Restaurant News & Reviews

Three dining events: Zoobilee, National Bar-B-Que Derby, Battle of the Burger

Three dining events


Zoobilee, 6 p.m. Saturday, Sedgwick County Zoo: Zoobilee, a fundraiser for the Sedgwick County Zoo, is such a big deal that Zoobilee day is the only day of the entire year that the zoo is closed to regular visitors. During Zoobilee, the grounds of the zoo are filled with tables of food and adult beverages, and attendees are free to roam and snack at will. The list of restaurants participating this year is long and includes places such as Cake Face Bake Shop, Carlos O’Kelly’s, Ciao Italian Kitchen, Il Vicino, P.F. Chang’s, River City Brewery and Wichita Brewing Company. As they nosh and imbibe, people can walk around the zoo, checking out the animals and all the short, animal-print dresses. Live bands are set up throughout the zoo as well, and later in the evening, the headliners take the main stage. The Mudbugs Cajun & Zydeco Band was promoted this year to headliner status and will play starting at 9:30. Tickets are $150 at


National Bar-B-Que Derby, Friday through Saturday, Derby: This cook-off will include a barbecue competition, apple and cherry pie baking competitions, a cookie baking contest for kids, a competition for backyard barbecuers and more. The event, now in its third year, is scheduled for 7 to 11 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in Derby’s High Park, 2801 E. James St. It’s a Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned event. Those who attend can sample competition-quality barbecue for $5, shop for food and craft items and take advantage of kids activities, a charity car show, live music and more. Admission to the event is free, though Saturday’s people’s choice sampling is $5 a person. For a complete schedule of events, visit


Battle of the Burger, 6 p.m. Sept. 14, Old Cowtown Museum: This is the first time for this event, put on as a fundraiser for KETCH. It will be at the Old Cowtown Museum and will feature local restaurants battling for the title of “best burger,” both from a panel of judges and by attendees. The contestants are Fizz Burgers and Bottles, MOOYAH, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, The Anchor, Heroes Sports Bar and Grill, Harvest Kitchen and Bar, and Public at the Brickyard. The event also will feature live music, a silent auction and stagecoach rides. Admission is $35 in advance and $40 at the gate and will include burger samples, pie samples, beer and all the activities. For tickets, call 316-383-8889.

Quick bites

Jetty’s, not Pacific Coast Pizza, will go in near arena

Businessman Mickey Lynch says he’s changed his mind about partnering with Pacific Coast Pizza at his under-construction bar and restaurant space at 222 S. Commerce, just north of Intrust Bank Arena and south of the old Spaghetti Works building. Instead, he said, he’s enlisted his friend Greg Keenan, who developed the recipes for pizza restaurants such as Papa Keno’s in Lawrence, to help construct the pizza menu.

The pizza restaurant, which will be adjacent to and connected to Walkers Bar and Venue, will be called Jetty’s and will likely serve big slices of pizza plus a pizza buffet for the lunch crowd. Lynch also plans to offer activities for families in the evenings. The adjoined businesses have an entrance where customers can access either one. Walkers will be more of an adult-focused, live music venue that also will have a bar-style menu. Lynch and his partner, building owner Ryan Mills, hope to have both businesses open by Oct. 1.

Wichita bar wins trivia competition

Apparently, Wichita wing eaters are the smartest wing eaters. Last week, the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant at 3236 N. Rock Road became the Smartest Bar in North America, according to Buzztime’s 2013 Smartest Bar competition. Trivia players at the bar beat out trivia players at 3,300 other bars in the United States and Canada, including two-time defending champion The Mezzanine Lounge in Houston, for the title. The players in Wichita scored the highest points answering a series of sports, art, history and pop culture bar trivia questions. The competition started in April. The restaurant will get a championship trophy, banner and $500 cash.