Dining With Denise Neil

A Wichita sports bar has closed, but another restaurant plans to take over the space

A new restaurant will open in the Jersey’s Grill and Bar space in early December.
A new restaurant will open in the Jersey’s Grill and Bar space in early December. The Wichita Eagle

In early September, Luis Lopez told the Eagle he’d be open to a buyout of his lease at the Jerseys Grill and Bar space at K-96 and Webb.

Not long after, someone took him up on his offer.

Lopez has now closed Jerseys, a sports bar and grill that has operated at 3213 N. Toben since December 2011. The space was originally built to house a Johnny Carino’s, an Italian restaurant chain that left Wichita in early 2011.

A look at 10 of the Wichita restaurants that closed in 2017.

Some local restaurateurs looking to expand expressed interest in the space, Lopez said, and he took them up on it. (Watch for an announcement next week about who is planning to take over the space.)

Sunday was Jerseys’ last day in business.

In 2016, Lopez partnered with longtime Jerseys owner Mitch Lyon to run the business, and at the time, he said the plan was to turn it into an Emerson Biggins east. But the restaurant remained Jerseys.

Meanwhile, Lopez has also closed his Lou’s Place at 220 S. Commerce, which he most recently had been running as a venue and opening when nearby Intrust Bank Arena had events. The space is now listed for lease.

Construction at the Spaghetti Works site has made the spot nearly inaccessible, so he decided to leave for now. But he doesn’t rule out a return when construction is complete.

“I’ve got to wait to see what is going to take place,” he said.

In the meantime, he’s still able to take catering jobs for Lou’s and its famous charcuterie plates, which he can fulfill at his Emerson Biggins restaurant, he said.

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