Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita restaurant owners closing all locations for winter

Rita’s Italian Ice stores in Wichita and Hutchinson are closing for the winter.
Rita’s Italian Ice stores in Wichita and Hutchinson are closing for the winter. The Wichita Eagle

Most stores in the Rita’s Italian Ice close over the winter.

But when they opened their two stores in Wichita and one in Hutchinson during the past several years, franchisees Jay and Jeff Miller wanted to try to keep their stores going year round.

Two winters later, they’ve changed their minds. The three area Rita’s stores will close for the winter at the end of business on Nov. 27 and won’t reopen again until March 1.

“It’s hard to sell ice in the winter,” said Jay Miller.

Last year, the Millers closed the stores Mondays through Wednesdays but stayed open Thursdays through Sundays. But the sales weren’t there. The 10 employees at local Rita’s stores have all been offered jobs at the brothers Five Guys Burgers and Fries stores.

All three stores will be open today through Sunday and then Nov. 25-27.

Rita’s Italian Ice stores are at 2929 N. Rock Road and 1021 E. Douglas. The Hutchinson store is at 2221 N. Lorraine.

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