Dining With Denise Neil

A few Wichita restaurants quietly close; here’s what’s next

Mead’s Corner at Cafe 402 inside the Downtown YMCA has closed after seven months in business.
Mead’s Corner at Cafe 402 inside the Downtown YMCA has closed after seven months in business. The Wichita Eagle

Sometimes, a restaurant quietly closes and it takes time for word to get around.

Lately, I’ve noticed a couple that have closed over the last several months without my hearing about it. I was curious what happened to them and thought you might be, too.

First, those who work out at the Downtown YMCA may have noticed that is is cafe-free again. Mead’s Corner at Cafe 402, which took over the cafe space inside the gym’s lobby in August, closed the middle of last month.

Chris Edmiston, a spokesman for Mead’s Corner, said that managers liked the challenge at the YMCA but in the end decided they needed to focus on their 8-year-old flagship coffee shop at 430 E. Douglas.

“While we truly appreciate the people who came by and made Mead's Corner in Cafe 402 their spot for coffee, smoothies and healthy eating options, we made the decision to refocus all of our attention on our Mead's Corner location at 430 E. Douglas, including pouring more energy into local events, live music and meeting space for those in our downtown community,” he said in an e-mailed statement.

Mead’s Corner was the third tenant to set up in the space since the downtown YMCA opened in 2012. Its first was the Hyatt, which operated from the gym’s opening until October 2013. The second was Jason Fisher, who ran Cafe 402 until last March.

Shelly Conrady, the YMCA’s vice president of marketing and communications, said the YMCA will be reviewing its options for filling the space.

Also, I clearly need to get to the west side more often because I just noticed that Syed Jillani’s west-side Kababs and sister-restaurant Panna Bread next door at 756 N. Tyler Road are both closed. He had opened the west-side Kababs in July 2010.

Jillani said the rent was going up at the location, and he couldn’t justify paying it because all the development near 21st and Maize had slowed his business down.

He also runs a catering business called Wichita Private Chefs and was using his Tyler kitchen for his catering business. So he’s relocated that to the old Corky’s space at 779 N. West St.

He said his east-side Kababs, which he opened in November 2015 at 3101 N. Rock Road, is doing well.

Jillani said he plans to find another west-side location but he’s not sure where or when. He promised to keep me updated.