Dining With Denise Neil

The final Harrison Ford watch: Looks like he has a new favorite Wichita restaurant

FINAL UPDATE: Wichita, Harrison Ford is heading home this morning. At least, that's what he told the operators of two Old Town Square restaurants that he visited on Thursday evening -- both for the second time this trip.

Ford stopped in to Lemongrass: A Taste of Vietnam at 300 N. Mead for the second night in a row on Thursday. He also dined there on Wednesday, but owner Danny Nguyen missed him. This time, Nguyen was there, and he posted a photo of himself posing with Ford in the restaurant on Facebook. Could Lemongrass be Ford's new favorite?

It's hard to say because he also finished his four-day stay in Wichita with one last stop at Sabor, the restaurant where he also dined the night he arrived. Deanna Stephan, whose husband, Melad, owns the restaurant, said her husband seated Ford in his favorite booth and served him one last meal. Ford told him he was headed home on Friday morning.

Until next January, Han. It's been fun.

THURSDAY UPDATE: Since this story was written on Tuesday morning, a couple of more Harrison Ford sightings have been reported.

On Wednesday evening, Ford dined at Lemongrass: A Taste of Vietnam at 300 N. Mead. (I can see this restaurant, by the way, out the window from my desk even as I type this.)

I recieved messages from two different readers who saw him there around 7 p.m., and owner Danny Nguyen confirmed the visit. He said that Ford ordered the Fireman Shrimp, the Heavenly Shrimp Salad, fried catfish and Lemongrass pho. Nguyen wasn't at the restaurant when Ford arrived, he said, but he got a full report from his staff.

The waitress reported that Ford said several people had recommended Lemongrass to him and that he left her a generous tip.

Also, another reader wrote to say that he saw Ford shopping at Red Wing Shoes at 6600 W. Kellogg on Monday, where he witnessed the star buy a pair of boots while his friend talked on his cell phone.

"We did not speak or bother him," the reader said. "He was very polite to the sales clerk."


Since movie star Harrison Ford was first spotted in Wichita dining at Sabor on Sunday night, he’s been seen – and photographed – all around town.

Every day this week, I’ve received dispatches from residents about Han Solo sightings, meetings – and near misses.

And there are surely more to come. Ford told Sabor owner Melad Stephan that he’d be in town for four days, meaning he might be around until Thursday, so e-mail me at dneil@wichitaeagle.com if you see him.

Just for fun, here’s a time line of Ford sightings in Wichita since he arrived:

Sunday evening: Ford has dinner at Sabor Latin Grill in Old Town Square. He orders his usual, the parilla dinner for two – and takes his server’s suggestion to try the mussels and chorizo appetizer and the vegetarian arepas. He poses for a picture with owner Stephan and his wife, Deanna, as well as with a few customers, including Taben Azad, who posts his photo with Ford from Sabor on Facebook. Before he leaves, Ford ducks into the kitchen to thank the staff and shake hands.

Monday afternoon: A Wichita man writes to say his friend has just spotted Ford having dinner with a friend at the Chipotle at the corner of Maple and Ridge and sends a grainy photo he shot of Ford hunched over his burrito bowl. (Stars eat Chipotle, too!) And the restaurant is near lots of aircraft-related facilities at Eisenhower Airport.

Monday evening: A woman named Beth who is visiting for work and staying at the Hyatt Regency spots Ford dining alone in the hotel restaurant, Harvest Kitchen and Bar. She approaches him for an autograph, and he signs her menu in hurried handwriting, right over the salad section. “Beth: Best Wishes. Harrison Ford.”

Tuesday evening: Ford is spotted at Chester’s Chophouse with Jack and Rose Pelton. Fellow diner Pam Cutler asks him for a photo, and he agrees. While there, he also poses for a photo with a large group that included Home Depot executives from out of town.

Also: Wichitan Emily shared my post from Monday and said that her brother, Jesse, who is such a big Harrison Ford fan that he has the Indiana Jones theme as his ringtone and even named his dog Indiana Jones, thought he saw someone who looked like Harrison Ford in Old Town. But he decided that there was no way Harrison Ford could possibly be in Wichita, Kansas, so instead of saying hello, he drove away. “Now today he’s probably sobbing somewhere because he was so close to him and didn’t even stop to say hi!” she wrote.

And the invites: Via social media, Ford has been invited to a long list of businesses. Watermark Books asked him to stop by, McConnell Air Force Base issued an invite via Facebook for Ford to dine and fly on a KC-135, and local radio station T-95 said that if he came over, he could play any music he wanted.

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