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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Twin Peaks franchisee negotiating on west-side space where another restaurant is

WICHITA — A popular pastime in some circles seems to be guessing where the west-side Twin Peaks will go.

Franchisee Rusty Rathbun is regularly asked about spaces as they become available, which has included the former Brooklyn’s Chophouse space, where Larry Bud’s Sports Bar & Grill now is, and the former Tommy’s Restaurant and Lounge and Gobi Grille spaces.

“We’ve got something else in the works,” he says. “We’ve got a better location in mind.”

Rathbun says he can’t talk about the space because there’s a restaurant in it.

“Somebody’s in it, and negotiations are under way,” he says.

Rathbun hopes to open in the space by April or May.

He says the location isn’t one anyone is likely to think he’d put a Twin Peaks.

“It’ll blow people’s mind.”

Ciao Italian Kitchen may open in former Tommy’s Restaurant and Lounge space

WICHITA — Less than a year after opening Ciao Italian Kitchen on the east side at the Waterfront, Guillermo Perez-Munoz is working on a west-side location.

Perez-Munoz isn’t talking yet, but it looks like he’s negotiating to take the former Tommy’s Restaurant and Lounge space at 2121 N. Tyler.

Twin Peaks owner Rusty Rathbun has eyed that spot as well and is still considering other west-side space.

Look for a west-side Ciao deal possibly in the next week or two.

 

Twin Peaks eyes former Tommy’s Restaurant and Lounge space and one other west-side site

WICHITA — There’s buzz about Twin Peaks opening near 21st and Tyler where Tommy’s Restaurant and Lounge closed last month, but that’s only one of two west-side options for the restaurant.

“We’re looking at it,” says franchisee Rusty Rathbun. “There’s another one that popped up.”

He won’t say where the other space is because “there’s a restaurant in it.”

Wichita’s first Twin Peaks opened in the former Timberline space near 21st and Rock Road last year, and Rathbun says it’s doing well.

He says there are issues with both west-side buildings. For instance, at the former Tommy’s space – where owner Michael Redick says he overspent on renovations and had to close – Rathbun says he would have to spend $1 million to remodel.

“To me, that’s a little too much.”

If neither space works, Rathbun says he’ll go to Manhattan or Topeka next. His preference is to find west-side space first, though, and he’d like to be open by September.

“I’ve got to have something nailed down in May before I can open in September,” Rathbun says. “We’re crossing our fingers … and hoping we can.”

Tommy’s Restaurant and Lounge closes

WICHITA — A Wichita institution has come to an end.

Saturday was the last day of business for Tommy’s Restaurant and Lounge.

“I guess you could say we were pretty underfunded from the beginning,” owner Michael Redick says.

Redick bought the business at 2121 N. Tyler in February 2011 from longtime owner Tommy D’Annunzio.

D’Annunzio and Sonny Glennon, who owns Scotch & Sirloin, started the business as Tom & Sonny’s at Douglas and West Street in 1979.

“We were trying to revitalize it,” Redick says. “It was taking a legend on the west side and, you know, give it its life back.”

Redick says he had no choice but to renovate.

“It was just an aged building,” he says. The remodel “ate up all of our working capital.”

The 7,000-square-foot space is twice what Redick says he needed.

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