Carrie Rengers

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Kobe Steak House of Japan to open in former Playa Azul space at 21st and Tyler

06/12/2013 1:19 PM

06/12/2013 1:49 PM

A Hanney & Associates Architects rendering of the new Kobe Steak House of Japan, which will open this fall at 21st and Tyler. WICHITA — As promised, Kobe Steak House of Japan owners Jim Hamlin and Jim West have a new restaurant to announce.

Hamlin says they're merging their former Derby business with their Kobe near 21st and Maize Road in a new west-side space.

The restaurant will open in November in the former Playa Azul space at 21st and Tyler.

"The main reason was they were just busting at the seams," says Adam Clements of Builders Inc., who handled the deal.

"This is a larger space. It allowed them to better accommodate Wichita. They're a destination."

The west-side restaurant currently has 3,500 square feet. The new space will have 4,900 square feet and room for twelve hibachi tables.

Increased visibility also prompted the move.

"That was the second part," Hamlin says.

The existing west-side Kobe opened almost five years ago. The Derby Kobe was open for three years.

When Hamlin and West closed their Derby restaurant in March, they said they’d eventually open a new one, but probably not in Derby.

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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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