Gianluca Sciagata is no longer at Luca Italian Kitchen but name won’t change

UPDATED — Last year when Melad Stephan told Have You Heard? the name of his new Old Town restaurant would be Luca Italian Kitchen after Chef Gianluca Sciagata, he acknowledged that Sciagata might not stay forever but that the name would.

“Ahhh, well, the name will stay,” Stephan said, quickly adding, “I hope he’s going to be around for a while.”

He didn’t stay long, though.

Stephan says Sciagata, who came from Aspen, Colo., was not happy in Wichita and has left the restaurant.

Former Ya Ya’s Eurobistro Chef Damon Stephens is now the Luca chef.

Stephan says the name won’t change because Sciagata “doesn’t have the trademark on (the) Luca name.”

 

Issa brothers opening Emporia IHOP

WICHITA — A year and a half after buying their first IHOP, the Issa brothers are ready to open their second one, this time in Emporia.

“We had an opportunity, and we took it,” says Ali, who is partners in the business with his brothers Ty and Mike.

They also own Larkspur, Ya Ya’s Eurobistro, Hereford House and Heat Cigar & Hookah Lounge.

Their existing IHOP is at 515 S. Ridge Circle in west Wichita.

Their Emporia IHOP, which will open either Oct. 8 or 9, will be in the former Village Inn space at 2831 W. 18th Ave.

“We didn’t have a plan for Emporia,” Ali Issa says of locating there. “It just came up. … It was a good deal.”

He’s not sure where — or even if — they’ll open another IHOP.

“It’s hard to predict.”

Issa says he’ll spend the next month or two focusing on Emporia, although he says he’ll still continue to pop into Heat, which he also runs.

“Heat’s is doing very well,” he says.

Along with a loyal clientele, Issa says he has good employees to help him.

“We have some very good people (at) both places.”

Larkspur owner Ty Issa becomes a partner in Ya Ya’s Eurobistro at Bradley Fair

WICHITA — Larkspur owner Ty Issa has acquired an interest in Ya Ya’s Eurobistro at Bradley Fair.

“We’ve been talking about this for years,” Issa says. “We’re fortunate to come on board.”

Earlier this month, Paul Khoury of Kansas City’s PB&J Restaurants, which owns the Ya Ya’s chain, told Have You Heard? the restaurant wasn’t selling. It looks like negotiations have been on and off.

Issa says they’re still working out some operational details.

“We’re going to be sharing a lot of ideas for improvement, that’s all,” he says.

“I have some ideas, they have some ideas. So you know, that’s all what it is.”

Khoury’s son, Patrick, will be helping run Ya Ya’s. Issa won’t have a huge presence there.

“Here’s been my concern,” Issa says. “I don’t want to confuse people.”

Issa says he’ll still be a daily presence at Larkspur in Old Town.

“Nothing’s going to change. It’s just a great merger with them.”