Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita’s crop of new restaurants facing several delays

Jrs Tex Mex Grill will open in a couple of weeks at 3302 W. Central.
Jrs Tex Mex Grill will open in a couple of weeks at 3302 W. Central.

The restaurant business is a waiting game, especially when they’re first opening.

During my 15 years of writing about restaurants, I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered one that opened when owners hoped it would. If someone tells me April 1, I automatically assume it will be June or later before they’re open.

That’s true for most of Wichita’s about-to-open new restaurants. Many of their owners already have chosen and passed estimated opening dates, and the waits will continue for at least a few more weeks or months. Here’s the latest on a few:

Jr’s Tex Mex Grill, 3302 W. Central: Javier Alonzo says he will have his new build-your-own burrito place at 3302 W. Central open on April 18.

Gianni Bacci’s , 301 N. Washington: This new speakeasy and tapas bar owned by Taste & See’s Jason Febres went up quickly and is about ready to open, managers say. They’re tentatively looking at April 18.

Kind Kravings: Rochelle Collins’ vegan food truck will have its grand opening at the April 18 EarthFest at Herman Hill Park. They’ll be there from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Collins also is interested in setting up for lunches at office complexes and is taking requests at 316-302-3992.

Sweet Basil, 2424 N. Woodlawn: No one wants Sweet Basil to reopen more than Charli Singh, who’s been out of business since a fire burned his restaurant more than a year ago. Fire inspections, light installation and other particulars are still waiting to be done. The completely remodeled restaurant will, he stresses, be open by the end of April. He’s hoping for mid-April but doesn’t want anyone to get too excited.

Molino’s, 7817 E. 37th St. North: Mario Quiroz’s east-side Molino’s is coming together, and he’s posting construction photos frequently on the businesses’ Facebook page. But he still has to move a door and deal with some other not glamorous issues, he said. The latest projection for opening is late April or early May. The original Molino’s is at 1064 N. Waco.

Qdoba Mexican Grill, 430 N. Rock Road: This build-your-own burrito chain is opening its first Wichita restaurant in the former Yen Ching space, but weather has set construction back. Franchisee Eric Estes now is looking at a May opening. Qdoba serves customizable burritos, tacos, nachos, quesadillas and more.

Smarts Doughnut, 1108 E. Douglas: Brian Helmer and a business partner plan to open this doughnut shop, which will feature doughnuts with fancy toppings and hot breakfast items, in the former Cero’s Candies space by May 1.

Hurts Donut Company: This 24-hour doughnut shop, which will feature whimsically-topped-and-stuffed cake and yeast doughnuts, birthday parties and more, has chosen its west-side location but is going to keep it under wraps for now, said owner and Valley Center native Kas Clegg. She’s looking at a late May or early June opening.

Central Standard Brewing, 156 S. Greenwood: Andy Boyd and Ian Crane are deep in construction on their new brewery, which they had hoped to open this month near Douglas and Hydraulic. They still need to finish the space and get the beer brewed, so they’re now aiming for the end of May.

Greystone, 9719 E. 21st St.: Local restaurateur John Arnold, who is a part-owner in Redrock Canyon Grill, originally wanted to have his upscale steak and seafood restaurant open this month, but it’s looking more like the first week of June. It’s going into the former Famous Dave’s building and will have a wine room in the middle of the restaurant, a full-service bar, private dining rooms and more.

Jinji Korean Grill and Bar, 216 N. Washington: There’s been a delay in the construction of this Korean barbecue restaurant, too, though construction has started, said owner William Kim. He’d originally planned to open in March but now thinks it will be June. It will offer Korean barbecue that diners can cook themselves with small grills at their tables and a menu that also includes noodle and rice dishes.