Dining With Denise Neil

Not one but two restaurants are going into this space near 21st and Amidon

This fancy new building near 21st and Amidon is the future home of two restaurants.
This fancy new building near 21st and Amidon is the future home of two restaurants. The Wichita Eagle

If you frequently drive past the Twin Lakes Shopping Center near 21st and Amidon, you've probably noticed a big building going up that's way fancier than its neighbors.

In fact, the building has been slowly going up at Twin Lakes ever since April (and even briefly toppled over during a particularly strong spring storm).

Restaurant fans in the area who have been wondering what is planned for this space will be glad to hear that it will soon be home to not one but two new eateries.

On one side of the new building, which sits between Wendy's and Pizza Hut facing 21st Street, will be Wichita's first Huddle House. Local lawyer-turned-restaurant developer Abdul Arif is behind the Huddle House, which is a 24-hour diner in the vein of IHOP that specializes in breakfast. He's hoping to have it open by Sept. 15.

At the moment, the nearest Huddle House to Wichita is in Emporia.

The building also will hold another Wichita Chick N Max, a concept that Max Sheets first introduced to Wichita when he opened a shop in the old Freebirds World Burrito spot at 410 N. Hillside in January. He followed up with a store at 2530 N. Greenwich in April.

Though he's signed the lease for the Twin Lakes spot and plans to go forward, Sheets is still waiting on a variance to the deed restriction that will allow him to add a drive-through, which is an important part of his plan. Once it's resolved, he'll move forward with plans and permits, he said. Sheets will likely have his third Chick N Max open at 37th and Maize before the Twin Lakes restaurant is done. Construction on the west-side store will begin in the next week or two.

Arif, who last year bought Passage to India and recently helped with the purchase of The Donut Whole, is planning another Huddle House at the northeast corner of Seneca and Kellogg. He just purchased a nearby house that will help clear the way for his development, which also will include apartments, and should be able to start planning in earnest soon.

Chick N Max manager Drew Holstine shows off the first of what likely will be a national chain of the restaurants. The first of three opening in the first half of 2018 is on Hillside just south of Central. (Dec. 28, 2017)

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