PJ Wichita group sells its Genghis Grills

WICHITA — Terry Newman and Frank Carney’s PJ Wichita group is back to focusing solely on Papa John’s Pizza – for now.

“We have sold our Genghis Grills,” Newman says.

The owners of the corporate Genghis Grills are taking over the restaurants here and running them as franchises.

“They’ve asked and asked, and I finally said, ‘You know what? I will do it,’” Newman says. “It wasn’t we wanted to or had to. … They’ve done fine.”

In fact, Newman says he didn’t want to sell.

“It’s a sad day for me,” he says. “I really love Genghis Grill.”

Newman and Carney opened their first Genghis Grill in 2009 at the former Bennigan’s space at Douglas and Rock Road. A west-side Genghis followed in 2010 at the former Krispy Kreme space at 8512 W. Central.

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Ninza Sushi Bar to open at Northwest Centre at 13th and Tyler

WICHITA — Lots of college students work in restaurants while going to school, but Ada Yang is taking it one big step farther.

The Wichita State University economics student is opening Ninza Sushi Bar at the end of the month.

The restaurant will be next to National American University in Occidental Management’s Northwest Centre at 13th and Tyler.

Occidental chairman and CEO Gary Oborny handled the deal for the 60-seat restaurant.

This is Yang’s first restaurant, which she’s opening with boyfriend Seong Han. Han was a sushi chef and head chef in California for years.

“He has a lot of experience,” Yang says.

Han and Yang plan to serve Japanese and Korean food, including traditional sushi as well as other kinds. They’ll also have a full bar.

The word “ninja” is the inspiration for the Ninza name, substituting “z” for “j.”

“Just like Krispy Kreme, they change the ‘c’ to ‘k,’” Yang says.

Though Yang is still working on her degree, with opening a restaurant she’s decided to take this semester off.

“This semester I’m too busy.”

Genghis Grill is coming to the former west-side Krispy Kreme building

grillWICHITA — There’s a new tenant for the former Krispy Kreme space at 8512 W. Central, and it may be a surprise to some.

Genghis Grill, a Mongolian grill, will sublease the space.

“It’s going to be right in the middle of everybody,” franchisee Terry Newman says of all the neighborhoods in that area.

Newman and his partner, Frank Carney, opened Wichita’s first Genghis Grill at the former Bennigan’s space at Douglas and Rock Road in January 2009.

“The east side’s doing phenomenal,” Newman says. “It beat our expectations.”

The former Krispy Kreme space is about 4,000 square feet, which Newman says is a standard size for Genghis Grill.

It doesn’t faze him that Krispy Kreme didn’t succeed at that spot.

“That’s kind of the least of my worries, if someone was successful there before us or not.”

Besides, he says, “We’re not doughnuts. We’re a full-service restaurant.”

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Will the west-side Krispy Kreme close?

doughnutsSomething is up at the west-side Krispy Kreme Doughnuts at Central and Tyler, but no one with the company is talking about it.

There’s a property listing circulating in the Wichita real estate community that’s marketing the building’s lease. The listing says: “Former Krispy Kreme for lease.”

But the business is still open.

Lane 4 Property Group in Kansas City, Mo., is distributing the listing, which says: “Confidential offering — please do not disturb ongoing business.”

A Krispy Kreme spokesman didn’t return several calls for comment. Nor did the broker listed on the offering.

The manager of the Krispy Kreme initially said he didn’t know anything about a change at the business. He then called back to say a Krispy Kreme representative would be calling, but that hasn’t happened.

The restaurant opened in 2003 to much excitement (“There is a God,” one patron was quoted as saying) from west-siders who were tired of traveling to the Krispy Kreme at Central and Rock.

It doesn’t look like the east-side Krispy Kreme will be affected.