Boba Zone to open this weekend

WICHITA — It’s more than a week later than planned, but the new west-side Boba Zone is opening this weekend.

Wichita’s first Boba Zone opened near 21st and North Rock Road in 2008.

The business, which bills itself as a smoothie and juice bar, Internet cafe and coffee shop, is opening its second site by Jose Pepper’s at 21st and Tyler Road.

Boba Zone to open on west side

WICHITA — Boba Zone, which opened near 21st and North Rock Road in 2008, is opening a new site on the west side.

The business, which bills itself as a smoothie and juice bar, Internet cafe and coffee shop, will open by Jose Pepper’s at 21st and Tyler Road.

Look for a June 12 grand opening date.

East-side Applebee’s to move to Plazzio

WICHITA — Applebee’s franchisee Jim Stevens soon will offer diners a chance to eat good in a new neighborhood, to borrow from the chain’s slogan.

He’s moving his Rock Road Applebee’s to the Plazzio development at the southeast corner of 13th and Greenwich.

“It probably won’t be till March of next year,” Stevens says.

“I kind of hate to close,” he says of the Applebee’s near 21st and Rock Road. “It’s still one of my better stores.”

With new car dealerships on a couple of corners of 13th and Greenwich, and restaurants, the Warren Theatre and the Alley already at Plazzio, Stevens says it “just seemed like … the right place to go.”

“There’s just so much development taking place out there,” he says.

“The whole intersection is really, really developing quickly,” says Cathy Erickson, vice president at Laham Development.

She says that “13th and Greenwich is the next 21st and Rock Road of east Wichita.”

Stevens will build the new Applebee’s between Sumo and Jose Pepper’s, which is at the light at the main entrance to the development.

The new Applebee’s will have a patio, which is a first for Stevens.

He had considered another concept – which he’s still thinking about – for the Plazzio space initially. Stevens says corporate wanted him to build a new Applebee’s prototype, though.

“They have some different things they’ve done to the bar and the inside area.”

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Domino’s and Bella Vita Bistro expand, Fazoli’s remodels and enhances service

WICHITA — Wichita is serving up quite a bit of restaurant news this week in addition to the Timberline and Jose Pepper’s news:

Domino’s Pizza franchisees Mike and Stacia McKnight are preparing to open their third Wichita restaurant.

They already have Domino’s sites near 21st and Maize Road and Harry and Rock Road.

Their next one is opening in the former Quiznos space near 21st and Amidon in October.

Mike McKnight says it gives the chain coverage on the north side and a bit into downtown.

He and his wife, who have three Domino’s sites in Topeka and six in Kansas City, plan three or four more Domino’s restaurants here within the next year or two.

Bella Vita Bistro is expanding at 120 N. West St. where it opened in early 2010.

“We have to,” says Lory Wooley. “We have too many customers.”

Wooley runs the restaurant with her daughter and son-in-law, Crystal and Adrian Prud Homme DeLodder.

They’re doubling their restaurant size for a total of 2,400 square feet and adding a bar. They’ll also now have space for private parties when renovation is complete in December.

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Original Timberline Steakhouse & Grill closes after 14 years in business

UPDATED — It was just a matter of time.

Eight months after the east-side Timberline Steakhouse & Grill closed, so has its sister restaurant on the west side.

“It was a very difficult decision that we needed to make,” says Scott Redler, who owned the chain with Bill Simon.

“We’re looking at this as a celebration of 14 great years of business for Timberline . . . and appreciate everyone involved.”

The Timberline near 21st and Tyler was Redler and Simon’s first in the chain, which had seven restaurants in six cities over the years.

There’s one Timberline left.

Salina licensee JRI Investments owns that restaurant and has purchased the concept with plans to open more Timberlines.

“You know, we had an opportunity to sell, and it just seemed to make sense,” Redler says.

He and Simon plan to continue to focus on Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, which they run with Simon’s brother, Randy, who also is a Panera Bread franchisee.

Redler says Freddy’s average ticket of about $6.50 makes a lot more sense than Timberline’s $17 average.

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BG Bolton’s closes; Jose Pepper’s to open

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Businessman Bud Gates’ “baby” is no more.

“This is the lousiest feeling on one of the best days I’ve ever had,” Gates says of closing his namesake BG Bolton’s Sports Grill today.

He sold the business to Kansas City-based Jose Pepper’s, a chain of nine Mexican restaurants.

“There’s so much to be happy about,” Gates says. “But it was my baby. It does have my initials and the town I grew up in.”

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