Dining With Denise Neil

Owner of popular Riverside restaurant makes plans to expand westward

The owner of Riverside Cafe is hoping to open a west-Wichita location in the former Auntie Mae’s Cafe spot near Central and Tyler.
The owner of Riverside Cafe is hoping to open a west-Wichita location in the former Auntie Mae’s Cafe spot near Central and Tyler. The Wichita Eagle

If all goes as planned, a popular diner in Riverside will open a fourth location in west Wichita.

Riverside Cafe owner Paul Cohlmia said he is hoping to take over the Auntie Mae’s Cafe space at 9129 W Central Ave., near Central and Tyler. He hasn’t signed a lease yet, he said, but is in negotiations and expects he will in a week or two.

Once the lease is signed, he said, he could be in business within two or three months.

Auntie Mae’s former owners, Michael Goens and Albert Conrad, moved their Auntie Mae’s Attic antique store from Delano to 9125 W. Central in 2012. Three months later, they took over the adjoining space and opened the restaurant. They closed down in summer 2015.

Cohlmia said he spoke to the former owners, who told him that the restaurant’s tiny kitchen could not handle the demand from diners filling both spaces. He’s opting to take only the restaurant side.

“The kitchen couldn’t keep up,” Cohlmia said. “It would take 45 minutes to an hour when they were really busy.”

Cohlmia also owns the original Riverside Cafe at 739 W 13th St., Riverside Cafe South at 2539 W. Pawnee and Riverside Cafe Derby at 824 N. Baltimore Ave. in Derby.

Watch Dining with Denise for updates.

A look at ten of the Wichita restaurants that closed in 2016. (video by Jaime Green)

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