Dining With Denise Neil

Want to own a classic Wichita burger joint? This one is for sale

Jack’s North Hi Carryout is in need of a new owner.
Jack’s North Hi Carryout is in need of a new owner.

When he bought Jack’s North Hi Carryout a year ago, says owner Shawn Gilbert, his only goal was to save the classic restaurant, which had been boarded up for a while.

He’s done that, he said, and he’s rebuilt the business that originally opened in 1951 and that still has its well-known retro blue-and-red neon sign. Now, he’s ready to move on. Gilbert is looking for a buyer for the business, which he describes as “turn-key.”

“I feel like my job is done here and I’m ready to step away from it and get back to other things that I’m a little more familiar with,” he said.

Gilbert, who also owns smoke shops 42 Degrees Below and The Electrik Chair, says he’s about to expand his smoke shop business into Manhattan and Tulsa. Running a restaurant no longer fits into his schedule, he said.

He started over with his own recipes when he reopened Jack’s last January, he said, and he’s built a steady business of students who come across the street from North High School and of plumbers, electricians, etc. out on their lunch breaks. He’s open for lunch Mondays through Saturdays and opens in the evenings Wednesdays through Saturdays.

The sale would come with no conditions attached, he said. The new owner wouldn’t have to use Gilbert’s recipes or stay open the same hours he does. It would be theirs to mold.

And they’d be walking into a good setup, he said. When Gilbert reopened the restaurant a year ago, he replaced the kitchen equipment, sealed the roof, cleaned the ventilation system and more.

“It needs somebody that’s got a little more time,” he said. “Somebody who might be a cook and wanting to be in the industry as an owner. They could work their own hours.”

Interested in becoming your own burger boss? Message Gilbert via the Jack’s North Hi Carryout Facebook page.

He’ll throw in the cool retro sign for free.

(FILE VIDEO -- JULY 6, 2016) Friends Tom Kluge and Kent Kruske have been visiting local burger joints together for 15 years. They have a spreadsheet with remarks about their dining experiences.

Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.