Hana Next Door to open Friday

WICHITA — It’s already been almost a year since Eunice and Jay Kim announced they planned to open Hana Next Door, which will be next to their Hana Cafe in Old Town Square.

Friday, it’s finally happening.

“I’m so nervous,” Eunice Kim says.

She says it’s been a long time since she started a restaurant from scratch, and even though this is a small one, it’s proven to be difficult.

The Kims are planning express-style Korean food in the space the Wichita Police Department substation previously occupied.

One of the restaurant’s highlights will be a bibimbap station where customers can select vegetables and meat to eat over rice with a flavorful chili sauce on the side, which is a traditional Korean dish.

Eunice Kim says she hopes to ease into the new restaurant with a soft opening.

You don’t say

“Everybody’s different. Some people don’t eat steak. Same thing.”

Eunice Kim, who owns the popular sushi restaurant Hana Cafe but doesn’t eat sushi (although she’ll occasionally try cooked fish)

Hana Next Door will open in 2013

WICHITA — Eunice and Jay Kim are still planning another expansion of their Hana Cafe in Old Town Square, but it won’t happen next month as they originally thought.

“We’re still working on it,” Eunice Kim says.

She says Hana Next Door, which is taking the space the Wichita Police Department substation previously occupied, will open sometime in early 2013.

The new Hana concept is slightly different from the traditional Korean, Japanese and sushi dishes Hana Cafe offers. It will have express-style Korean food that diners can take to go. There will be limited seating as well.

The new restaurant also will have more tofu and vegetarian offerings along with salads and what Kim calls “healthy food.”

We’ll let you know an opening date as soon as there is one.

Hana Cafe owners expand with casual Korean concept Hana Next Door

WICHITA — Two years from when Eunice and Jay Kim opened their expanded Hana Cafe in Old Town Square, the couple is expanding again.

This time, though, they’re offering a new concept.

The Kims are taking the space the Wichita Police Department is vacating in September when it moves its substation. The Kims plan to open Hana Next Door there this Christmas to sell express-style Korean food.

“This concept is a little different,” Eunice Kim says.

There will be some seating, but mainly the restaurant will be for carryout service.

“We needed (something) more casual,” Kim says. “We need that kind of restaurant inside the plaza because everywhere is fine dining.”

She says a lot of people have only 30 minutes for lunch.

“Our restaurant,” Kim says of Hana Cafe, “it takes time to have lunch.”

In addition to offering faster service, Hana Next Door will have differently spiced dishes than Hana Cafe. There will be more tofu and vegetarian offerings along with more salads and what Kim calls “healthy food.”

Like Hana Cafe, the new restaurant will offer the Korean dish bibimbap, which is vegetables and protein served over rice with a flavorful chili sauce on the side. Unlike what Hana currently offers, the new restaurant will have a bibimbap station where diners can select vegetables and meat.

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Expanded Hana Cafe to open Thursday

WICHITA — It’s a month later than she planned, but Eunice Kim is happy to say her newly expanded Hana Cafe in Old Town Square is opening Thursday.

The new portion of the restaurant opened Monday in the former Picture Framing & More space, but the previous Hana space has been under construction since then.

That part of the restaurant will close again briefly early next week to have its floors redone, but it should be back open quickly.

Kim doubled her space and has added sushi and sake bars.

Though she’s disappointed by construction delays, Kim is happy with how the new space turned out.

“It’s very nice.”

Hana Cafe to double in size and add sake and sushi bars

WICHITA — Picture Framing & More is leaving Old Town Square because of a lack of business, but next-door neighbor Hana Cafe is expanding into that space because its business is doing so well.

Since 13-year-old Hana Cafe moved from 306 N. Rock Road to Old Town four years ago, business has tripled says Eunice Kim, who owns the business with her husband, Jay.

During that time, the popularity of sushi, which is only part of what Hana sells, seems to have grown.

“Every single table has sushi,” Eunice Kim says.

Old Town is attracting more diners as well.

Now, the Kims want to capitalize on the sushi craze and the trend of young people who enjoy partying with music, sushi and sake in the evenings.

The Kims plan to completely remodel their 1,500 square feet and the similarly sized frame shop, which will close at the end of June.

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Saddle Ranch not coming to WaterWalk

Visitors to downtown’s WaterWalk development may one day sidle up to a bar or restaurant there, but it won’t be the Saddle Ranch Chop House.

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Almost two years after announcing the restaurant would come, WaterWalk president Tom Johnson now says it won’t. But he says it’s no big deal.

“No, it’s not important because we’re replacing them with a better tenant,” Johnson says.

He won’t say who that is.

“We’re not ready to release it yet,” Johnson says. He says he wants to package an announcement of several establishments “instead of dribbling little pieces of information out.”

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