Taste & See owner Jason-Paul Febres to appear on Spike’s “Bar Rescue”

Jason-Paul Febres

WICHITA — Taste & See owner and chef Jason-Paul Febres has always wanted to be on TV, but he couldn’t believe it when he got a call from the Spike television network a couple of months ago.

“They called me, which was surprising. I didn’t even have to call them.”

A Spike representative wondered if Febres might like to discuss appearing as a guest expert on “Bar Rescue,” which is similar to shows such as “Restaurant Impossible” and “Kitchen Nightmares” that feature experts trying to help struggling restaurants.

So Febres submitted a video and did an interview but didn’t allow himself to get his hopes up, so he was shocked when Spike called back to inform him he’d been selected.

“I was freaking out. I jumped out of the shower and was screaming.”

The Caracas, Venezuela, native, came to Wichita in 2006 and says he thinks Spike was interested in him because “Bar Rescue” was looking for a chef with Latin flair.

Though the show helps business owners, it’s not always in the nicest ways possible.

“It is pretty explicit, which is fun,” Febres says. “It’s pretty out there. They like to do everything controversial. Pretty dramatic, ‘Jersey Shore’ style.”

Febres flies to Los Angeles Jan. 7 for a week of filming at a yet-to-be-named restaurant.

He admits he won’t be shy about telling others what to do.

“I’m very particular about the way I run my businesses.”

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Ciao Italian Kitchen to open in former Tommy’s Restaurant space Nov. 12

WICHITA — It took longer than expected, as most restaurant deals do, but Guillermo Perez-Munoz has finalized plans to open his second Ciao Italian Kitchen on the west side in the former Tommy’s Restaurant and Lounge space at 2121 N. Tyler.

“We are looking at opening November 12,” says COO Matt Tompkins.

In June, Have You Heard? reported that Perez-Munoz was working on the west-side deal less than a year after opening his first Ciao at the Waterfront on the east side where Piztros, Sabor and Press once were.

Tompkins says the former Tommy’s space makes sense for a number of reasons.

First, there’s the amount of traffic in the area, though Tompkins says it’s not as busy as the 21st and Maize Road area, which he says is a good thing.

“We’re not in the congestion of all the other restaurants.”

Also, Tompkins says there’s not another mom-and-pop Italian restaurant nearby.

“We think we have a really good opportunity to be successful there,” he says.

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Sabor briefly closes due to water heater issue

WICHITA — An issue with a hot water heater forced Sabor Latin Bar & Grill in Old Town Square to temporarily close Friday, but owner Melad Stephan expects to reopen Tuesday.

That will be good news to a lot of people who thought the restaurant had permanently closed and were calling Stephan about it.

“A lot of people were concerned.”