New Kobe Steak House of Japan opens

WICHITA — The new Kobe Steak House of Japan opened in the former Playa Azul space at 21st and Tyler today.

In June, owners Jim Hamlin and Jim West told Have You Heard? they planned to merge their former Derby business with their Kobe near 21st and Maize Road in new west-side space.

“We completely gutted the 4,900 square feet (and) came back in with all new everything,” Hamlin says.

“It was a very extensive remodel,” says Adam Clements of Builders Inc., who handled the deal.

“The new facade looks great,” Clements says. “They have given it kind of a fun oriental spin.”

Hamlin says the restaurant has a lot of light and has an expanded bar area.

“It’s really fun inside,” Clements says. “I think it’ll be really well received.”

Derby Playa Azul closes; may reopen in another spot

WICHITA — The Derby Playa Azul has closed.

Daniel Rodriguez, a manager at the west Wichita Playa Azul, says sales weren’t what they needed to be. He says there also were issues with the building at 311 N. Baltimore.

Rodriguez says the chain is looking for new space, possibly in Derby again.

“We are not sure yet.”

You don’t say

“We have a lot of things to do, you know?”

Juan Vazquez of Playa Azul, which will open in the former Senior Tequila space at 21st and Tyler possibly as early as Wednesday but definitely by Friday

Senor Tequila at 21st and Tyler may convert to a Playa Azul

WICHITA — Barely a year after opening at 21st and Tyler, it looks like Senor Tequila may be saying adios.

The phone is disconnected at the restaurant, and sources say Playa Azul is in negotiations to take over the space.

Look for more details next week.

Playa Azul to open in the former El Torero space in Derby

WICHITA — When last we checked with Victor Camarena, the manager of the Old Town Playa Azul explained that the chain would open its second Wichita restaurant in the former Ajuua space at 360 N. Rock Road.

Now, he says, Playa Azul is opening in Derby in the former El Torero space at 311 N. Baltimore.

“People from Derby, they were asking for a place like Playa Azul,” Camarena says.

A lot of his Wichita diners come from Derby and requested that he bring Playa Azul to the city.

“So we decided to try,” Camarena says.

The chain also has restaurants in Augusta, El Dorado, Hutchinson, Great Bend and Pratt. There also are two Playa Azuls in Oklahoma.

More likely will follow.

“I want to be done with Derby for now, and then let’s see.”

Playa Azul to open in former Ajuua space

WICHITA — Playa Azul is opening its second Wichita restaurant next month, this time on Rock Road.

The first Playa Azul opened in Old Town in 2005.

The new one is opening in the former Ajuua space at 360 N. Rock Road.

“It’s a good choice to go to Rock Road,” says manager Victor Camarena. “Everybody wants to be on that street.”

The restaurant, which will have a full bar and be open for lunch and dinner daily, will open in early November.