Port of Wichita to reopen in August

WICHITA — Pat Alvarez of Alvarez Construction & Floor Covering was eating dinner one night at Felipe’s Mexican Restaurant near Harry and Webb Road and looked over at the closed Port of Wichita bar.

“I said, ‘I’m going to open that bar,’” he says.

He says he’s always wanted to open a sports bar and saw his chance.

Since then, he purchased the more than 30-year-old business, gutted it and is preparing for an August opening. The grand opening is August 10 with a performance by Annie Up, and Alvarez says he’ll have a soft opening before that.

“We’re going with a real sexy theme,” he says. “Beautiful ladies.”

Alvarez says he’ll have a female-only wait staff similar to a couple of other restaurants in Wichita, though he says outfits won’t be quite as revealing.

“I’m married to a good, Christian woman,” he says. “I’ve got to keep it clean.”

The Port, which is at 1548 S. Webb Road, closed in May.

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T.J.’s Burger House to open on the east side

WICHITA — He’s waited 10 years just to be sure, but now T.J.’s Burger House owner John Abdayem is ready for his second location.

Thanks to what he calls “unbelievable support,” Abdayem says, “I think we’re strong enough to handle another one on the east side.”

The first T.J.’s is in Delano at 1003 W. Douglas.

The new T.J.’s will open in late September near Harry and Webb behind Felipe’s Mexican Restaurant.

“The minute we walked in, it’s like, it was made for T.J.’s,” Abdayem says of the space, which used to be a diner.

He found vintage-style tables and chairs with chrome and red covers, a checkered floor and neon signs.

“It’s like that decor was made for a hamburger parlor.”

The space will seat at least 150. The Delano T.J.’s holds 120.

Abdayem’s brother, Tony Abdayem, has La Galette just down from T.J.’s. John Abdayem helped start that years ago.

And his nephew, Roni Attari, owns the new Yuca Bistro on the west side.

When John Abdayem and his wife, Tracie, were starting T.J.’s, they decided to name it after themselves.

“It was supposed to be T&J’s, but it didn’t sound good together, so we called it T.J.’s,” Abdayem says.

Like the existing T.J.’s, the new one will be open for lunch and dinner six days a week.

“We’ve had such a big success over here,” Abdayem says. “Obviously, we’re doing something right for 10 years to survive.”