PB&J Restaurants considers Burnt End BBQ for Wichita

WICHITA — Kansas City-based PB&J Restaurants, the company that brought YaYa’s EuroBistro and Newport Grill to Wichita, is looking to possibly bring a new concept as well.

“It’s our new barbecue concept,” says PB&J’s Paul Khoury.

Burnt End BBQ opened three weeks ago near 119th and Metcalf in Overland Park.

“It’s fast casual,” Khoury says. “It’s doing well.”

If it remains successful, he says that “just like we always do, next stop is Wichita.”

“Wichita’s a great restaurant town. People like to eat out in Wichita.”

Khoury says there are good income levels here to support restaurants.

“Look at how many restaurants that have come out of Wichita, too,” he says of chains such as Pizza Hut and Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers.

PB&J, which no longer owns the YaYa’s here, debuted its Newport Grill seafood concept here.

It’s now opening another Newport Grill on May 1 at the new Prairiefire development on West 135th Street between Nall and Lamar avenues. The restaurant will be one space down from where Wichita’s Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates is opening its new store.

Newport Grill has “just been very successful in Wichita,” Khoury says.

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Beth Tully to open second Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates in Overland Park

UPDATED — Beth Tully is taking her second step toward what she perhaps only half jokingly calls world domination.

The Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates founder is opening her second store, this time in Overland Park’s Prairiefire development on West 135th Street between Nall and Lamar avenues.

“We’re going to think of Wichita as the hub and that this is the first spoke in the wheel,” Tully says.

Yes, that means she’s already thinking of other potential regional stores, though none is in the works yet.

“I think you only double the complexity of a business once, and this is it,” Tully says.

The idea, she says, is to create a template that can be reproduced.

“We’re basically going to do kind of a tweaked version of our lounge here,” Tully says of her Bradley Fair store.

Tully and her husband, Jay, opened their Wichita store in 2005 in Siena Plaza at 37th and Rock Road and then moved to Bradley Fair in 2009.

Tully says she has long thought about a second store.

“The honest truth is probably in our first year of business, way when I shouldn’t have been have been thinking of having a second location,” she says.

She knew that “as a really baby business” she couldn’t realistically do a second store then.

“We’re kind of a sophomore business now,” Tully says. “We’ve finally gotten over the hump.”

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Bryce Kuhn to open Twelve Restaurant & Bar in former Shorty Small’s space

WICHITA — Bryce Kuhn is a familiar face to many Wichita diners from working for others at a number of restaurants here. Now, he’s going to have a place of his own in the space that Shorty Small’s left at the Westlake Retail Center at 119th and Maple.

“I’ve always loved the west side,” Kuhn says. “My heart’s over here.”

He’s opening Twelve Restaurant & Bar, which he describes as an American grill, in June.

“Twelve has been my favorite number since I was about 5 or 6 years old.”

Kuhn’s first basketball jersey was No. 12.

“It stuck with me.”

Also, he says 2012 “was pretty much my best year ever.”

Kuhn married last year, bought a house and found out he was going to become a father.

After a career traveling to various cities with Houston’s restaurants, Kuhn returned to Wichita to work for several restaurants here, including Bonefish Grill, YaYa’s Eurobistro, Newport Grill and the Lakeside Club most recently.

Kuhn plans for Twelve to be “upscale casual.”

“We want to give people an upscale dining experience, but we don’t want to make them feel like they’re paying an arm and a leg to have a nice night out on the town.”

The restaurant, which will have seating for about 150 and another 25 on the patio, will serve dishes such as hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood and roasted chicken along with sandwiches and salads.

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An uncomfortable but timely reminder follows Kansas Food Bank donation

Kansas Food Bank CEO Brian Walker with Denise and me.

Kansas Food Bank CEO Brian Walker with Denise and me.

There was an interesting little juxtaposition of events in my life on Friday.

First, Denise Neil and I stopped by the Kansas Food Bank to drop off the $1,316 raised at our second On the Town With Carrie and Denise event.

Then, that night, I came down with a horrible stomach bug that has left me fairly miserable since then. What does one have to do with the other?

Well, after days of not eating much, I woke at 5 a.m. Tuesday with maddeningly loud, almost painful hunger pangs. I was so hungry I couldn’t get back to sleep. I rolled out of bed, dragged myself downstairs, still sort of stunned at what I was doing, and ate a piece of bread and some crackers. Finally, I could concentrate on getting some rest.

It was a sad glimpse into what life must be like every day for thousands of Kansans who don’t have enough to eat, except they don’t have cabinets full of food at the ready when the need strikes.

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You don’t say

“He froze his little toes and froze his little fingers. . . . He couldn’t feel them.”

Paul Khoury of Newport Grill on business partner Bill Crooks, who was the victim of a ventilation issue Saturday that pumped 20-degree air at about 10 miles an hour into the kitchen as he expedited food during a preview party for the new restaurant

Recap: On the Town With Carrie and Denise

on4Last night was a big night On the Town.

More than 130 people showed up for the second in our series of On the Town With Carrie and Denise events.

This one was special in that it was opening night at the new Newport Grill at Bradley Fair.

There were a lot more people than the restaurant was expecting. (We’re reporters, not RSVP experts, but we’re working on it.)

There were lots of tasty treats, such as mini crab cakes, steaming-hot calamari and rare tuna.

on1Co-owner Paul Khoury is worried not everyone had quite enough appetizers, so here’s what he’s proposing:

on5This spring when the new patio overlooking the lake debuts, he’d like to invite us all back for a big spread of appetizers. We’ll have our RSVPs worked out by then, and it should be a grand — and fairly filling — party.

We’re counting last night’s event as a big success, too, with $1,316 raised for the Kansas Food Bank.

on2We saw lots of old friends and made many new ones as well while checking out an interesting new space.

We’re already thinking about our next venue, where we’ll plan a more formal program where we take your dining and restaurant questions.

Hope to see you there.

On the town at the new Newport Grill

I’ve done a little reconnaissance and can report there are a number of good reasons to visit the new Newport Grill at Bradley Fair tonight.

First, it will be fun to see the space, which has been transformed from the former Cibola restaurant. Cibola had a darker, clubbier feel, while Newport has a lighter atmosphere with a cool blue bar.

And I can sum up the food in one word: Yum. There are a lot of nonseafood options along with traditional and inventive seafood fare.

You’ll have a chance to sample a number of dishes at our On the Town With Carrie and Denise event tonight. It’s a cocktail mixer that, with your suggested $10 donation, will benefit the Kansas Food Bank.

It’s from 5 p.m. to 7, though I’m sure that will stretch a little later. Hope you’ll stop by.


Sveta’s Skin & Body Therapy to double in size at Bradley Fair

sveta3WICHITA — A decade after opening at Bradley Fair, Sveta Yakubovich is doubling the size of her Sveta’s Skin & Body Therapy.

“We’re still keeping . . . who we are,” she says. “It’s just kind of time to grow.”

Part of the reason with the timing is because Zumo Juice will be leaving its space.

Sveta’s has 1,000 square feet and will now have 2,200 square feet with the Zumo space.

Construction starts in October, and the business will remain open during the expansion.

The additional space will allow for double bookings for, say, a mother and daughter who might like to schedule appointments at the same time.

“We’re turning down lots of business like that,” Yakubovich says.

“That would add, I think, a lot.”

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YiaYia’s EuroBistro owners to open Newport Grill in former Cibola space at Bradley Fair

guysBill Crooks (left) and Paul Khoury, owners of Newport Grill, which is coming to Bradley Fair.

WICHITA — There have been a lot of questions, not to mention much speculation, about what’s going to go in the former Cibola space — Bradley Fair’s preeminent waterfront property that’s been empty since early 2009.

Now, there’s an answer:

Newport Grill, a new seafood concept created by PB&J Restaurants, the Kansas City firm that owns YiaYia’s EuroBistro, which also is at Bradley Fair.

“We were going to take our time and absolutely do it right,” developer George Laham says of finding a new restaurant for the space.

He almost immediately turned to PB&J’s Paul Khoury and Bill Crooks, who have developed menus for 27 restaurants.

“We just looked at the market,” Khoury says.

He says there are plenty of great steak houses and other restaurants here.

Although Bonefish Grill opened in 2006, Khoury says they still saw an opening for another seafood restaurant.

“Bonefish does a great job, don’t get me wrong,” he says.

Newport Grill will fly fish in six days a week, sometimes from as far away as the Mediterranean.

“When you walk through Newport Grill, you won’t be able to smell fish,” Khoury says. “That’s how fresh it will be.”

Where YiaYia’s ticket prices are about $25 or $26 a person, Newport’s will be more like $30 to $32 a person due to the cost of fish.

“We’re going to have an attitude about not using fish that is over harvested,” Crooks says.

Newport Grill executive chef and owner Aaron Whitcomb, who has been working at YaYa’s EuroBistro in Denver, says he wants to redefine some traditional seafood dishes.

There will be nonseafood items on the menu as well.

Crooks says there will be an emphasis on using locally grown produce and naturally fed and sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken. Lamb also will be served.

There will be 190 seats at Newport Grill, which is about 40 more than Cibola had.

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