Dining With Denise Neil

A long list of restaurants Wichita can expect in the coming months

Back in January, we published a list of all the restaurants that had announced plans to open in 2018.

Things change in eight months.

Now, it’s the end of August. Nearly all the restaurants on the original list – from 6S Steakhouse to Nortons Brewing Company– are up and running, and a whole new, lengthy list has developed.

Here’s an update on the restaurants Wichitans can look forward to trying the rest of this year and in to next year.


Chick-fil-A, 7320 W. Taft: Wichita’s third free-standing Chick-fil-A restaurant is almost complete, and it’s set to open on Thursday in front of the Lowe’s at Ridge and Maple. Its owner/operator is Jason Lansdown, who also has the Chick-fil-A at 21st and Maize. The other free-standing restaurant is at Central and Rock, and Chick-fil-A also has kiosks in Eisenhower Airport and in Wichita State University’s Rhatigan Student Center.


Churn & Burn, 11414 E. Central: Christian Shomberg, whose Churn & Burn liquid nitrogen ice cream shop at 548 S. Oliver has been a big hit since opening in 2014, is about to open his second shop. This one will be in the former Orange Leaf/ Pippy’s Frozen Yogurt space near Central and Greenwich, and it will have a drive through and as well as coffee and cinnamon rolls. He plans to be open by Labor Day weekend.

Da Chicken Shak & More, 2428 W. 13th St.: The owners of Da Cajun Shak are branching westward with this new restaurant, which is opening in the space that most recently held WOW Cakes. It should be open after Labor Day, said Chris Granger, and it will be an order-at-the-counter place that focuses on chicken tenders with dipping sauces. It’ll also serve the fried Cajun specialties people love at Da Cajun Shak — chicken strips, gator, shrimp, crawfish and catfish.

1985 Arcade Bar & Grill, 1021 W. Maple: Video game repairman and “Back to the Future” fan Scott Stickney is opening this business in the former Burn Out Bar & Grill space at the corner of Maple and Seneca. It will have craft beer, burgers, fries, 25 arcade games and 14 pinball games to be enjoyed by the 21 -and-older crowd. He hopes to open by early September.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard, 3450 S. Meridian: Wichita’s fifth Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers (sixth if you count the kiosk that opened this week inside WSU’s Rhatigan Student Center) is set to open in early September across from the South branch YMCA. It will be corporate-owned and will have an updated design.

Qdoba, 583 S. West St.: Wichita’s second Qdoba (the west side’s first) is set to open in mid-September in the strip center at West Street and Kellogg that also has Starbucks, GameStop and T-Mobile. Eric Estes opened Wichita’s first Qdoba at Central and Rock in 2015 and says he’s planning at least one more of the Mexican chain restaurants for the west side.

Tuptim Thai, 2121 N. Rock Road: This Topeka-based Thai restaurant is expanding into Wichita and moving into the spot recently vacated by GangNam Kitchen (and Adrian’s Cafe before that). Owner Howie Chandra said he hopes to have it open by mid-September.

Vorshay’s Cocktail Lounge, 417 E. Douglas: Steve and Natalie Peters are almost finished with this upscale cocktail lounge, which should be open by mid-September. It’s in the historic Marple Theater space, which has sat vacant since Fat Tony’s Grill closed there in February 2014. The couple is planning to serve cocktails, prosecco on tap and food.

Ziggy’s, 8404 W. 13th St. North: A third Ziggy’s pizza is set to open in Wichita — this one on the west side. The Verbeckmoes family, who opened the first Ziggy’s in College Hill’s Clifton Square in 2012 and a second at 12115 E. 21st St. North last year — are almost finished remodeling the space at Northwest Centre that once held Talliano’s. They’re planning their familiar menu of rectangular pizzas, toasted sandwiches and a beer big selection. It should open in September.

The Dapper Doughnut, 701 E. Douglas: Brett and Rebecca Alstatt are opening this new mini-doughnut shop in the canopy at Union Station that previously housed Douglas Street Tacos. They plans to be open by late September. The business is part of a Las Vegas-based chain and specializes in hot mini cake doughnuts made fresh to order, plus doughnut milkshakes and coffee.

Prost, 2721 E. Central: Manu English, the owner of popular German food truck Let’m Eat Brats, is moving right along on construction of her new German restaurant and beer garden, which will anchor the Revolutsia shipping container mall at Central and Volutsia. She and her husband, Austin, are hoping for a late-September opening — just in time for Oktoberfest season. Look for news about their menu soon.

Cana Wine & Cocktails, 221 S. Broadway: Brock Mellinger and Rodney Horton plan to have this new cocktail bar open sometime in September. It will be on the ground floor of the historic Petroleum Building and will serve wine, signature cocktails and whiskey. The owners say they will offer a small-bites menu and that they’ll invite local food trucks to park in the adjacent parking garage.

Church’s Chicken, 13th and Oliver: Local entrepreneur Mike Jizzini said he will have the first of his brand-new Church’s Chicken restaurants open the last week of September. He will follow it with a restaurant at Broadway and Pawnee in the middle of next year, and eventually, he hopes to have six Church’s in town.


Meddys, 120 S. Washington: Alex Harb is deep into construction on his downtown Meddys, which will be his third. He is planning to have it ready by Oct. 15. The new restaurant will have a big patio with misters, an outdoor fire place and a full bar, and it will serve all the Mediterranean specialties the Meddys at 7906 E. Harry and 21st and Greenwich are known for.

Huddle House, 21st and Amidon: Local lawyer-turned-restaurant developer Abdul Arif is behind Wichita’s first Huddle House, a 24-hour diner in the vein of IHOP that specializes in breakfast. He plans to have it open by late October in a new building at Twin Lakes that sits between Wendy’s and Pizza Hut facing 21st Street.

La Islas Marias, 2150 N. Amidon: The former home of Neighbors Bar & Grill is about to get its first tenant since the popular eatery moved to a bigger space in 2015. La Islas Marias is a Mexican seafood chain out of Kansas City that serves crab legs, shrimp, molcajetes and more. You can see crews at work remodeling the interior, and the owner says it should be ready to go in about two months, which means an October opening.


Molino’s, 2035 N. Rock Road: Mario Qurioz and Mara Garza are planning to open a version of their Molino’s at 1064 N. Waco in the spot at 21st and Rock Road where Pie Five just closed. The new restaurant will be more of a build-your-own-taco place, and the couple hopes to have it open by the end of November.

Cracker Barrel, 535 S. Ridge: West Wichita’s new Cracker Barrel is quickly taking shape on the spot at Ridge and Kellogg that was once home to the Palace Theatre, and it remains on track to open by November, said a spokeswoman with the chain. It will be a 10,000-square-foot space, will include a front porch, and will seat 180. The only other Cracker Barrel in the Wichita area is at 995 E. 61st St. North.

Chick N Max, 37th and Maize: The next Wichita Chick N Max is set to open in the Fox Ridge Plaza on North Maize Road just south of 37th Street. It should be ready to go mid-November.

Late 2018

Leslie Coffee Co., 930 W. Douglas: Sarah Leslie, who is the chairwoman of the Barista Guild of America, is planning to open her own coffee shop in part of the former Independent Order of Odd Fellows building in Delano. Her shop will sell specialty drinks, pastries, toast and snacks and will operate in just over 2,000 square feet in the ground-floor corner of the building. She plans to open sometime in the fall, she said.

Vora Restaurant European, Douglas and Rutan: Brothers Brad and Brent Steven, who also have Wine Dive and The Hill Bar & Grill, are planning a restaurant for the ground floor of the new Uptown Landing apartment building, which also has first-floor retail space. Their restaurant will specialize in French and Italian cuisine but will also serve food influenced by Spain, Germany Greece and Portugal. They hope to open in time to have a Christmas or New Year’s Eve party in the space.

Taco-tes/ Molino’s, Central and Volutsia: Taco-Tes is the working name of the build-your-own taco place Molino’s owners Mario Quiroz and Mara Garza plan to open at Revolutsia, the shipping container mall going up at Central and Volutsia. But they’re no longer sure that’s what they’ll call it. They hope to have it open by mid-December, Qurioz said.

Pour House, 711 E. Douglas: The former Mumbai Rail space at Union Station will soon be home to this new business, a tap house by the owners of Walnut River Brewing Co. in El Dorado. The owners plan to brew their beer in the space and will also serve food. They say they’ll open “before the end of 2018.”

DQ Grill & Chill, Goddard: Jeff and Jana Pinney plan to open their third area DQ Grill & Chill, this one in front of the Walmart at 183rd West and Kellogg in Goddard, by the end of the year.

Chicken N Pickle, 13th and Greenwich: This long-awaited restaurant — an indoor/outdoor entertainment complex that will mix a chicken restaurant with pickle ball courts — is under construction, and the pickle ball courts should be open by the end of the year. The restaurant itself, however, won’t be ready until January, a spokeswoman said.


Cheddar’s, West Wichita: Cheddar’s has confirmed that it is opening a second Wichita store on the west side, but it hasn’t yet said when or where — though the rumor is it will be alongside the new Cracker Barrel at Ridge and Kellogg. Stay tuned.

Chick N Max, Max Sheets has talked about several Chick N Maz restaurants he might open in 2019, and the one he announced long ago at 21st and Amidon, next to the planned Huddle House, is in the mix, depending on what happens on a zoning variance he needs to add a drive-through. He’s also talking about opening a restaurant in the Spaghetti Works District, which should be ready by fall 2019.

Huddle House, Kellogg and Seneca: Abdul Arif also is planning to open a Huddle House on Seneca just north of Kellogg next year. He has the construction permits and is finalizing contractors now. The restaurant should be open by spring or summer of 2019.

Church’s Chicken, 593 E. Pawnee: Mike Jizzini will follow up his 13th and Oliver Church’s with one at Broadway and Pawnee, which should open mid-2019, he said.

Braum’s, 37th and Maize: A new Braum’s is supposed to open in 2019 at Fox Ridge Plaza.

Dave & Buster’s, K-96 and Greenwich: We don’t have official confirmation that Dave & Buster’s is coming to Wichita. But all signs point to “yes,” so it’s conceivable it could be ready sometime next year. Mark this one a “maybe.”

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