Wichita seemed like an unlikely place for an eatery focused on cream puffs back when Jack Fukuda opened Beard Papa’s in Towne East Square in 2013.
But the store was a hit, thanks to its delicate, fresh-filled cream puffs — and the fact that it sold other treats not common in Wichita, including Taiwanese style shaved ice, mochi ice cream and boba tea.
But by the end of the month, Beard Papa’s five-year run in Wichita will come to an end. Owner Jack Fukuda — who also owns Yokohama Ramen Joint at 613 W. Douglas in Delano — will close the store, which is on the uppler level outside of Dillard’s, at the end of business on Oct. 28.
Fukuda said that rent in his corner of the mall has gone up too much to stay, and though he considered renewing his franchise agreement and finding a new spot for the restaurant closer to Yokohama, it didn’t work out.
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“I’ve been looking from last year until now, but I couldn’t find right spot for Beard Papa’s, so I just decided to close,” he said.
Closing Beard Papa’s also will allow Fukuda to focus on his next venture, the plans for which he announced last month. Fukuda is planning to open a restaurant called Yokohama Ramen Izakaya that will serve ramen plus Japanese-style tapas. Fukuda said he thinks he’s found a spot for the new restaurant, which he plans to open in the spring on Wichita’s east side, and will let me know soon where it is.