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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Freebirds World Burrito franchisee to begin search for Wichita sites

WICHITA — A franchisee is looking to bring as many as three Freebirds World Burritos to Wichita.

Overland Park-based FB Midwest Development is the first franchisee of the chain, which is based in Texas and California. The franchise group has the rights to develop Freebirds locations in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska.

“We’re signed up initially for 27, and hopefully we can get more territories,” says Bryce Katz, COO and partner.

He says the restaurant is similar to Chipotle Mexican Grill, with a big focus on organic items such as grass-fed beef and hormone-free chicken.

Freebirds has what Katz calls “very, very fresh” burritos, burrito bowls, nachos, quesadillas, salad and seven kinds of salsa.

The group’s first restaurant opened recently in Mission, which makes the 77th Freebirds site nationally.

Katz says his group hopes to open in Wichita in 2013.

“We’re going to start looking now.”

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