Qdoba Mexican Grill to open in Hutchinson in June; east Wichita Qdoba to follow

WICHITA — The first Qdoba Mexican Grill in this part of Kansas is going to open in Hutchinson.

In July, Have You Heard? reported that restaurateur Eric Estes is bringing the franchise to Wichita.

“We would like to do five,” says Estes, whose Estes Enterprises has almost two dozen A&W and Long John Silver’s franchises in Kansas.

Denver-based Qdoba is similar to Chipotle Mexican Grill in that customers order from a counter with a number of protein, vegetable and salsa selections for burritos and tacos. Qdoba, which was founded in 1995, has about 600 restaurants in 42 states.

Ink Construction will begin building the Hutchinson Qdoba at 1518 E. 17th Ave. in February. That’s where Taco Bueno used to be. That building will be demolished.

An east Wichita location “will soon follow,” Estes says.

He says it just happens the Hutchinson deal was finalized first. He’s selected an east Wichita site, but the deal isn’t done. He’s also considering a couple of sites in west Wichita and is planning a Hays Qdoba as well.

Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons is helping Estes with the deals.

Estes says the Hutchinson Qdoba will open June 1 and the others will quickly follow.

Qdoba Mexican Grill to open at least two restaurants on east and west sides

UPDATED — Restaurateur Eric Estes is bringing a new franchise to Wichita:

Qdoba Mexican Grill.

“We’re really impressed with … their culinary attitude (and) approach to food,” Estes says.

Estes Enterprises has 20 A&W and Long John Silver’s franchises in Kansas, including six of the seafood restaurants in Wichita.

Denver-based Qdoba, which was founded in 1995, has about 600 restaurants in 42 states.

Initially, Estes plans to bring Qdobas to Wichita’s east and west sides.

“Our plan is to have the first unit open by the end of ’12 or the very beginning of ’13,” he says.

The east-side Qdoba will be built first.

Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons is helping Estes with the deals, which aren’t yet finalized.

Wink Hartman II of Ink Construction is the contractor.

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Long John Silver’s Freshside Grille to open Feb. 15 with Five Guys Burgers and Fries

WICHITA — No one planned it this way, but it turns out Long John Silver’s Freshside Grille is going to open Feb. 15, which is the same day Five Guys Burgers and Fries is planning to open.

The restaurants are in a new center in front of Lowe’s near 29th and Maize.

Long John franchisee Eric Estes says the goal was to get open by Ash Wednesday, which is the 17th, because a lot of customers on the west side said they’d like another option for fish.

He says the new Long John’s will be a more upscale version of the restaurant, with cherry wood furniture and digital menus.

“It’s very upscale compared to anything else we have.”

Ink Construction built Long John Silver’s and Five Guys.

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A&W drive-ins are still coming to Wichita; so is a Long John Silver’s Freshside Grille

mugWICHITA — Readers have been wondering if an A&W drive-in is really coming to Wichita.

Last August, Have You Heard? reported that former Sonic franchisee Eric Estes would bring back the A&W concept, which has been out of the market for decades.

He didn’t open the restaurants here this year as he originally thought he would — he went to Garden City instead — but Estes is still planning on it.

“Oh, yeah,” he says. “We’re absolutely doing it.”

He plans to break ground this year and open late next winter or early spring.

The only question is where.

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