Dining With Denise Neil

Diners wait in long lines on small-town burger joint’s opening day

Towanda, a little town of about 1,500 just 25 miles northeast of Wichita, is not exactly overrun with restaurants.

There’s a Gambino’s Pizza and...

So when a new burger and ice cream shop opens, people are interested.

On Thursday, lines were long when Hussam Madi opened his new Thunderbird Burgers & Ice Cream in the spot at 719 E. Main that once held the Rusty Bucket Cafe. It’s a carry-out-only business that specializes in fresh-made half-pound burgers, fries, onion rings, chicken strips, soft-serve ice cream and shakes. You can see the full menu here.

Madi, who owns some automotive businesses in Wichita and who has some history in the restaurant business, said that the building had long sat empty, and a friend who owned it persuaded him to open something inside.

“I debated for a long time and looked at it and decided it looked like a good opportunity,” Madi said.

On opening day, lines were long, and some people waited more than an hour to eat, Madi said. They gathered at picnic tables set up outside and waited for their food. But Madi said he heard much positive feedback.

The restaurant’s hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays. It’s closed on Sundays.

For more information, call 316-536-6032.

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