Dave Dunn to open Billy Sims Barbecue

WICHITA — Dave Dunn, who used to own Emerson Biggin’s, is bringing a new restaurant concept to Wichita.

Dunn already owns a Billy Sims Barbecue in Oklahoma City, and in September he’s opening one at the southwest corner of Kellogg and Andover.

Sims was a Heisman winner at the University of Oklahoma who went on to play for the Detroit Lions. Dunn says he’s one of his heroes.

“Just remember watching him,” Dunn says. “Would never dream I would be in business with him. We see him a lot, really. He’s very hands-on with franchisees.”

Dunn’s Oklahoma City restaurant was the 18th for the Tulsa-based chain, which now has more than 40 restaurants.

“They’re growing fast,” he says.

Dunn says there aren’t enough rooftops near his Oklahoma City restaurant.

“I do think Wichita will be better.”

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Yogurt Xplosion to open on North Rock Road May 4

WICHITA — Orange Leaf Self Serve Frozen Yogurt has inspired Amber Dunn to open her own yogurt place, Yogurt Xplosion, which opens May 4 near Buffalo Wild Wings on North Rock Road.

“About a year ago, I was in Norman (Okla.), and I saw a few self-serve frozen yogurt companies and thought, hey, I want to do this,” Dunn says.

The Orange Leaf franchise wasn’t available here, but that may have been fortuitous.

“I’m super excited about how many toppings I’m going to have,” Dunn says. “It’s definitely going to be the most toppings of any place in town, I can tell you that.”

She’ll have 16 flavors of yogurt and more than 40 toppings.

“The biggest difference really is I’m going to offer cupcakes direct from the Cheesecake Factory,” Dunn says.

She’ll also have cookies and offer waffle cones for the yogurt.

“That’s kind of something a little different, too.”

Dunn’s father, former Emerson Biggin’s owner Dave Dunn, has helped some. Amber Dunn says the venture is all hers, though.

“I’m just all of 21 years old, so this is the first of many ventures, hopefully,” she says. “I see myself franchising this company out and just shooting for the stars.”

You don’t say

“I thought if free liquor doesn’t get somebody’s attention, nothing will.”

– Former Emerson Biggin’s owner Dave Dunn, who’s trying to lease his office space above the Old Town bar with an advertisement that says the rent includes the monthly bar tab

Emerson Biggin’s West to sell to GM Renee Weingartner

WICHITA — As expected, Dave Dunn is selling his Emerson Biggin’s West.

Earlier this month, Dunn announced that he sold his 10-year-old Emerson Biggin’s in Old Town to longtime operations director Chuck Miller.

Dunn is preparing to go into a new, as-of-yet-unnamed business, so he’s in the process of selling his west site to Renee Weingartner.

Weingartner has been the restaurant and sports bar’s general manager since it opened three years ago in the former B.G. Bolton’s space near 21st and Maize Road. She also owns the Penalty Box on MacArthur near Ridge Road.

Weingartner already is working on changing the menu at Emerson Biggin’s.

“You can go anywhere and get bar food.”

At a time when so many people are watching their spending, she says, “I want to give them a reason . . . to come spend their money here.”

Weingartner and her husband, former Wichita Thunder player and coach Rob Weingartner, have lived a lot of places, and she says they want to bring a little of what they sampled elsewhere to here.

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Emerson Biggin’s sell to operations director, who plans to add Rock Island BBQ

WICHITA — Dave Dunn has sold his 10-year old Emerson Biggin’s in Old Town.

“Well, I have come up with another venture I want to pursue that I’m real passionate about,” he says. “The timing’s right.”

Any hints as to what it will be?

“Something that’s getting very popular in an industry that’s starting to boom.”

Within the restaurant realm?

“I will no longer be part of the restaurant business.”

Dunn says it’s a bittersweet departure.

“It’s been fun. It’s been trying at the same time.”

Dunn says he likes to try new things.

Look for news about a change at his west-side Emerson Biggin’s sometime in the next week or so.

Chuck Miller, Dunn’s longtime operations director, has purchased his downtown Emerson Biggin’s, which includes the Rock Island Live venue.

“I’ve been with Dave since Day 1, so it’s not like somebody new has come along,” Miller says. “I’ve been running it since it opened.”

Miller plans to keep things the same except for one addition.

He’s adding Rock Island BBQ to the Rock Island space.

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