Dining With Denise Neil

College Hill's new Hog Wild has just opened with a totally retro drive-through

Hog Wild Pit BBQ opened at Central and Vassar on Monday.
Hog Wild Pit BBQ opened at Central and Vassar on Monday. The Wichita Eagle

Wichita's sixth Hog Wild Pit Bar-B-Q — this one in the College Hill neighborhood — opened today at Central and Vassar, just east of the intersection of Central and Hillside.

It's the 17th Hog Wild in the regional chain, which is owned by T.D. O' Connell.

The new restaurant has a barbecue-shack-meets-industrial feel, with an exposed ceiling and duct work over red-and-white checkerboard printed tables and wooden barrels. It has the same menu and the same hours as Wichita's five other Hog Wild stores.

The restaurant faced some opposition from the residents of the nearby residential neighborhood, who in January told the Eagle that they were concerned about the development having too few parking spaces for its 79-seat capacity and about noise from a drive-through. They voiced their concerns to the city, but the development — a small strip center that has room for two more businesses — was approved.

O'Connell said that customers of the new restaurant's drive-through will notice some throwback technology that will help address the neighbors' noise concerns. Instead of ordering by talking to a loud speaker, customers will pick up a telephone receiver.

The stretch of Central that runs right in front of the new development is a bit torn up at the moment because the city is removing a median, which will make it easier for people to turn in and out of the new restaurant.

O'Connell said he has owned the property where the new center sits since 2005, long before he took ownership of Hog Wild 2012.

He said the spot is good for Hog Wild because it's so close to both Wesley Medical Center and to the College Hill neighborhood.

"In the last 10 years, there's obviously been a lot of restaurants have done really, really well here," he said.

Hog Wild opens daily at 11 a.m. But don't be late, they close at 8 p.m.

(FILE VIDEO -- 2017) Not all Wichita barbecue restaurants serve burnt ends but the ones that do have developed a loyal following.

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