Dining With Denise Neil

You'll soon notice this big restaurant project taking shape near the Warren East

Wichita has been hearing about Chicken N Picklefor months. But today, the big project - a chicken restaurant with pickleball courts - will finally get under way.

The people opening Chicken N Pickle, an indoor/outdoor entertainment complex at the Plazzio, 13th and Greenwich, are officially breaking ground on the project today. They plan to have it open by fall.

The restaurant, which will be just south of Sumo, will feature six indoor and six outdoor pickleball courts, ping pong tables plus other lawn games.

What's pickleball, you ask? It's sort of like badminton meets tennis, and two, three or four players use paddles to hit a ball that looks like a Wiffle ball over a net. If you don't understand, don't worry. The restaurant will put on pickle ball clinics when it opens.

The first Chicken N Pickle opened in Kansas City in 2016, and Wichita's will be the second location before the company expands into other markets.

Once complete, Chicken N Pickle also will have a rooftop bar.

Inside, the menu will feature rotisserie chicken dishes made using locally sourced Amish chicken. The Kansas City restaurant's menu lists rotisserie chicken dinners available with four different spices plus smoked wings, pulled pork, burnt end sandwiches, wings and salads. There's also something called a a pickled chicken sandwich, made with pickle-brined chicken breast.

In January, the City Council established a taxing district in and around the area where the restaurant is being built where the city will levy an additional 1.5 cents on every dollar of taxable sales for up to 15 years, generating an estimated $2.3 million that will pass through to the owners of Chicken N Pickle to help with building costs. The city will get $230,000 for street improvements in the area.

Want to attend the ground breaking? It's from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. tonight with the groundbreaking ceremony at 5 p.m. It's at the southeast corner of 13th and Greenwich. I plan to attend and will tell you if I gather any more details.

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