Dining With Denise Neil

New Nestle Toll House Cafe will tempt moviegoers at west-side Warren

Nestle Toll House Cafes operate across the country, mostly in shopping malls.
Nestle Toll House Cafes operate across the country, mostly in shopping malls.

When Baskin-Robbins reopens this spring in its new spot near the west-side Warren Theatre, it’ll add a sweet sister-concept that will offer Wichitans the ultimate post-movie sugar rush.

Franchisees Geoff and Candice Lee, who are in the process of relocating their Baskin-Robbins that formerly operated at 2556 N. Maize Road to the former Bud E. Rooster’s spot in front of the Warren Theatre at 8918 W 21st St., plan to add a second concept to the store – a Nestle Toll House Cafe by Chip.

The couple decided to move the business so that they could add a drive-through, a feature that their east-side store at 2126 N. Webb Road has and that has made it more successful, they said. The Maize Road store has been closed since Jan. 1.

The Lees are modeling the new store after one that opened last May in Tulsa. Theirs will be the second Baskin-Robbins/Nestle Toll House Cafe combo in the country, Lee said. The shop will be designed to reflect the brand separation. Half of it will be devoted to Baskin-Robbins, and half will be devoted to Nestle Toll House Cafe.

“These are two iconic American brands, and now they’re coming together,” he said. “It’s going to be kind of a dessert destination.”

Nestle Toll House Cafe by Chip is based in Dallas and has stores all over the country, most of them in shopping malls.

In addition to Baskin-Robbins ice cream, the shop also will serve Nestle Toll House cookies, cookie cakes and brownies. It’ll also have coffee drinks and fruit smoothies, and people will be able to purchase cookie gift baskets there, too.

Some Nestle Toll House Cafes also sell savory items, like crepes and wrap sandwiches. Lee said he won’t have that at first but it’s a possibility for later.

He’s hoping to open the new business sometime in May, he said. The opening will give people mourning the loss of Orange Leaf, which was in the same strip center but closed in October, a new option for a movie-night sweet treat.

“It’s gone over really well in Tulsa, and it’s not nearly as good of a location,” Lee said. “It doesn’t have the Warren nearby like ours is going to have.”

Little Lion Ice Cream, named for the daughter of founders Ian and Jubilee Miller, is craft ice cream, made with unusual combinations of local ingredients. They sell from their cart (schedule on website) and at Espresso To Go Go. (Aug. 31, 2016)

The Italian treat, which tops ice cream with espresso, is on coffee shop menus across Wichita. (Video by Denise Neil/The Wichita Eagle/June 30, 2016)

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