Wink Hartman Sr. to open private Lake Side Club in former Bella Donna space

UPDATED — Wink Hartman Sr. has decided on plans for his former Bella Donna restaurant space.

In July, Hartman told Have You Heard? he was working on a new concept for the space, which sits back from Webb Road just south of 21st Street.

He’s opening the Lake Side Club, a $20-a-month private club that will serve lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Sort of like the long-standing Candle Club near 13th and Woodlawn?

“Well, I don’t like to look at it that way,” Hartman says.

“It’s a country club atmosphere that doesn’t include a pool, tennis or golf.”

Why do it?

“Because I own a building. I need to put it into productivity.”

Why private, though?

“There’s such a need for people in the midrange, say, 35, 45, those types of people.”

Hartman says people in that age group may be married couples who don’t have the time or money for golfing at a country club.

“But they would still like to have an environment where they’re somewhat exclusive, where they’ll see their friends.”

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Jeremy Wade is Hartman’s new chef; Ben Arnold is searching for Wade’s replacements

WICHITA — Jeremy Wade is going to be Wink Hartman Sr.’s executive chef when he opens a new east-side restaurant, so that means he’s out of A.V.I., the new restaurant coming to the Drury Plaza Broadview, and Jeremy Wade Catering.

“I don’t blame him one bit,” says Ben Arnold, Wade’s former partner in the two ventures.

Wade didn’t return a call for comment, but Arnold says the two have discussed the situation and his decision to leave A.V.I.

“The restaurant is not going to be a limelight restaurant like he wants, honestly,” Arnold says.

People who are already downtown or are coming to events downtown might stop by, Arnold says, but it won’t be a destination restaurant for Wichitans.

“That’s not going to be a place where everybody on the far east or far west side says, ‘Let’s go eat.’ He wanted to be somewhere more glamorous.”

Hartman’s east-side space, Arnold says, “is a home run compared to downtown.”

“It was a question of, ‘Do I live a secluded life of being downtown in a hotel restaurant?’ ”

Arnold, who also has Corporate Caterers of Wichita, is now searching for a new chef for A.V.I., which will open in late September.

He also needs a chef for his more upscale catering company that had been named for Wade.

It’s now called Culinary Catering.

In an e-mail, Arnold joked about keeping the name the same.

“I am looking for another chef named Jeremy Wade so I do not have to reprint the menus or re-logo the truck.”

Cafe 151 to open Monday

WICHITA — OK, this makes much more sense.

Jeremy Wade and Ben Arnold’s A.V.I. restaurant at the Broadview isn’t what’s opening Monday (as we incorrectly reported earlier). It’s their Cafe 151 at Cargill’s Wichita headquarters where Piccadilly Express used to be.

To see the menu for the new restaurant, click here.

There also will be daily specials.

Look for A.V.I. to open this summer after the Broadview renovations are complete.

A.V.I. is the historical name for the new restaurant at the Broadview

WICHITA — Ben Arnold and Jeremy Wade have a new name for their restaurant coming to the renovated Broadview. Actually, it’s initials.

A.V.I.

That may sound like a trendy West Coast spot, but the name has its roots in something from the Broadview property that existed even before the hotel did.

A.V.I. stands for Arkansas Valley Interurban, which was a freight system that carried people — particularly farmers — too.

“We just did a little research on exactly what the hotel was about,” Arnold says.

He learned that Arkansas Valley Interurban gave $100,000 to the hotel’s construction in 1921 and that the hotel never would have existed without the railway.

The hotel opened in 1922. The A.V.I. Freight System sign and entrance to the depot can still be seen along Waco near where the restaurant will open, which will be in late May or early June when the hotel’s renovation is complete.

Arnold and Wade liked the Arkansas Valley Interurban name.

“The name was too long, obviously,” Arnold says. Not to mention he has trouble saying Arkansas, which he pronounces like the state.

“Excuse me, Ar-Kansas,” he says, correcting himself. “I’m an old Texas boy, so I’ve got to get used to that.”

Arnold says he and Wade thought about calling the restaurant the Freight Station but decided on A.V.I. instead.

“It’s cool sounding.”

Jeremy Wade plans ‘new American’ dining for remodeled Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel restaurant

WICHITA — Jeremy Wade is kicking off his Jeremy Wade Catering with a party tonight where he and business partner Ben Arnold of Corporate Catering of Wichita will discuss their catering businesses and the restaurant they plan for the remodeled Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel restaurant.

The restaurant will have 286 seats over two floors. The upper floor will have a bar overlooking the restaurant, which is scheduled to open in spring 2011.

Wade says he’ll offer “new American food,” which he describes as iconic American food made really, really well.

“It’s not going to be anything pretentious or frou frou,” Wade says.

He’s opting for an American menu rather than a Mediterranean or European menu because he feels those have been “played out” in Wichita.

“There’s not really a good American restaurant around except for Chester’s,” Wade says.

He plans to specialize with as much local produce and protein as he can.

Arnold says the “Drury people have just been fabulous through this whole thing,” but the restaurant will be independent of the hotel.

The restaurant will be situated on the northeast corner of the hotel on the Waco side, and Arnold says it won’t feel like a hotel restaurant.

“The restaurant is going to be a Wichitan restaurant first,” he says. “That’s where Jeremy comes in because of how well he is known.”

Wade hasn’t settled on a name yet.

Arnold would like to capitalize on Wade’s own well-known name by doing something like Jeremy Wade’s American Bistro.

“No, no, no,” Wade says. “I’m not that guy.”

He’s open to suggestions, though.

“Maybe we should have a contest.”

Jeremy Wade starts Jeremy Wade Catering and partners with Corporate Caterers of Wichita

1031econ_br2WICHITA — Chef Jeremy Wade has left Yia Yia’s Eurobistro to start Jeremy Wade Catering and join forces with Corporate Caterers of Wichita owner Ben Arnold.

The two will be owners in both companies.

“It’s a project I’ve chased for almost two years,” Arnold says of working with another caterer.

He started talking to Wade a year and a half ago.

“There’s a really, really strong need for a catering company with a very independent and strong culinary background,” Arnold says.

By independent, he means one not tied to a restaurant.

“Catering is always a side job to them,” he says.

Arnold says high-end restaurants call him looking for catering help.

“Wichita has a real need for upscale catering,” Wade says.

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