Waterfront development to get new office park; Whole Foods to break ground in July

The nine lots on the lower right of this aerial map show where the newest development at the Waterfront will go.

WICHITA — Another new area of development is coming to the Waterfront at 13th and Webb Road.

“We’ve got a small office park going in east of Bonefish,” says Stephen Clark II.

There will be up to nine lots on eight acres.

“It’s all office use,” Clark says.

Primarily, those offices will be medical, but there will be some service-type offices as well, such as financial services.

The lots are for sale, and the buyers will be the builders, though each building will be in what Clark calls the upscale Waterfront style.

“We have one so far and are talking to others,” Clark says of buyers.

He says the first deal will be announced in August.

Construction will start next week.

There’s still room for retail between Bonefish Grill and the new office park, but that will come later, Clark says.

There are several other areas in development at the Waterfront.

Planning is still underway for a new Class A, high-end apartment complex across the lake from Homewood Suites by Hilton at the Waterfront. Clark says schematics are now complete.

Also, the new 5,000-square-foot home for his father’s Clark Investment Group should be ready in two months.

The company currently is in 2,500 square feet near 13th and Rock Road in the Polo Club Office Park. The new office is off of Webb Road and across from Ciao Italian Kitchen on the Waterfront’s lake.

Over at Waterfront Plaza, which is on the northwest corner of 13th and Webb Road, construction is close to starting on the new Whole Foods grocery that will anchor the development.

“That starts in one month,” Clark says.

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Bryce Kuhn to open Twelve Restaurant & Bar in former Shorty Small’s space

WICHITA — Bryce Kuhn is a familiar face to many Wichita diners from working for others at a number of restaurants here. Now, he’s going to have a place of his own in the space that Shorty Small’s left at the Westlake Retail Center at 119th and Maple.

“I’ve always loved the west side,” Kuhn says. “My heart’s over here.”

He’s opening Twelve Restaurant & Bar, which he describes as an American grill, in June.

“Twelve has been my favorite number since I was about 5 or 6 years old.”

Kuhn’s first basketball jersey was No. 12.

“It stuck with me.”

Also, he says 2012 “was pretty much my best year ever.”

Kuhn married last year, bought a house and found out he was going to become a father.

After a career traveling to various cities with Houston’s restaurants, Kuhn returned to Wichita to work for several restaurants here, including Bonefish Grill, YaYa’s Eurobistro, Newport Grill and the Lakeside Club most recently.

Kuhn plans for Twelve to be “upscale casual.”

“We want to give people an upscale dining experience, but we don’t want to make them feel like they’re paying an arm and a leg to have a nice night out on the town.”

The restaurant, which will have seating for about 150 and another 25 on the patio, will serve dishes such as hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood and roasted chicken along with sandwiches and salads.

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Former Wichitans Dennis Thompson and Doug Glendenning to bring Firebirds Wood Fired Grill to the Waterfront

The Waterfront’s Stephen Clark II stands in front of the future home of Firebirds Wood Fired Grill.

WICHITA — A visit home to his native Wichita is what’s leading Lone Star Steakhouse founder Dennis Thompson to bring his latest restaurant concept to the Waterfront.

Thompson and former Wichitan Doug Glendenning and a private New York equity firm own 23 Firebirds Wood Fired Grills and have six more under construction.

Thompson, who founded the company in 2000 in Charlotte, N.C., planned to go to Oklahoma City and Tulsa next but changed his mind.

“I happened to be in Wichita for a class reunion,” he says.

While here, Thompson toured the former Brooks Brothers store at the Waterfront development at 13th and Webb Road.

The 7,650-square-foot space is on the corner of the retail section of the Waterfront and is known for its decorative domed roof.

“It’s the most prominent spot in the retail center,” says the Waterfront’s Stephen Clark II.

Glendenning, the former president of Lone Star, calls the Waterfront “one of the best areas in the greater Wichita area for sure.”

“I used to live just a couple of blocks from there, so I know that area very well,” he says.

Glendenning is a founder of Firebirds, too, but he says Thompson really created it.

Thompson’s Aspen home inspired what initially was a Colorado lodge theme.

“Over time … it’s evolved,” Glendenning says. “It’s a lot less Colorado feel and more just kind of upscale casual.”

Thompson says he wanted to start a concept that was more upscale than an Outback or similar restaurants but not quite as high end as a Morton’s or a Ruth’s Chris.

“The theme is based around steaks, but we’re not perceived necessarily as a steakhouse,” Thompson says.

There are lots of wood-fired dishes, many of which have a southwestern flair.

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YiaYia’s EuroBistro owners to open Newport Grill in former Cibola space at Bradley Fair

guysBill Crooks (left) and Paul Khoury, owners of Newport Grill, which is coming to Bradley Fair.

WICHITA — There have been a lot of questions, not to mention much speculation, about what’s going to go in the former Cibola space — Bradley Fair’s preeminent waterfront property that’s been empty since early 2009.

Now, there’s an answer:

Newport Grill, a new seafood concept created by PB&J Restaurants, the Kansas City firm that owns YiaYia’s EuroBistro, which also is at Bradley Fair.

“We were going to take our time and absolutely do it right,” developer George Laham says of finding a new restaurant for the space.

He almost immediately turned to PB&J’s Paul Khoury and Bill Crooks, who have developed menus for 27 restaurants.

“We just looked at the market,” Khoury says.

He says there are plenty of great steak houses and other restaurants here.

Although Bonefish Grill opened in 2006, Khoury says they still saw an opening for another seafood restaurant.

“Bonefish does a great job, don’t get me wrong,” he says.

Newport Grill will fly fish in six days a week, sometimes from as far away as the Mediterranean.

“When you walk through Newport Grill, you won’t be able to smell fish,” Khoury says. “That’s how fresh it will be.”

Where YiaYia’s ticket prices are about $25 or $26 a person, Newport’s will be more like $30 to $32 a person due to the cost of fish.

“We’re going to have an attitude about not using fish that is over harvested,” Crooks says.

Newport Grill executive chef and owner Aaron Whitcomb, who has been working at YaYa’s EuroBistro in Denver, says he wants to redefine some traditional seafood dishes.

There will be nonseafood items on the menu as well.

Crooks says there will be an emphasis on using locally grown produce and naturally fed and sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken. Lamb also will be served.

There will be 190 seats at Newport Grill, which is about 40 more than Cibola had.

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