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.”