Dining With Denise Neil

Restaurants making you wait a little longer

Behold! A pizza taco, straight from the Charlie's PizzaTaco Facebook page. If there’s one thing I’ve learned writing about restaurants for the past decade, it’s that restaurants almost never open when they’re supposed to. Restauranteurs are eternally optimistic, but something always happens. The tables aren’t delivered. An inspection from the city is delayed. The liquor license is lagging. No matter what date they target for opening, you must add a minimum of two weeks. Two months is actually a safer bet.

Several almost-finished restaurants in Wichita are currently caught up in the delay game. But their owners promise they’ll be open soon. Among them:

Charlie's PizzaTaco, 601 N. Tyler Road: The restaurant going into the former Pitas & Paninis space is delayed a bit while it waits on booths to be delivered. Managers now say the grand opening is a week or two away. The restaurant, which originated in Pratt, serves pizza in the shape of tacos.

La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant, 6960 W. 21st St.: The restaurant, which also has a location in Wellington, originally was set to open in the old La Mesa space on Saturday. But it'll be another week or two, owners said. The restaurant is waiting on its liquor license, among other things.

Joe's Old Town Bar and Grill, 222 N. Washington: Owners Charlie Badeen and David Allan originally hoped to have their new place open in late October, but now it's looking more like early December, Badeen said. The duo also owns Dudley's Sports Bar and Grill at 8550 W. 21st. St.