My Dad’s BBQ owner to open Josephine’s Pantry on North Mosley

WICHITA — My Dad’s BBQ owner Melvin Watson is opening a second restaurant.

On Jan. 18, he’s opening Josephine’s Pantry at 818 N. Mosley. The restaurant will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“I really wasn’t looking to do another restaurant,” Watson says. He decided to after the opportunity for the space came up and he looked at the need in the area.

“Josephine was my grandmother,” Watson says. “She’s the one that … taught me the basics of cooking.”

Josephine’s will be “just a comfortable little spot,” he says.

“It’ll be more country-style home cooking.”

That includes dishes such as pot pie, pot roast and catfish.

Watson opened My Dad’s BBQ at 1332 N. Cleveland about four years ago, though he closed for about 10 months last year when his son persuaded him to welcome some foreign exchange students into his home.

“I learned I’m not Superman,” Watson says. “Me versus four or five 17- or 18-year-olds, I learned I need to go home and get a grip on this.”

Now that the kids are out of high school and off to college, Watson says he has time for both restaurants.

In addition to serving breakfast and lunch, Watson says he hopes Josephine’s will be a coffee shop “or a place just to get away.”

My Dad’s BBQ and Southern Catering to open at 13th and Cleveland

WICHITA — Melvin Watson is returning to his roots and bringing a bit of home with him.

The Winfield native, who grew up in Wichita, is opening My Dad’s BBQ and Southern Catering at 13th and Cleveland by late next week.

The inspiration for the name came from a question some friends had. They asked what Watson’s favorite food is, and he answered: “My dad’s barbecue.”

Most recently, he’s been a private chef in Los Angeles. Before that, he had an Italian restaurant, Della Voce, in Manhattan.

His new restaurant will be mostly carryout, though there will be seating for 14.

“It’s almost like you’re visiting my own home kitchen,” Watson says.

Initially, he’ll offer what he calls standard barbecue fare, like brisket, ribs and sausage.

But Watson says he wants to offer a healthier twist on some traditional dishes, particularly in the new year.

He also plans to offer natural products like beef from Creekstone Farms out of Arkansas City.

Watson hopes to one day franchise the restaurant, but for now he’s happy to contribute to the area around 13th and Cleveland.

“I . . . enjoy the spirit of the people in that neighborhood and how they’re redeveloping that neighborhood.”