Abuelo’s west-side deal gets inked

UPDATED — The deal for the new west-side Abuelo’s has closed.

“When we talked last, we had a gentleman’s agreement,” says Chuck Ouellette, manager of the chain’s east-side restaurant. “Now it’s all signed and delivered.”

Construction will start soon on the almost 8,000-square-foot restaurant, which will be at the northeast corner of Taft and Ridge Road. That’s south of Panera Bread and Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers and across the street from where Twin Peaks is under construction.

“The revitalization of the west side is growing, and that area is fantastic,” Ouellette says.

There also will be a 1,000-square-foot patio with the new Abuelo’s.

“This one’s going to be covered,” Ouellette says.

There will be a stage at the patio as well.

“So we can do some live music out there,” Ouellette says. “It’s going to be cool.”

Inside, the restaurant will feature some new design elements for the chain, including some skylight.

“The plans are in the city right now,” says Randy Simon, one of the property owners who also owns Panera and is a partner in Freddy’s.

Simon says Abuelo’s is “a higher-end concept that I think will bring … new people to the intersection.”

The restaurant should open in early spring.

Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal. Saville also is going to handle leasing on an additional 8,400 square feet of space that will be attached to the Abuelo’s space.

That could include retail or office users and possibly one more small restaurant concept, but Simon says he’d want to choose something that wouldn’t compete with the other concepts already there.

“We’d like to keep the rest of that pretty secure.”

West-side Abuelo’s to open at Taft and Ridge Road in early 2015

WICHITA — In January, Have You Heard? reported that Abuelo’s was getting closer to a deal at a site near the Kellogg and Ridge Road corridor not far from where the new Twin Peaks is going to open.

East-side Abuelo’s manager Chuck Ouellette says we “nailed it.”

He confirms the Lubbock-based company will open its second Wichita Abuelo’s at the northeast corner of Taft and Ridge Road, which is south of Panera Bread and Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers and across the street from where Twin Peaks is under construction. Among other restaurants in the area is another Mexican chain, Wichita’s Carlos O’Kelly’s.

“My philosophy has always been the more restaurants you have, the more opportunities guests have,” Ouellette says. “It’s better for everyone.”

Construction will begin on the almost 8,000-square-foot building and a 1,000-square-foot patio in late summer or early fall, and the restaurant will open in the first quarter of next year. There will be seating for about 250 people, and the restaurant will employ 80 to 100 people.

Brad Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal. Read More »

Abuelo’s inching closer to west-side deal

WICHITA — Abuelo’s, the Mexican restaurant chain that opened at the Waterfront in April 2004, is working on a deal for west-side space.

“It’s been a good market for us,” Abuelo’s director of marketing Melanie Carroll says of Wichita.

She says the Lubbock-based company is always looking for growth opportunities and believes Wichita could sustain two Abuelo’s restaurants, but she won’t share details beyond that.

Landmark Commercial Real Estate president and CEO Brad Saville, who represents Abuelo’s in Wichita, says the chain is eyeing three west-side sites and hasn’t yet determined where it will go.

Other sources, though, says Abuelo’s is getting closer to a deal at a site near the Kellogg and Ridge Road corridor not far from where the new Twin Peaks is going to open.

Earlier this month, Have You Heard? reported that Twin Peaks, which already has an east-side site, is going to open at 7325 W. Taft. It will be in a building across Ridge Road from Carlos O’Kelly’s and Panera Bread, which is south of Maple and Ridge.

The area is becoming a hot spot for restaurants such as Applebee’s, McAlister’s Deli, Chipotle Mexican Grill, IHOP and Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers among others.

Look for more news on Abuelo’s in the months ahead.

Twin Peaks has west-side space, and it isn’t where anyone suspected

The west-side Twin Peaks will be on the north end of this building across Ridge Road from Carlos O'Kelly's and Panera Bread.

The west-side Twin Peaks will be on the north end of this building across Ridge Road from Carlos O’Kelly’s and Panera Bread.

WICHITA — There’s been a popular guessing game of where the west-side Twin Peaks might go. As it turns out, it’s not opening at any of the spots most people thought it might.

Franchisee Rusty Rathbun considered most of those sites, but he’s settled on 7325 W. Taft instead.

“It’s been overlooked from a retail perspective,” says Dan Unruh of InSite Real Estate Group.

The building, which is across Ridge Road from Carlos O’Kelly’s and Panera Bread, was built as office space that most recently was home to American Family Insurance.

Gallery Expressions will be Twin Peaks’ neighbor to the northwest across a parking lot, and the Lowe’s at Maple and Ridge Road is just north of that.

“This one kept coming up as a great site if we could just make the building work,” Unruh says.

InSite is part of South Ridge LLC, a group that purchased the 16,800-square-foot center where Twin Peaks is going.

Rathbun says he seriously considered about 15 properties before deciding on the Taft site.

“It works because of the traffic count and all the number one restaurants in the area,” he says.

Read More »

Twin Peaks nears west-side deal

WICHITA — One of the most popular restaurant questions for well more than a year has been, “Where’s the west-side Twin Peaks going?”

There has been lots of talk that a deal is done, but that’s been inaccurate. There’s still not a deal, but one is close.

Representatives from Twin Peaks corporate planned to be in Wichita today to give final approval on a site that franchisee Rusty Rathbun has selected.

“I’m wanting to get this thing done,” Rathbun says.

He says he regularly fields questions about it, as does corporate.

“We’ve had people e-mail into corporate,” he says. “They want to be partners in it. They want to know where it’s going. It’s quite interesting to say the least.”

Wichita’s first Twin Peaks opened in 2011 in the former Timberline Steakhouse & Grill space at 8310 E. 21st St.

Rathbun was already thinking about possible west-side space then. Even his friends relentlessly question him about it, he says.

“They’re killing me,” Rathbun says. “We’re so close.”

You don’t say

“You can whine and cry all you like … but I don’t make enough money to cry for long.”

Rusty Rathbun of Twin Peaks on dealing with the flu

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.”

Former KSN, Channel 3, anchorman is the new Mooyah franchisee for Wichita

UPDATED — Anthony Powell can now add hamburgers to his resume — loaded ones at that.

The former KSN, Channel 3, weekend and 5 p.m. anchorman, who still contributes on-air reports for the station, and his wife, Jennifer, are the new Mooyah franchisees for Wichita.

The Powells are working with Twin Peaks franchisee Rusty Rathbun and Maria Peak of Bovine Development, a company that is developing Mooyah sites.

Jennifer and Anthony Powell

“The guy is very, very impressive with his track record at Subway and Twin Peaks,” Anthony Powell says of Rathbun. “He’s just so experienced with the restaurant business. He knows what it takes to be successful.”

Powell says Rathbun’s office is helping him with traffic counts and other information on where to locate.

He’s looking everywhere but says that “the west side is looking more promising right now.”

The Dallas-based Mooyah chain is in several states, though the majority of its restaurants are still in Texas. It’s in the fast-casual dining segment, which caters to people who want quick meals in a nicer dining setting than fast food restaurants usually provide.

“Fast casual is affordable but still a dining experience,” Powell says.

Mooyah specializes in hamburgers with a serious array of toppings. There also are veggie and turkey burgers, thick-cut fries, shakes and a children’s menu.

Powell hopes to have his first Mooyah open by June.

“We’re in talks on one,” he says.

Read More »