Qdoba Mexican Grill to open in Hutchinson in June; east Wichita Qdoba to follow

WICHITA — The first Qdoba Mexican Grill in this part of Kansas is going to open in Hutchinson.

In July, Have You Heard? reported that restaurateur Eric Estes is bringing the franchise to Wichita.

“We would like to do five,” says Estes, whose Estes Enterprises has almost two dozen A&W and Long John Silver’s franchises in Kansas.

Denver-based Qdoba is similar to Chipotle Mexican Grill in that customers order from a counter with a number of protein, vegetable and salsa selections for burritos and tacos. Qdoba, which was founded in 1995, has about 600 restaurants in 42 states.

Ink Construction will begin building the Hutchinson Qdoba at 1518 E. 17th Ave. in February. That’s where Taco Bueno used to be. That building will be demolished.

An east Wichita location “will soon follow,” Estes says.

He says it just happens the Hutchinson deal was finalized first. He’s selected an east Wichita site, but the deal isn’t done. He’s also considering a couple of sites in west Wichita and is planning a Hays Qdoba as well.

Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons is helping Estes with the deals.

Estes says the Hutchinson Qdoba will open June 1 and the others will quickly follow.

Qdoba Mexican Grill to open at least two restaurants on east and west sides

UPDATED — Restaurateur Eric Estes is bringing a new franchise to Wichita:

Qdoba Mexican Grill.

“We’re really impressed with … their culinary attitude (and) approach to food,” Estes says.

Estes Enterprises has 20 A&W and Long John Silver’s franchises in Kansas, including six of the seafood restaurants in Wichita.

Denver-based Qdoba, which was founded in 1995, has about 600 restaurants in 42 states.

Initially, Estes plans to bring Qdobas to Wichita’s east and west sides.

“Our plan is to have the first unit open by the end of ’12 or the very beginning of ’13,” he says.

The east-side Qdoba will be built first.

Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons is helping Estes with the deals, which aren’t yet finalized.

Wink Hartman II of Ink Construction is the contractor.

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Abelardo’s coming to former Dog-N-Shake space at Maple and West

WICHITA — There’s a new Mexican restaurant coming to the northwest corner of Maple and West streets where Dog-N-Shake was and where Long John Silver’s used to be.

Abelardo Gonzalez is opening Abelardo’s in about two weeks.

He has four of the restaurants in Omaha and one in Spokane, Wash. They all serve what he calls authentic Mexican cuisine.

Don Arnold of NAI John T. Arnold Associates handled the deal.

He likes Gonzalez’s plans.

“He’s going to be a great asset to the neighborhood,” Arnold says.

The restaurant will have a drive-through and be open 24 hours a day.

It’s likely the first of several here for Gonzalez.

“That’s the idea, to open more restaurants here,” he says. “I hope people want to try it.”

Bionic Burger to open a third restaurant

WICHITA — Bionic Burger is going to open its third Wichita restaurant in April.

The chain has signed an almost 10-year sublease for the former Long John Silver’s space at 6121 E. 21st St.

Bionic Burger also has restaurants at 660 N. Ridge Road and 2404 S. Meridian.

Raquel Chavez, daughter of Bionic Burger co-founder Steve Majors, says the space near 21st and Woodlawn is ideal, especially since it’s so close to Wichita State University.

In addition to dine-in seating, the restaurant will have a drive-through.

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A&W drive-ins are still coming to Wichita; so is a Long John Silver’s Freshside Grille

mugWICHITA — Readers have been wondering if an A&W drive-in is really coming to Wichita.

Last August, Have You Heard? reported that former Sonic franchisee Eric Estes would bring back the A&W concept, which has been out of the market for decades.

He didn’t open the restaurants here this year as he originally thought he would — he went to Garden City instead — but Estes is still planning on it.

“Oh, yeah,” he says. “We’re absolutely doing it.”

He plans to break ground this year and open late next winter or early spring.

The only question is where.

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