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:
“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.