When they first decided to open a restaurant in Wichita, Big B’s Beef owners Liz and Brian Bathgate targeted Delano.
The neighborhood, particularly the several blocks of Douglas that are immediately west of downtown, reminded them of Liz’s hometown of Joliet, Ill., a Chicago suburb that packs lots of quaint restaurant and shops into strollable blocks of historic buildings.
They couldn’t find the spot they wanted, so they opened their restaurant that specializes in Chicago-style fare on far South Seneca. But they kept their eyes on Delano until they found the right spot. The Bathgates moved their business to 605 W. Douglas in Delano and reopened it earlier this month.
“We were so happy to find this place,” Liz Bathgate said. “Delano just has a little bit of everything. There’s no other place in Wichita where you can get hats and yarn and be close to all these neat little places.”
Lately, Delano has become quite the dining destination. In addition to Big B’s Beef, the district has over the past several months added Wimpys at 1713 W. Douglas and a new location of Ruben’s Mexican Grill at 915 W. Douglas.
The neighborhood known best as home to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium and the Wichita Ice Center is also becoming known for the roughly 12-block stretch of West Douglas that includes Hatman Jack’s, some hair salons, a tattoo parlor, a couple of bridal shops, a bike store, a beer-making shop and a growing list of locally-owned eateries.
Karen Cravens, the president of the Delano Neighborhood Association and a booster of Delano businesses, said that the retail area in Delano is near capacity these days. People are starting to think of it as a place to go for unique, locally owned shopping and dining.
“It’s interesting to see,” she said. “When Kosta the Greek closed, everyone on their Facebook page said, ‘You should have opened in Delano.’ ”
Following is a list of restaurants operating on West Douglas in Delano.