Category Archives: Restaurants

You don’t say

“I’m not going to be the guy in the kitchen.”

Jeremy Wade, one of the best-known chefs in Wichita, who is gone from Lakeside Club and now will help manage Alex Harb’s new Meddys Mediterranean chain

Panda Express to open at Derby Marketplace

WICHITA — Panda Express is going to open a third Wichita-area restaurant, this time in Derby.

The fast casual concept will go in the Derby Marketplace at Meadowlark and Rock Road. Panda will be in 2,350 square feet on the opposite end of the building where Starbucks is.

There’s another 3,200 square feet left to lease in the building.

The California-based Panda entered the Wichita market in 2010 with stores on Maize Road in front of Academy Sports & Outdoors and at One Kellogg Place on East Kellogg.

Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons represents the chain in the Wichita area.

Panda is similar to Chipotle in that diners walk through a line and first select a starch — steamed or fried rice or chow mein — and vegetables followed by two to three entrees.

Entrees consist of traditional Chinese dishes such as kung pao chicken, sweet-and-sour pork and beef and broccoli.

Look for more details on the Derby Panda as they become available.

You don’t say

“They are not screwing around with this 48-hour thing. They’ve got it down to the minute.”

Jeremy Horn of Wichita Brewing Co. & Pizzeria, which can resume selling its own beer at 1:50 p.m. Thursday following a 48-hour suspension of its microbrewery license due to a clerical error the business made

MOXI Junction set to open thanks to Kickstarter campaign

UPDATED — Kickstarter did just what Joanna Kilgore needed it to do. The campaign raised more than $22,000 to help put in a kitchen for MOXI Junction, a new coffeehouse coming to Maize.

“It was awesome,” Kilgore says.

The house at Park and Academy that is now home to MOXI Junction.

The house at Park and Academy that is now home to MOXI Junction.

It worked so well, she says, “Oh, we’re opening Monday.”

In October, Have You Heard? reported that Kilgore and some Maize-area friends, including two other mothers of special-needs children, are opening the business as a place for their kids to work. The coffeehouse also will have a bakery and art gallery.

MOXI, which stands for Mothers of Exceptional Individuals, will be at the northwest corner of Park and Academy in Maize.

Kilgore had said she was close to opening when she learned she wouldn’t have all the money she needed from the farm bank she was working with.

She credits Facebook and an e-mail campaign for helping reach the Kickstarter goal. She says her “uber goal” was to raise $60,000, but the $22,000 and some change was enough to get going.

Kilgore says she already had her kitchen on order.

“I had to do this little bridge thing using my retirement account,” she says. “It wasn’t pretty. That’s not what you want to do.”

The kitchen is now in thanks to what Kilgore calls a determined group of people “working sunup to sundown.”

Initially, MOXI will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays. After school starts, it will be 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Eventually, Kilgore hopes to add Saturday service.

 

Augusta Municipal Airport manager hopes to have restaurant at airport

WICHITA — Augusta Municipal Airport manager Lloyd Partin’s latest hope for the airport is a restaurant.

“Most people fly with some sort of intention in their trip,” he says. “It gives people a reason to fly, especially for leisure reasons.”

Partin says the idea would be to lure people flying in for the proverbial $100 hamburger but also attract people driving in from around the area.

He says it’s about giving “another reason why the airport is important.”

Partin says the car rentals that the airport added are used more by nonfliers than those flying in.

There’s a hurdle to a restaurant, though.

“The primary issue right now is having access to a sewer line,” Partin says. “That’s the critical component.”

He says a microsewage treatment plant is a possibility, as is getting a line extended from Andover.

“We were discussing the possibility with the city of Andover,” Partin says. “We’re still working on that and still having discussions with them.”

Ideally, Partin would like a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“That would be my goal,” he says. Having a full-service menu “would be a real benefit.”

“It would be a good location for something like that.”

Partin says he’s spoken with potential operators but doesn’t have anything waiting on the back burner. He says there’s interest, though.

“I think a restaurant, from the airports that have one, is kind of like icing on the cake,” he says. “It brings it full circle in terms of providing a reason for people to get out and fly.”

Ribbit Computers owner to start chain of fast casual Mediterranean restaurants

WICHITA — Alex Harb has good news and bad news, depending on your perspective.

Last fall, the Ribbit Computers owner and new Golden Corral franchisee told Have You Heard? he was considering bringing Jack in the Box to Wichita.

He’s decided not to do that, but Harb instead is going to open a fast casual Mediterranean restaurant in September.

Meddys will open in the former Jimmy’s Egg space at Harry and Rock.

“I believe that there’s a need for a fast casual Mediterranean food,” Harb says. “It’s not fast food.”

Meddys, which is kind of a nickname for the Mediterranean, will serve chicken and beef shawarma, kabobs, salad, hummus and falafel. Harb says meat will be off a spit.

“There’s nothing like it in town,” he says. “It’s extra work.”

Harb says he’s purposely keeping the menu simple.

“We’re not trying to be everything for everyone.”

Harb, who entered the restaurant business with a Raymore, Mo., Golden Corral earlier this year, says he plans to do four Meddys in the Wichita area over the next five years.

“Everybody is leaning towards the healthier food,” he says.

That’s part of the reason Harb says he decided to do Meddys instead of Jack in the Box.

“There’s plenty of places that are serving just hamburgers and tacos and everything that Jack in the Box serves.”

Harb says he likes the traffic around Harry and Rock.

“It’s pretty good exposure,” he says. “I think this location will do very well.”

You don’t say

“We don’t want to rent it. We want to sell it.”

– Auctioneer Bud Palmer, at the Red Bean’s Bayou Grill auction Monday, to a woman who bid $20 for a sculpture of three frogs playing instruments on top of a wooden spool (which she ended up buying for $170)

Panera Bread on North Rock Road to temporarily close to install drive-through

WICHITA — It may not have happened by spring as he hoped, but Randy Simon is now about to add a drive-through at his Panera Bread at 1605 N. Rock Road.

The restaurant is going to close from Monday until July 22 to make the addition along with interior remodeling.

Derby is the only other Wichita-area Panera with a drive-through so far.

Simon says he’s in the process of submitting plans to do a drive-through at the Panera at Taft and Ridge.

He’s just finished remodeling the Panera near Central and Hillside, which wasn’t able to have a drive-through.

“We just were not able to work the necessary arrangemetns out with Walgreens,” Simon says.

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Buddy Colson enters into joint venture with John “Jetman” Thien to run Jet Bar-B-Q

WICHITA — Instead of selling his Jet Bar-B-Q at 1100 E. Third St. as planned, John “Jetman” Thien has entered into a joint venture with Buddy Colson to run the business.

“I’ve been eating Jet’s food for, like, 30 years myself,” Colson says. “I just want to keep the food going because I know he’s wanting to retire.”

Colson most recently has been retired, but he was in the restaurant business for years before that. His last job was district manager for Arby’s in Kansas.

“He has a great deal of experience in corporate restaurants,” Thien says.

Colson is a familiar face at Jet Bar-B-Q. After eating there for just about all of the restaurant’s 32 years, he says he’s “been basically an understudy” for the last couple of years. He says Thien’s food is consistent, and he doesn’t plan to change anything about it.

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Longtime roaster returns to Spice Merchant

roasterWICHITA — The more than 40-year-old coffee roaster that used to be the Spice Merchant’s mainstay is back in the store, which is on East Douglas about four blocks east of Washington.

Three years ago, owner Bob Boewe purchased a new, more environmentally friendly roaster from the U.S. Roaster Corp. in Oklahoma City. The company then tried to sell his old roaster.

“They could never really get a buyer,” Boewe says.

So he had the company refurbish and modernize it so he could use it as a backup at the store.

Boewe says his new roaster had an issue once, and he had to go a week and a half without it.

“We prevailed on a friend of ours in Oklahoma City who’s a roaster,” he says.

Boewe says he’d prefer to have his own backup because the new roaster has so many intricate parts.

“If one little part of that dies, you’re just dead in the water,” he says. “It could happen to anybody. It’s just a fact of life.”

The only way Boewe says a store such as his should be without a backup is if “the guy who built it lives next door to you.”

He says the refurbished roaster is at the store and waiting to be hooked up.

“We now have two beautiful red roasters on the floor.”