Longtime favorite Brints Diner to reopen

brintsdinerWICHITA — Brints Diner is once again going to reopen.

Larry Bud’s Sports Bar & Grill founder Larry Harmon is taking over the business, which is near the northeast corner of Lincoln and Oliver.

The restaurant is in one of Wichita’s last remaining Valentine buildings, which are metal, mobile diners that Wichita’s Valentine Manufacturing built between 1938 and 1971.

The more than 50-year-old Brints closed in late 2012, but then about this time last year, Neighbors Restaurant & Bar owner Chuck Giles and his girlfriend, Connie Schrader, reopened the business. Running two restaurants proved to be too much, so building owner Homer Morgan found someone else to run Brints. Then it closed again last month.

Harmon, a Mississippi native, says a diner has “been in my thoughts for a while.”

“I just always wanted a diner,” he says. “When I was a kid down South, my dad used to take me and my four brothers to this diner where you could get sausage biscuits for 10 cents a piece. I thought it was cool.”

Harmon says his sports bars are doing well.

“The kids are running … those,” he says of his children. “And so I thought, why not? Let’s do something fun and different, so here we are.”

Harmon says he was a Brints customer from “back in the day.”

He plans to reopen Monday. Hours will be 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

“We are going to serve a killer chicken fried steak and eggs and some good burgers and some shakes and malts,” Harmon says. “We’re going to fire it up and do it to it.”

TJ’s Burger House owner John Abdayem wants to erase confusion over restaurant

UPDATED — It’s been more than nine months since TJ’s Burger House owner John Abdayem has been gone from his east-side TJ’s, but customers are still confused about his role there, especially now that the restaurant has closed.

Abdayem wants to be clear about a couple of things. Most importantly, he says, his Delano TJ’s remains open.

The former TJ’s that was on the east side at Harry and Webb recently closed, but it’s been since May that Abdayem was there. The circumstances surrounding his departure are in dispute.

Abdayem says he hadn’t planned on leaving but that his landlord, Homer Morgan, unexpectedly locked him out. Morgan’s attorney, Ed Robinson, says Abdayem broke his lease and left owing Morgan about $32,000.

“What actually happened is entirely different than what he’s describing,” Robinson says.

He says Morgan sued Abdayem in Sedgwick County District Court, and Abdayem has brought a counterclaim.

Abdayem says that until a week ago when it closed, the restaurant continued to operate as Burger House, which he says led some people to think he was still there.

Regardless of the legal situation and its outcome, Abdayem says he continues to get questions from customers and wants everyone to understand the situation and that it’s not related to his Delano restaurant.

Neighbor’s Restaurant & Bar owner Chuck Giles to reopen Brints Diner

Chuck Giles and Connie Schrader, who are reopening Brints Diner.

WICHITA — Chuck Giles has the happy luck of fulfilling a longtime dream while making some Wichitans very happy in the process.

Giles, who owns Neighbor’s Restaurant & Bar in Twin Lakes, is reopening Brints Diner.

“People are just freaking out because it was closed,” Giles says. “I’ve always wanted a little diner.”

He and his girlfriend, Connie Schrader, are opening the business within the next two weeks.

The more than 50-year-old Brints, which is near the northeast corner of Lincoln and Oliver, closed in October. Former owner Jessie Medina said construction in the area was to blame.

Giles has owned Neighbor’s at 21st and Amidon for more than 10 years and worked at Stroud’s for 10 years before that, first as kitchen manager and then as general manager.

“There’s just really not a lot of old restaurants left in Wichita,” he says.

That’s why he says he was interested in Brints.

“I just think the history of the place is worth something.”

The restaurant, which seats 64, is one of the city’s few remaining Valentine buildings – metal, mobile diners that Wichita’s Valentine Manufacturing built between 1938 and 1971.

“I was told there’s 13 in the country that are still operating,” Giles says.

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Family Dollar to open at Lincoln and Oliver

WICHITA — Another new Family Dollar is coming to the market, this time in front of Brints Diner near the northeast corner of Lincoln and Oliver.

Businessman Homer Morgan owns the restaurant and bought the building in front of it a couple of years ago at auction.

He didn’t want the property for himself, but he did want to make sure the entry into Brints remained open.

Morgan says Family Dollar agreed to that.

He also had to get Safeway to sign off on the deal.

Morgan says Safeway was in the area years ago and retained rights to keep another business from selling food there.

“But they signed off because they don’t intend to have anything else,” Morgan says.

He says Family Dollar is moving quickly.

“They’re tearing the old building down.”

Morgan says he’s been told a new building should be up in 120 days.

No one with Family Dollar could immediately be reached for comment.

East-side TJ’s Burger House closes over a dispute, landlord opens Burger House

WICHITA — TJ’s Burger House owner John Abdayem is out of his east-side restaurant, but he says it’s not by choice.

Abdayem still has his Delano location, but he’s distancing himself from the former TJ’s at Harry and Webb with a sign at his Delano restaurant and through a Facebook post saying his landlord has inappropriately taken over the east-side space, which is now known as the Burger House.

Abdayem says he was interested in possibly closing his restaurant so a friend could open a combination hamburger and hookah business there, “which made the landlord very angry.”

Landlord Homer Morgan didn’t return a call for comment, but an employee of his says it was Abdayem who closed the business.

“The intention was not to even close until the end of June or even July,” Abdayem says. He says Morgan “went behind my back and told the employees of the plan on Wednesday.”

“He told them I was going to shut it down that weekend.”

Abdayem, who says he’s considering his options for getting the space back, says he can’t get back on the premises to collect his belongings. He’s also concerned his customers will continue going to the restaurant and not have the same experience as when he ran it.

“I want people to know that (my business) is no way affiliated with the east side.”