Lord's Diner executive director Wendy Glick met a hostile crowd Thursday night at a meeting called to discuss plans to open a satellite diner at 21st and Grove.
The Rev. Anthony Steele of the St. Paul A.M.E. Church was blunt in his criticism of the plan.
"It's not because of what goes on inside the Lord's Diner, but what goes on outside the Lord's Diner," he said.
"The problem we're not addressing is what we see when we go by the Lord's Diner. Wherever you live, you don't want people hanging out, urinating and defecating on your lawn."
State Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, D-Wichita, said her constituents are clearly opposed to the plan.
"I can't even go to the grocery story or pump my gas without someone saying, 'I don't want it,' " she said.
More than 50 people attended the meeting at North Heights Christian Church, 3030 N. Hillside, and nearly all were opposed to the plan.
The Wichita City Council has scheduled a public hearing on the issue on Tuesday and could decide then whether to lease the former home of the Boys & Girls Club to the diner.
Kevin Myles, president of the Wichita chapter of the NAACP, said opening a satellite diner on a street that has undergone extensive redevelopment in recent years didn't make sense.
He said he thought the diner could find a more suitable site.
"I will help them find a site — just not on 21st Street," he said. "If we need to find a building that's on the bus route, we'll find a building that's on the bus route. If we need to find a building with a blue roof, we'll find a building with a blue roof."
The Rev. Michael Tyson, one of several pastors at the meeting, had similar sentiments.
"How much outcry is it going to take from this community before you make the decision that you're not going to go to 21st and Grove?" he asked Glick. "How much is it going to take for you to make that decision?
"I'm telling you right now, I don't want you here."
Several at the meeting asked about the possibility of delaying the Tuesday City Council vote.
"Can we ask that the vote be postponed?" Tyson asked. "Are you willing to go into the meeting on Tuesday and say, 'We're not ready.' "
Glick said she didn't have the authority to delay the vote, but promised to relay the sentiments of those attending the meeting to her advisory board.