Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita restaurant will close on Tuesday while owner faces man accused of shooting him

Ruben Acosta returned to his restaurant last summer more than a month after he was shot at closing time by an armed robber. Next week, Acosta will face his accused shooter in court.
Ruben Acosta returned to his restaurant last summer more than a month after he was shot at closing time by an armed robber. Next week, Acosta will face his accused shooter in court. The Wichita Eagle

Ruben’s Mexican Grill in at 915 W. Douglas in Delano will be closed on Tuesday while owner Ruben Acosta and his family go to court to face the man police say shot him.

Reginald Kane, who was arrested last year and charged with attempted first-degree murder in Acosta’s shooting last June, is scheduled for a jury trial starting on Monday. Prosecutors have advised Ruben and his wife, Anita, that he will likely speak on Tuesday.

Anita Acosta, who has helped to keep the restaurant open since the shooting, said that she and Ruben both want to be in court on Tuesday to face the shooter, though Ruben is extremely nervous, she said.

Since the shooting, Ruben has undergone 14 surgeries, the most recent a month ago. He hasn’t been able to return to the restaurant to work, Anita said,

“He’s strong, but he’s not the same person,” Anita said.

According to police, Kane walked into the restaurant after closing on June 9 and demanded money while an employee was taking the trash out. The robber fired his gun more than a dozen times, hitting Acosta three times. Acosta, who had a gun, returned fire, hitting Kane once. Police caught Kane shortly after the robbery, and he was charged with attempted first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault with a handgun, and criminal possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

Ruben’s Mexican Grill reopened a little more than a week later, with the help of Ruben’s brother and granddaughter, and Ruben was released from the hospital in late July. He’s undergone several surgeries since then.

Anita said that she plans to close only on Tuesday but will update customers on the Ruben’s Mexican Grill Facebook page if the court proceedings are delayed.

Ruben Acosta returns to his restaurant for the first time after being shot twice during a robbery. He was greeted with applause from his loyal patrons at his Delano restaurant. (July 27, 2017)

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