Lotus Leaf Cafe to move to Old Town

UPDATED — Three years after opening in Delano, the Lotus Leaf Cafe & Creperie is moving to Old Town.

The newly named Lotus Leaf Cafe will open at the southwest corner of Second and Washington next to the new Taste & See. Both restaurants are in part of the former Doc Howard’s Lounge space.

“There’s so many more things I want to do,” owner Jacquelyn Keefer says of needing more space.

Her restaurant at 613 W. Douglas is 1,153 square feet with about 30 seats.

“It’s sad to say, but you have to be fairly thin to work there,” Keefer says of negotiating among the tables.

The kitchen is tiny, too, which she says means that what executive chef Rebecca Gold has been able to do is “miraculous.”

The new space, which will be ready in early April, is almost 2,000 square feet.

“The thought of what she can do with a real kitchen will be pretty amazing,” Keefer says of Gold.

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Jason-Paul Febres to open second Taste & See in part of former Doc Howard’s space

UPDATED – Jason-Paul Febres is heading back to Old Town.

“Now I’m moving back to my roots,” says the man who became known as Sabor Latin Bar & Grille’s first executive chef.

The Venezuela native is returning to Old Town with his own place — a second Taste & See.

“Well, first of all, it’s about time,” Febres says. “I don’t think it was a matter of if we were going to expand. It was a matter of when we were going to expand.”

Febres is taking 4,532 square feet at 252 N. Mosley, which is part of the space developer Dave Burk is converting at the former Doc Howard’s Lounge building.

“I love Old Town,” Febres says. “I like the crowded scene. That’s what I’m made for.”

Febres bounced around to various restaurants before opening Taste & See with a partner at Office This in the former Wichita Mall. Febres says he plans to keep that site, which will be open for lunch, classes and private events. It will be known as Taste & See The Venue.

The new Taste & See will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Febres is planning a “very, very upscale tapas lounge” and “a beautiful patio.”

He’s also working on a new menu.

“It’s going to be a little more out there, and it’s going to be more fun,” Febres says. “I’m going to have the chance to play with more food than I was able to.”

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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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