Then, an unexpected opportunity presented itself.
The remodel is still on, the couple said, but it will likely be delayed until the beginning of next year. For now, they’re focusing their extra attention on the building next door, a former car dealership that will provide the diner not only with extra needed parking but give the couple a chance to do something they’ve always wanted to do – open a small market selling casseroles and pies to go and fresh produce.
Though they haven’t come up with a name for their new market, the Shibleys hope to have it open by the end of November. It’ll go into the 2,800-square-foot space at the corner of Broadway and Kellogg most recently vacated by Adams Auto Sales, which closed in August. It’s on property that adjoins Doo-Dah Diner, which is at 206 E. Kellogg.
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The building has 24 parking spaces, and earlier this week, the Shibleys removed the metal barriers that separated that parking lot from theirs. Customers now are free to use that lot, too.
The Shibleys envision having prepared casseroles like chicken and noodles, beef stroganoff and chicken divan that diners could stop in and pick up on their way home from work then reheat at home. They’ll also have fresh-baked pies and will likely offer some basic produce items that they use at the diner anyway, like potatoes, onions, lemons and limes.
They’ll also move some of their Wichita swag that they sell in their current waiting area over to the market.
One other piece of big news: Starting on Nov. 21, Doo-Dah Diner will be open on Tuesdays. Its traditional closed days had been Mondays and Tuesdays. Now, the restaurant will close only on Mondays.
After the market is up and running, the Shibleys said, they’ll turn their attention to the remodel, which will include a major kitchen upgrade and the removal of the wall that now separates the dining room from the massive waiting room. They’ll expand the dining room over into that space, adding much more seating.
The Shibleys opened the restaurant in 2012 in an old Radio Shack building at 206 E. Kellogg to a warm reception. Since then, it’s become known for its massive plates of caloric goodness and has developed a loyal following. The Shibleys even recently won a Restaurateur of the Year award from the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association.
Stay tuned for updates on the market’s progress.