Dining With Denise Neil

Long-awaited Wichita cafe, bakery and coffee shop (with wine) finally opens next week

Back in August of 2016, Andrew Gough announced plans to move his popular and always-packed Reverie Coffee Roasters from its original home at 2611 E. Douglas a third of a mile to the west.

But Gough wasn’t planning to just move, he said. He detailed grand plans to add a bakery and a brunch menu and cocktails and table service.

Next week, Gough’s grand vision will become a reality. He plans to open his new Reverie and its adjoined sister business, Founders Bakery, on Feb. 16 in a cavernous new space at 2202 E. Douglas, right across the street from East High School.

The new business offers all the things the original Reverie has but with many tasty new features.

On the east side of the newly remodeled space is Reverie, which is no longer just a coffee shop. It’s now a cafe that will serve breakfast and lunch plus cocktails, wine and beer in the evening. Those who dine-in will be treated to table-service, even if they’re just ordering coffee.

The food menu, created by Gough’s longtime chef and Culinary Institute of America graduate Stephanie Hand, features many brunch-y, egg-centered dishes, including poached eggs with grits and greens, scratch-made biscuits and gravy, and egg and sausage sandwiches on fresh-made ciabatta. The menu also will have seasonal sandwiches, salads and soups that can be soaked up with the bakery’s bread.

When Gough gets his liquor license, which should happen soon, the Reverie side also will serve wine, local and regional craft beers on tap, and cocktails.

The east side of the business holds the new Founders Bakery, and bread fans in Wichita will be happy to learn that it will serve fresh loaves to-go every day. Gough says there will usually be five to seven breads on hand, but customers can always count on finding sourdough, challah, ciabatta, and multigrain bread. (By March, Gough also will be providing bread to several local restaurants.)

The bakery also will have a large selection of pastries, pies and cakes, and at any given time, the cases will include more than 50 different items, including croissants, cinnamon rolls, monkey bread, cream puffs and more.

Gough hired a bread baker from Portland to craft the bread and an experienced pastry chef to make his sweets.

The Founders side of the business is where people will order coffee to go, though the area also will have a big, 10-foot community table and bar-style seating along the walls.

The new business will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. until the liquor license is secured, and then it will stay open until 8 p.m., 10 p.m. or midnight, depending on the day of the week. The kitchen will be open for food service only at breakfast and lunch, though pastries and bread will always be available.

The big coffee roaster customers saw in the old Reverie made the move but it’s now in a building in back of the new businesses. It’s fitted with a large window on the street side, though, so people who are interested can still see the roasting in action.

The original Reverie, which originally opened in 2013, will close for the last time at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, then the staff will spend the next several days moving everything to the new space.

Gough said that he’s been planning the move for years and its surreal that it’s actually happening. But he’s ready, and his staff is ready.

“It doesn’t even feel like it’s really here, even though we’re a week away,” he said. “In some ways, I wish it had gone faster, but at the same time, I’m glad it didn’t because looking at results we’ve got now, there could have been steps missed.”

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