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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Larkspur owner Ty Issa becomes a partner in Ya Ya’s Eurobistro at Bradley Fair

WICHITA — Larkspur owner Ty Issa has acquired an interest in Ya Ya’s Eurobistro at Bradley Fair.

“We’ve been talking about this for years,” Issa says. “We’re fortunate to come on board.”

Earlier this month, Paul Khoury of Kansas City’s PB&J Restaurants, which owns the Ya Ya’s chain, told Have You Heard? the restaurant wasn’t selling. It looks like negotiations have been on and off.

Issa says they’re still working out some operational details.

“We’re going to be sharing a lot of ideas for improvement, that’s all,” he says.

“I have some ideas, they have some ideas. So you know, that’s all what it is.”

Khoury’s son, Patrick, will be helping run Ya Ya’s. Issa won’t have a huge presence there.

“Here’s been my concern,” Issa says. “I don’t want to confuse people.”

Issa says he’ll still be a daily presence at Larkspur in Old Town.

“Nothing’s going to change. It’s just a great merger with them.”

 

 

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.

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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