Dining With Denise Neil

Legendary Wichita restaurant needs another month to reopen

Connie’s should reopen just in time to celebrate its 54th birthday.
Connie’s should reopen just in time to celebrate its 54th birthday. The Wichita Eagle

A month has turned into two months for fans of Connie’s Mexico Cafe, who have been waiting for the return of the legendary Mexican restaurant’s fried tacos since it abruptly closed at the end of January.

At the time, owner Carmen Rosales and her daughters had said they hoped that the needed repairs would take a month. But now they know that they’ll need until the end of March and have targeted March 31 as a reopening date.

The problems started when the owners noticed a sagging beam in the kitchen above the stove’s hood. After consulting with a construction company, the family decided to redo the entire ceiling in the kitchen. While they’re at it, Connie’s owners are making a few other improvements, including getting rid of some old green carpet in a back dining room and replacing it with tile.

The restaurant’s building at 2227 N. Broadway is 100 years old, and Connie’s has been in it since 1963.

One interesting note: When tearing down walls in the kitchen, construction crews uncovered a decades-old mural of a street scene and a stone wall, which Connie’s owners photographed and posted on Facebook.

Connie’s plans a grand re-opening event when the construction is done. The restaurant also will celebrate its 54th birthday in April.