He was a cook at the Beacon for 15 years, and his daughter was a waitress there.
She was a cashier at Don’s Restaurant.
Now the Wilson family – Kelly and Dewaine and daughter, Laura – have started their own Wichita diner.
The trio recently opened Kelly’s Family Dining in the former Mike’s Steak House spot at 2131 S. Broadway.
The Wilsons completely remodeled the interior of the restaurant, which most recently was home to a restaurant and smoke shop called Lucky Spot. They changed everything from the ceiling tiles to the carpet to the booths, Kelly Wilson said.
Their menu includes diner favorites like chicken fried chicken, chicken fried steak, meatloaf and real mashed potatoes. They also serve breakfast, and their specialties include biscuits and gravy and homemade cinnamon rolls.
They’re open daily for breakfast and lunch, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The only problem so far, Kelly Wilson said, has been persuading people they’ve cleaned the place up and that it’s a family-friendly, safe place to visit. Wilson said she went around the community distributing fliers advertising her business recently but encountered many people who said that, based on past experience, they’d likely never visit.
“We’re trying to get people to come in and change their minds,” she said. “My heart is hurting every day.”
Mike’s Steakhouse closed in the space in 2013 after 10 years of business. The short-lived Lucky Spot, a combination smoke shop and restaurant, opened in May 2016.
Kelly’s offers 10 percent off discounts to seniors, military personnel, police officers and firefighters.
For more information, call 316-978-9255.