You don’t say

“It’s a great deal even if I don’t win.”

Lucas Hershberger on a national Genghis Grill competition to lose weight that gets him one free meal every day at the west-side Genghis and as much as $10,000 if he wins

U Grill to open in former Linkhaus space

WICHITA — An Oklahoma lawyer’s shopping trip to the Rock Road Sam’s Club led to him leasing the former Linkhaus space near the southwest corner of 37th Street North and Rock Road.

Will Clark was in Wichita shopping at Sam’s about six months ago.

“For some reason, I went north to 37th Street instead of south to . . . 96,” Clark says.

“It was nighttime, and I drove by the Linkhaus, and it was all lit up. And I thought, what in the world? I literally came in and bought a hot dog because I was curious about the building. I thought, that’s one heck of a building.”

He’s planning to open a fast-casual dining concept called U Grill in September.

“Basically what we’re looking at doing is like a fast food HuHot or a Genghis Grill,” Clark says.

Instead of having only rice or noodles to choose from along with grilled vegetables, U Grill will have hamburgers, cheese steak sandwiches and omelets for which customers can also select vegetables to grill.

The quarter pound burgers will be divided into two patties that are smashed and grilled quickly. The grilled vegetables will go between the patties.

Clark says he’s also getting a license for at least beer and wine and hopes to make U Grill a late-night spot for sporting events in addition to serving breakfast lunch and dinner.

“There’s a lot of potential for this area to have a after-hours place for people to gather.”

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Genghis Grill is coming to the former west-side Krispy Kreme building

grillWICHITA — There’s a new tenant for the former Krispy Kreme space at 8512 W. Central, and it may be a surprise to some.

Genghis Grill, a Mongolian grill, will sublease the space.

“It’s going to be right in the middle of everybody,” franchisee Terry Newman says of all the neighborhoods in that area.

Newman and his partner, Frank Carney, opened Wichita’s first Genghis Grill at the former Bennigan’s space at Douglas and Rock Road in January 2009.

“The east side’s doing phenomenal,” Newman says. “It beat our expectations.”

The former Krispy Kreme space is about 4,000 square feet, which Newman says is a standard size for Genghis Grill.

It doesn’t faze him that Krispy Kreme didn’t succeed at that spot.

“That’s kind of the least of my worries, if someone was successful there before us or not.”

Besides, he says, “We’re not doughnuts. We’re a full-service restaurant.”

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Papa John’s near 21st and Amidon closes; New location could serve Valley Center and Park City

pizzaWICHITA — The Papa John’s near 21st and Amidon has closed, but almost everyone in that delivery area will be served by two existing stores until a new one opens.

“We’re trying to find another location,” says Terry Newman, who is partners in the business with Frank Carney.

This Papa John’s was open almost 10 years, but Newman says the rent was rising too much to continue to stay.

He says this could be an opportunity to move farther north and begin serving Valley Center and Park City.

“We’ve been looking all around,” Newman says.

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Genghis rocks — literally

I’ve enjoyed all three of the new Mongolian Grills in town — HuHot, Genghis Grill and Wichita’s own Gobi Grille. In fact, sometimes I wish I could take my favorite things from all three restaurants and roll them into one.

The most unexpected thing I like is the soundtrack playing at Genghis Grill. I think it has to be the best of any restaurant in the city.

At lunch today, one minute I was dancing in my seat to the Gap Band’s You Dropped A Bomb on Me,” and the next I was feeling nostalgic with Don Henley’sBoys of Summer.”

An odd mix, to be sure, but I loved it.

Old Town Buffet to open

Old Town Buffet is coming to Wichita, but not to the Old Town area.

The restaurant is going in the former HomeTown Buffet and King’s Buffet space at 6160 E. Central.

Partner Hong Zhang says he’ll offer American cuisine “just like Golden Corral” with “all the American favorites.” He says he’ll also have a Mongolian Grill similar to Genghis Grill.

Diners can choose from both options for $6.99 for lunch or $9.99 for dinner. Zhang says those prices could change by the time he opens, which he hopes will be by Mother’s Day on May 10.

No alcohol will be served.

Zhang says a second Old Town Buffet is a possibility.

“If we do good on this location,” he says, “we’re going to open one on the west side.”

Gobi Grille set to open

The new Gobi Grille is set to open this week in the former Victory Sports Grille space on Ridge Road near 21st Street.

The Mongolian-style grill will be the third one to open in Wichita this year.
HuHot Mongolian Grill and Genghis Grill are on the east side. Gobi is the only one west.

There are some friends-and-family dinners this Sunday and Monday, and the restaurant should be open to the public Wednesday.

At least that’s what Brian Robinson and other managers are planning “with our fingers and toes crossed.”