Red Barn owners to open Anna Murdoc’s Cafe downtown in Sutton Place

UPDATED — The Red Barn restaurant has been a popular place for Wichitans to visit on their way to Lake Afton. Soon, they’ll be able to get some of that cooking downtown as well.

Gerard Rodriguez and his family – including his father, Michael, sister, Belle, and cousin, Isaiah Hill – are opening Anna Murdoc’s Cafe in Sutton Place at Market and William.

“We’re given a really good opportunity to do some fun stuff downtown,” Gerard Rodriguez says. “We’ve got a lot of good ideas, a lot of talent.”

His whole family is helping ready the space, which used to be the Daily Grind.

Lawyer Abdul Arif and his partners in Dragon Estate, a group that purchased the first floor of Sutton Place earlier this year, also are partners in the restaurant and will help promote it.

Rodriguez at one time worked for Cargill doing process analysis of soybean cooking oil “and got bored out of my mind.”

Then he went to culinary school. He’s trained as a pastry chef and a sushi chef.

“And now I’m doing barbecue, Mexican and breakfast out in a barn,” Rodriguez says. “It’s been a crazy, crazy journey so far.”

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Dragon Estate investors buy floors in Sutton Place and Broadway Plaza and plan more purchases downtown

WICHITA — What started as a real estate search for a law office has led Abdul Arif to become a new investor in downtown along with several of his friends and business associates.

The members of the group, who operate under the name Dragon Estate, are Asian immigrants.

“This is our home,” Arif says of how they now view Wichita. “This is where we believe in.”

The other investors are Mui Nguyen, who owns Roof Mechanics; Vinh Le, a Boeing engineer; and Tariq Azmi, a systems engineer with CGF Industries.

“This group of guys (is) who I normally hang out with,” Arif says. “They’re always looking to do something.”

Boeing has told Le he has to move to Seattle. He doesn’t want to, though, so that’s part of the group’s motivation.

“They’re looking for investments and things to keep him here,” Arif says.

So far, they’re investing in downtown one floor at a time.

“Someone told us there’s a good deal at Sutton Place,” Arif says of the building at Market and William.

Real Development owns several floors there. Two floors that others own are in foreclosure.

So far, Arif and his associates have purchased the first floor of Sutton Place.

Arif says he’s in negotiations to buy the foreclosed floors as well.

Once the group has more floors, its plan is to develop residential condos there.

That’s also where Arif will move his Arif & Haeri law office.

Arif says the first floor of Sutton Place will remain office space. He’s also in negotiations for a new restaurant to move into the former Daily Grind space on that floor.

“I’m supposed to sign a lease fairly quickly.”

All About Business, a marketing and consulting firm, also is moving its office there.

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