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Five Guys to open downtown location

02/25/2011 12:00 AM

08/09/2011 5:05 PM

There's a lot of downtown news this week with more approvals coming on the area's master plan.

What might bring a little more immediate excitement is Five Guys Burgers and Fries 'confirmation that it has a deal to open Sept. 1 at the southwest corner of Douglas and Ida.

Have You Heard? first reported that was a possibility in August.

Five Guys franchisee Jeff Miller says he'll locate on Douglas across from the Anchor , which is on the southeast corner of that intersection, though the city's Historic Preservation Board still needs to approve the restaurant's design.

"We're pretty confident that they'll be real happy with what we're bringing to them," Miller says. "We don't anticipate any problems there."

The new, freestanding Five Guys will be about 3,000 square feet, which is larger than the 2,300-square-foot west-side Five Guys near 29th North and Maize Road and smaller than the new 4,800-square-foot one near 29th North and Rock Road at Comotara Center .

There also will be a 75-seat patio.

There won't be a drive-through, though. No Five Guys restaurants have drive-throughs.

"Our ticket times are a little too long," Miller says. "We cook food fresh."

He's looking at several areas around Wichita for a fourth site.

"We've got another store on the horizon, and we're not sure exactly where that one will be yet."

Miller also is looking in Hutchinson.

"Hutchinson would be a place where we would love to be open soon," he says. "It's got a strong base of good employers up there."

We'll keep you posted.

Pitas to go

Pitas & Paninis' brief existence has come to an end.

Owner Roni Attari opened the restaurant on Tyler just south of Central with Jason-Paul Febres as Yuca Latin Bistro . He then parted with Febres during the April 2010 opening and changed the name in December.

Now, he says he's going to concentrate on catering.

"I just couldn't give the restaurant, you know, 100 percent of my time," Attari says.

Help was an issue, he says.

"If I wasn't there (food) wasn't coming out the same way."

In addition to continuing his own catering, Attari will handle catering for his uncles, Tony Abdayem , who owns La Galette , and John Abdayem , who owns T.J.' s Burger House .

"That way (customers) just have more variety of what to order," Attari says.

He says he prefers catering to running a restaurant. He says there's more flexibility with catering and a better profit margin, too.

Not that he wouldn't consider opening another restaurant. Attari says he'll consider it very carefully before trying again, though.

One down, one to go

Jeremy Wade and Ben Arnold's new Cafe 151 will open at 151 N. Main on Monday.

That's at Cargill's Wichita headquarters where Piccadilly Express used to be.

To see the menu for the new restaurant, check out http://bit.ly/hNkln2.

There also will be daily specials.

Wade and Arnold are still working on their other new venture.

Their A.V.I. restaurant at the Broadview will open this summer after the hotel's renovations are complete.

You don't say

"Five Guys doesn't have booze, beer or breakfast. I think @anchorwichita will survive."

—Wichita freelance writer Scott Elpers 'tweet Thursday in reply to another Twitter user's concern that the Anchor will be adversely affected by the new Five Guys locating so close to it

About Carrie Rengers

Carrie Rengers joined The Eagle's Business team in 2002 despite her inability to even balance a checkbook. Fortunately for her, and readers, her Have You Heard? blog is about business scoops and contains lots of news but almost no math.

A Michigan native, Carrie’s father was quite tragically transferred to Little Rock, Ark., in the middle of her sophomore year of high school. To make matters worse, her parents put her in a girls school. She recovered, though, and went on to enjoy being an English major at Hendrix College (the Harvard of the Ozarks, don’t you know). She worked for the weekly Arkansas Business and the statewide daily Arkansas Democrat-Gazette before moving to Wichita to be with her favorite writer and cook, husband Joe Stumpe.

Carrie encourages readers to contact her with tips, questions, behind-the-scenes business news and even funny quotes from business people. Reach her at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com

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