Dining With Denise Neil

Two Wichita restaurants damaged by fire have delayed reopenings

Sweet Basil, which closed in early April after a kitchen fire, likely won’t reopen until October.
Sweet Basil, which closed in early April after a kitchen fire, likely won’t reopen until October. File photo

Two restaurants. Two kitchen fires. Two forecasts for an early August reopening.

But as tends to happen, owners at Sweet Basil and Stroud’s are finding that it’s taking longer than they predicted to get their restaurants operating again.

Sweet Basil at 2424 N. Woodlawn has been closed since early April, when a kitchen fire caused an estimated $400,000 damage.

The Italian restaurant is getting a total interior remodel, and owner Charli Singh has faced delays because of issues with the placement of a grease interceptor. Though he’d hoped to reopen in early August, he said, he’s just now taking bids from contractors and now says it’ll be October before the restaurant is ready.

“I thought I’d be open by now, to tell you the truth,” he said. “A lot of people are waiting.”

Meanwhile, it’s also taking Stroud’s, the family-style fried chicken place at 3661 N. Hillside, longer than anticipated to reopen.

A kitchen fire shut down the restaurant in early July. General Manager Kevin Allis hoped the restaurant would be back in early August, but the updates provided on the restaurant’s Facebook page say it’s going to be early September.

I’ll let you know when both restaurants settle on opening dates.

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