Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita restaurant owner closes one business, eliminates regular hours at another

Emerson Biggin's East has closed after a little more than a year in business.
Emerson Biggin's East has closed after a little more than a year in business. The Wichita Eagle

The Lopez family, best known for expanding the Emerson Biggin's concept in Wichita, has made a few changes of late, closing one of its restaurants and eliminating regular hours at another.

Luis Lopez appears to have just closed the east location of Emerson Biggin's, which he opened a year ago in the former Blarney Stone spot at 2120 N. Woodlawn in Brittany Center. Owners and employees at neighboring businesses say the restaurant suddenly closed last week and that they saw people emptying the place. A note was posted on the door saying the restaurant was closed.

Lopez has not returned messages about the closing.

Meanwhile, another Lopez-owned business announced last week on Facebook that it would be cutting its regular hours. Lou's Place, which Lopez opened with his daughter Erica in late 2014, will "for the time being" be open only for catering and Intrust Bank Arena events. The restaurant, which sits in the shadow of the arena at 220 S. Commerce, closed briefly in late 2016 before the family reopened it with evening hours.

"We apologize to our loyal customers but the construction surrounding our location is obstructing parking and accessibility," the owners said in a Facebook post last week.

Lopez and a partner took over the Brittany Center spot last spring from Blarney Stone owner Michelle Lindgren and changed the name to Emerson Biggin's East. The space has been home to several restaurants and bars over the years, including Blarney Stone, Larry Bud's and Tanner's Bar & Grill.

Lopez also owns Emerson Biggin's in Old Town as well as Jerseys Grill and Bar, which he took over in November 2016.

I'll let you know if I hear back from him.

General manager Buddy Colson thought games would be a good way to utilize some party rooms when events aren't booked. (Carrie Rengers/The Wichita Eagle)

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