Encore Restaurant and Nightclub and Metro Grill enter partnership to serve food

WICHITA — Since selling his Andover restaurant, Metro Grill owner Michael Gonzalez has been thinking of ways to expand his business, which started in Towne East Square.

“I can’t stay away from the kitchen, so here I go,” says Gonzalez, who has been making pitches to other area restaurants to carry his popular sandwiches.

“He was like, ‘Hey, I know this sounds kind of crazy, but I think I have the best food in town,’” says Encore Restaurant and Nightclub owner Michael Todd, who is one of the business owners Gonzalez made his pitch to.

“I just assumed it was another guy trying to make a dollar.”

Encore is in the former O’Brien’s Irish Pub space next to Scotch & Sirloin.

Gonzalez brought along his brother, Jose, for the pitch. Todd had two thoughts after meeting them.

“Either these are the best salesmen I’ve ever seen, or they have the best food.”

So he went to Towne East to check it out.

“Sure enough, they are the best salesmen and they have great food,” Todd says. “They’re so pumped. Their food isn’t just a product they made. It’s really from their heart.”

He quizzed people he knows about Metro Grill.

“It’s just nonstop love for the place. Not a bad remark for anything from there.”

So Todd is discontinuing most of his current menu, except for pizza, and adding eight Metro Grill sandwiches and two salads. He may expand the offerings eventually.

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Mulligan’s Pub and O’Brien’s Irish Pub to sell; O’Brien’s to be renamed

WICHITA — In July, Have You Heard? reported on how Charlie Badeen and David Allan are trying to cover all their bases around Wichita by opening the new Joe’s Old Town Bar and Grill in Old Town.

The two already have Dudley’s Sports Bar and Grill on the west side near 21st and Tyler, Mulligan’s Pub on the east side near 32nd Street North and Rock Road, and O’Brien’s Irish Pub along East Kellogg by Scotch & Sirloin.

Now, though, they’re selling Mulligan’s and O’Brien’s. It looks like the sale will allow them to focus on opening Joe’s in late October or early November and continue running Dudley’s.

Joe’s, which will be at 222 N. Washington, will be similar to Dudley’s. It’s known for its burgers, pizza and bar food. Joe’s also will offer some lighter fare for business lunches and dinners.

Brad Beyer, formerly of Mike’s Wine Dive, will be the manager and chef.

At O’Brien’s, Michael Todd and Andey Ast are taking over and renaming it Encore Restaurant and Nightclub.

Encore’s grand opening is Nov. 5.

Todd, who has been in construction since age 18, says he’s “just kind of tired of banging a hammer.”

He likes O’Brien’s location on East Kellogg, and he also likes the numbers he’s seen for the business.

“It seems like it’s a doable deal.”

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