of that pretty secure.”

You don’t say

“It’s been kind of a nice surprise.”

Jim Stevens on the new Pie Five Pizza that’s opening near Maple and Ridge on Aug. 15, which is the chain’s first freestanding restaurant so he wasn’t able to see pictures of what it would look like

Slawson Cos. purchases southeast corner of 29th and Maize

WICHITA — Slawson Cos., the developer of NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize, has purchased 73 acres at the southeast corner of 29th and Maize.

The new Sam’s Club is on the northeast corner.

“Obviously, it’s a very-well located property,” says Slawson commercial broker Jerry Jones.

The company acquired the property, including the approximately 10-acre Cadillac Lake, from the Pracht family.

Jones says the family owned it for almost 100 years and cultivated the habitat for water fowl and also farmed on the land the last 40 or 50 years.

He says the property has a number of potential uses.

“That’s what we’re doing right now. We’re evaluating its potential.”

Jones says the Maize Road frontage is excellent for retail and restaurant development.

He says there’s additional potential for around the lake, which could be used for offices, bird watching, hiking or fishing.

Jones says it’s too early to give a time frame for development.

“We’ve got a lot of planning and entitlements to work through.”

Company founder Don Slawson died earlier this month at the age of 80.

“We want to carry out Don’s legacy of quality development,” Jones says, “so we’ll be very deliberate in our planning and make sure we execute it accordingly.”