A new restaurant is opening in the former Metro Grill space at Central and Maize Road, and it’s one that west-siders have been requesting for some time.
Doug and Linda Brantner are opening their second Planet Sub there. Their first, which they purchased from another operator a year ago, is on North Rock Road just south of 37th Street.
“We have so many faithful customers,” Doug Brantner says of west-side residents who make the drive to the east-side Planet Sub.
The new Planet Sub, which will open sometime around the middle of December, is 2,400 square feet. That’s smaller than the 3,300-square-foot Rock Road restaurant.
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Brantner says he’s going to add a small patio at the west-side space.
There had been one other Planet Sub in Wichita at Kellogg and Greenwich, but it closed before the Brantners got involved with the chain.
They have the franchise agreement for the Wichita market and plan to add more Planet Subs.
“We absolutely are going to expand some more,” Doug Brantner says.
“We’ll add at least one more in the near future and then take another look at the market,” he says. “There’s a couple of nice spots downtown that we’ve looked at.”
The restaurant business is something of a career reinvention for the Brantners.
Doug Brantner is a former Hawker Beechcraft vice president.
Linda Brantner retired as president and CEO of Delta Dental of Kansas in 2013.
“We’ve worked hard all our lives, and we were getting kind of bored,” she says.
For their new career, Linda Brantner says they decided that “we didn’t want to report to boards and wear suits.”
“We thought with our combined talents, this would be a real opportunity for us,” she says.
They’re Planet Sub fans.
“It’s a great sandwich,” Doug Brantner says.
The Brantners say high-quality ingredients set Planet Sub apart from its competitors.
“We make our bread daily … in the store,” Linda Brantner says.
Doug Brantner says that’s from scratch – not cooking something frozen.
“Our product has got to be second to none,” he says.
He says a friendly, inviting store with a welcoming staff makes a difference, too.
Brantner jokes about how hard the restaurant business is, though.
“We find it’s a lot like aviation,” he says. “To make a small fortune, you have to start with a large one.”
Ken Saville of Landmark Commercial Real Estate and Evan LaRue of John T. Arnold Associates handled the deal for the west-side space.
Doug Brantner says he and his wife looked at the Maple and Ridge Road corridor, where a lot of restaurants have opened in the past year or two, but he says they like the residential areas around Central and Maize Road.
“I hope people over there are really going to enjoy it.”