Pita Pit is returning to Rock Road

WICHITA — Pita Pit is returning to Wichita under new ownership.

“This is kind of a mid-life crisis for me,” says Cammy Onek, an El Dorado resident who has been in education and coaching for years.

She and her husband, Chad, are opening a Pita Pit in the former Froz space in Occidental Management’s Northrock Retail Center at 3242 N. Rock Road.

Another franchisee previously had a Pita Pit at 320 N. Rock Road.

The Oneks were considering becoming franchisees when they learned Pita Pit is based in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where Cammy Onek has relatives and visited every year growing up.

“For me, that was one of those a-ha moments,” she says.

What initially attracted her, Onek says, is that Pita Pit is healthy fast food.

“What really caught me is it’s just a new way to eat.”

There are meat and veggie pitas, breakfast pitas and soups and salads.

“We want you to feel better when you walk out the door than when you walk in,” Onek says.

The Oneks are partners in the business with Tim and Michelle Aberson and Lowell and Marti Aberson.

“Pretty much it will be my baby to be in there day in and day out,” Onek says.

She plans to approach it as she would being a coach or a principal, meaning she’ll be there every day and be visible.

“That’s how I’m going to make it or break it.”

Read More »

Wasabi Japanese Restaurant owner to open similar concept in former Bossa Grill space

WICHITA — Wasabi Japanese Restaurant owner Eun Young still has plans for an east-side restaurant, but they’ve changed slightly.

Young, whose first Wasabi is at 912 E. Douglas in Old Town, signed a deal this spring to open a similarly named restaurant in the 1,782-square-foot former Froz space at 3242 N. Rock.

After striking that deal with Occidental Management, Young learned of another nearby Occidental space that became available.

Now, he’s worked out a deal to take that 3,200-square-foot space where Bossa Grill used to be.

“He wanted the bigger space and obviously liked that it was already built out for a restaurant,” says Occidental president Chad Stafford.

He handled the lease with Occidental’s Bree Kelley.

Stafford also sold Young the restaurant equipment in the building.

Young is tweaking his Wasabi concept.

“I am going to try to be kind of a little bit . . . upscale,” he says.

The name will still be Wasabi, but it will be spelled differently. Young hasn’t decided how yet.

He likes the expanded space because it will allow him to do booths.

“I can make it more private.”

Young hopes to open in about two months.

Stafford is now working on finding a new tenant for the former Froz space.

“We’ve got several interested parties right now.”

Wasabi Japanese Restaurant to add east-side site and possibly west as well

UPDATED — It seemed to take forever to open the first Wasabi Japanese Restaurant at 912 E. Douglas — it was supposed to open in January 2010 and instead opened in July — but a second one already is on its way.

Owner Eun Young plans to open in the 1,782-square-foot former Froz space at 3242 N. Rock in about three months. There will be a patio as well.

The menu will offer the same sushi and Japanese dishes his downtown restaurant has.

Bree Kelley of Occidental Management handled the deal.

Young may be close to a deal on a west-side Wasabi, too.

We’ll keep you posted.

Wazabz Japanese steak house and sushi restaurant to open in former Sumo space

WICHITA — This must be the week for Japanese restaurant news.

In addition to Emperor’s Japanese Grill and Tsu Basa that will be opening on the east side, the Japanese steak house and sushi restaurant Wazabz will open in the former Sumo (which moved farther east) space at 3236 N. Rock Road.

That’s not to be confused with the new Wasabi Japanese Restaurant, which is opening in Old Town.

Wazabz owner Evan Spicer says the Wasabi owner let him know he didn’t care for his name choice, but Spicer isn’t changing it.

“It’s almost kind of like ‘hamburger,’ ” Spicer says. “How are you going to patent that?”

Spicer is an owner in the Chalet, a sports bar at 3030 Penstemon St., and a partner in numerous Sonics in Kansas.

He wanted to open a Japanese steak house for personal reasons.

Read More »