Restaurant News & Reviews

June 19, 2014

This week's dining news


Three dining additions


Fork & Fennel: The Anchor’s Schane Gross, who just opened her Douglas Avenue Chop Shop at 1113 E. Douglas, is about to open Fork & Fennel in the old Taco Tinga/Taco Tico building at 3425 E. Douglas, which is next door to College Hill Deli & Catering. The restaurant will showcase the locally produced products Gross has become excited about while supplying her new butcher shop: Creekstone Farms beef, Red Wattle pork, Good Shepherd poultry and Heritage eggs. She also plans to plant a garden near the restaurant and grow her own herbs. She’s already hired a gardener to work on that part of the project.

The menu will feature Parisian-style sandwiches on baguette plus entrees made with the local meats. She’ll have locally made beers on draft and bottled craft beers plus a menu of cocktails. Fork & Fennel will be open for lunch and dinner, and Gross, who lives nearby, is hoping to attract a neighborhood crowd. She’s even planning to turn the area where the drive-through is now into a bike rack. Gross hopes to have the restaurant ready by August.


Churn & Burn: Developer Christian Shomberg is planning to open Churn & Burn at 556 S. Oliver sometime this summer. It’ll specialize in fresh ice cream and coffee drinks and will be near the new Kwik Shop scheduled to open on the same corner later this year. Shomberg is still putting finishing touches on the concept but promised to share more details soon. Follow the progress on the shop’s Facebook page:


A&W Restaurant: A new A&W Restaurant just opened at 29th and Maize Road, right in front of Lowe’s. The fast-food restaurant, which serves frosty root beer, “Papa Burgers,” coney dogs and more, is attached to the Long John Silver’s next door. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Quick bites

HomeTown Buffet closes but may open elsewhere

Wichita’s HomeTown Buffet at 6820 W. Central closed suddenly at the end of business on June 10, but managers say it could reopen elsewhere in the future. The marketing firm that represents HomeTown Buffet sent a statement that indicated it’s possible it could eventually return to Wichita. “The location was at the end of its lease, and we could not come to terms with the landlord,” said a statement, signed “HomeTown Buffet management.” “We are currently exploring other possible locations to reopen new, renovated restaurants in the future.” The statement also said that managers and crew who had at least 90 days on the job were given severance packages.

Larkspur getting a second banquet room

Ty Issa is adding a second banquet room to his Larkspur restaurant in Old Town. The space should be ready by July 1. It will occupy the space at 910 E. Douglas that Bliss-fullness Custom Cakes and Pastries vacated when it closed in November. Shauna Sphar, who is in charge of Larkspur’s catering and banquets, said the restaurant stays pretty busy with its 80-seat Phyllis Diller Banquet Room, which is on the north side of the building. The new space, which will be connected to the restaurant by a door, will seat about 50 and will allow the restaurant to run two events at once. It would be perfect for business meetings, reunions, birthday parties, rehearsal dinners and more, Sphar said.

The restaurant needs help coming up with a name for the new banquet room. The Phyllis Diller room was so named because of the paintings by the late artist and comedian that decorate its walls. Issa and Sphar want a classy name for the banquet room, she said. The restaurant is accepting suggestions on its Facebook page. If they choose your suggestion, you’ll receive a dinner for two at Larkspur.

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Denise Neil

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