Ribbit Computers owner to start chain of fast casual Mediterranean restaurants

WICHITA — Alex Harb has good news and bad news, depending on your perspective.

Last fall, the Ribbit Computers owner and new Golden Corral franchisee told Have You Heard? he was considering bringing Jack in the Box to Wichita.

He’s decided not to do that, but Harb instead is going to open a fast casual Mediterranean restaurant in September.

Meddys will open in the former Jimmy’s Egg space at Harry and Rock.

“I believe that there’s a need for a fast casual Mediterranean food,” Harb says. “It’s not fast food.”

Meddys, which is kind of a nickname for the Mediterranean, will serve chicken and beef shawarma, kabobs, salad, hummus and falafel. Harb says meat will be off a spit.

“There’s nothing like it in town,” he says. “It’s extra work.”

Harb says he’s purposely keeping the menu simple.

“We’re not trying to be everything for everyone.”

Harb, who entered the restaurant business with a Raymore, Mo., Golden Corral earlier this year, says he plans to do four Meddys in the Wichita area over the next five years.

“Everybody is leaning towards the healthier food,” he says.

That’s part of the reason Harb says he decided to do Meddys instead of Jack in the Box.

“There’s plenty of places that are serving just hamburgers and tacos and everything that Jack in the Box serves.”

Harb says he likes the traffic around Harry and Rock.

“It’s pretty good exposure,” he says. “I think this location will do very well.”

Ribbit Computers owner to open Golden Corral and possibly Jack in the Box

WICHITA — Ribbit Computers owner Alex Harb has been interested in the restaurant business since college, and now he’s finally getting ready to open one of his own.

“I just wanted to wait for the right opportunity to do it,” he says.

His first foray into the business will be with a Golden Corral in Raymore, Mo., followed by three more in the Kansas City area in the next five years.

What he’s planning for Wichita is a little more exciting, depending on your dining preferences.

“We’re talking to Jack in the Box,” Harb says.

He’s had a couple of meetings but has had to put talks on the back burner for a bit. Harb says he expects to sign a deal within six months to do three Jack in the Box restaurants in Wichita. He says he loves the chain’s tacos and was impressed with how the California-based company operates.

“I think Wichita will really embrace that brand, and it will do really well in Wichita.”

Harb says North Carolina-based Golden Corral is a good company, too. A franchisee already has two in Wichita, so Harb says doing any Golden Corrals here is not an option for him.

Once he signs the Jack in the Box deal, Harb says it’s not clear how long it would take to get the restaurants open.

“Usually these things take some time,” he says. “Finding the site sometimes can be a little difficult.”

Once he has the sites, Harb says it takes 120 days to build each of the restaurants.

Harb is a 2004 graduate of Wichita State University.

“While I was going to college, I worked in restaurants,” he says. “I really wanted to open a restaurant by the time I was done.”

He says he realized he needed business experience first.

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