Dining With Denise Neil

Under-construction Wichita brewery hires chef, offers peek at menu

Augustino Brewing Company won’t be open until October at the soonest, but its owners have hired a seasoned Wichita chef – and finalized a menu.

The brewery, which is going in to the former Kababs and Panna Bread spaces at 756 N. Tyler Road, will not only serve craft beers made by longtime home brewer Augustine Iacopelli, but it will also have a full restaurant that will cater to the families that live in the neighborhoods that surround it.

The chef is Marcus Harper, who has worked as a chef and a manager in restaurants all over Wichita. Most recently, he worked as the back of house manager at Siena Tuscan Steakhouse in the Ambassador Hotel, but his resume also includes stints at River City Brewing Co. and the Hyatt. He got his start working with Scott Redler at Amarillo Grill, and he also worked with and under chef Jeremy Wade at restaurants like Cibola and Uptown Bistro.

Though he’s well versed in fine dining, Harper said that comfort food is his favorite. Augustino has given him a chance to create his own menu and fill it with the type of food he loves to cook.

“I sat down with these guys and they told me their vision and what they were looking for, and I was just stoked and excited to be able to get in on something from the ground up,” he said. “I thought it was a perfect fit.”

The menu is heavy on burgers and sandwiches, and Harper said he’s particularly excited for the burgers. “We’re going to give Dempsey’s a run for their money,” he said with a laugh.

The appetizer includes things like fondue, Bavarian pretzel sticks and brisket nachos, which Harper says will become “the talk of the town.”

Sandwich options include a chicken and waffle sandwich, a Reuben, an avocado chicken sandwich and lots of burgers. The menu also includes things like fish and chips, shrimp tacos, chicken tenders, pasta and a rib eye. It’ll also have vegetarian options.

The brewery, which Iacopelli owns with his wife, Bianca, and partners Geoff and Kara Finn, is under construction, and its sign on Tyler recently went up.

Stay tuned for updates on its opening day.

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