Dining With Denise Neil

New Wichita restaurants in 2019: Coneys, tiki drinks — and finally that Dave & Buster’s

A look inside a Dave and Buster’s

This Dave & Buster’s restaurant and arcade gaming center opened in Columbia, S.C. in 2017.
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This Dave & Buster’s restaurant and arcade gaming center opened in Columbia, S.C. in 2017.

Wichita got many new restaurants in 2018, including a German place, a couple of fancy new wine bars, and a cookie dough cafe.

And it looks liked 2019 will be another delicious year. The calendar is already packed with a lineup of restaurants that are set to open in the new year, and many more will likely be added as the months go by.

Here’s a look at the restaurants we know about that are opening in 2019 along with their owners’ projections for when they’ll be ready. Keep in mind, as always, that it often takes a few weeks — or months —longer to open a restaurant than owners expect.


The Donut Whole East, 3750 N. Woodlawn: The Hurts Donut that had been operating near 37th and Woodlawn since the summer of 2016 suddenly closed in November. Not long after, owners of Hurts’ competitor — downtown’s The Donut Whole — announced that it would move into the space and that it might try some new things when it does, including experimenting with yeast doughnuts. (The Donut Whole sells only cake donuts.) Owner Tariq Azmi says he hopes to have the new shop open the first week of January.

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A new Donut Whole will open in January near 37th and Woodlawn. Denise Neil The Wichita Eagle

Chick N Max, 37th and Maize: Wichita’s third Chick N Max will open in the Fox Ridge Plaza on North Maize Road just south of 37th Street. It’s set to open on Jan. 3.

Vora Restaurant European, Douglas and Rutan: Brothers Brad and Brent Steven — who also own The Hill Bar & Grill and Wine Dive — are behind this European restaurant, which will operate on the ground floor of the new Uptown Landing highrise apartment building at Douglas and Rutan. It’ll serve Italian and French dishes along with cuisine native to Germany, Spain and Greece. They hope to have it open on Jan. 7.

Vora Restaurant European will open in a few weeks at Douglas and Rutan. Denise Neil The Wichita Eagle

Doo-Dah Diner, 1530 S. Webb Road: The owners of Doo-Dah Diner, the popular breakfast and lunch restaurant that’s been operating at 206 E. Kellogg since 2012, are opening a second restaurant near Harry and Webb. Meanwhile, they’ll close their original diner for about five months for a major remodel. The second location is set to open on Jan. 8.

Da Chicken Shak & More 2, 1112 W. 31st St. South: The owners of Da Cajun Shak opened their new chicken restaurant, Da Chicken Shak & More, at 2428 W. 13th Street in early September. And they’re already expanding that concept. Da Chicken Shak & More 2 should open at 1112 W. 31st St. South in January.

Puerto Vallarta Mexican Restaurant, 602 N. Tyler Road: The former Charlie’s Pizza Tacos pace near Central and Tyler, which was briefly home to Pedro’s Express, is getting a new tenant. Pedro Guevara is opening Puerto Vallarta in the space, and he’ll serve a full menu of made-from-scratch dishes. The restaurant will have table service as well as a drive-through. It should open in early January.

Chicken N Pickle, 1240 N. Greenwich: This long-awaited restaurant, which combines a chicken restaurant with pickleball courts, is already half open. Some of the courts were ready to go in early December, and people have already been using them. The restaurant portion should be open in February, serving a menu of rotisserie chicken dinners, smoked wings, pulled pork, burnt end sandwiches, wings and salads.

Chicken N' Pickle has its ground breaking with the help of WSU Coach Gregg Marshall. (May 7, 2018)


Tight Ends, 524 S. Seneca: The lot on the northeast corner of Seneca and University just off the Kellogg exit has been empty for years. But that will change in 2019. Two restaurants will open in a new development there, and one is Tight Ends, a sports bar and grill with scantily-clad servers. (Think Twin Peaks.) Owners are aiming to have it open in time for March Madness.

Huddle House, 524 S. Seneca: The other restaurant going into the new development at Kellogg and Seneca is Wichita’s second Huddle House, an IHOP-style breakfast restaurant. It should be open by late March, owners said. The first one opened in December in Twin Lakes, near 21st and Amidon.

HomeGrown, 1900 N. Rock Road: Wichita’s second HomeGrown — a breakfast and lunch place by the owners of Carlos O’Kelly’s — is set to open in the old Backwoods space at 1900 N. Rock Road in March. A third HomeGrown the owners have planned for the new Spaghetti Works development downtown likely won’t open until 2020, a spokesperson said.

East Wichita will soon get the avocado-toast goodness offered at the west-side HomeGrown. Denise Neil The Wichita Eagle


Andy Kay’s Cookie Camper: Andrea Walters, who owns the popular sugar-cookie business Andy Kay’s Cookies, has purchased and is remodeling a 13-foot, turquoise-and-white 1971 teardrop camper, and she plans to turn it into a moible cookie business. She hopes to have it on the road by April.

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Andrea Walters, owner of Andy Kay’s Cookies, should have her “cookie camper” on the road in Wichita by April. Courtesy photo

Andy’s Frozen Custard, 21st and Webb: A second location of this walk-up/drive-through frozen custard chain is opening in a new strip center in front of the Opti-Life at 21st and Webb. It should be ready by April. The first one opened at NewMarket Square, 21st and Maize, in March 2017.

Andrea Walters, owner of Andy Kay's Cookies, will be on the Nov. 20 episode of Food Network’s “Christmas Cookie Challenge.” (November 9, 2017)


Coffee Werks & Poke, 21st and Webb: The owners of Poke Mix Hawaiian Fusion at 8979 W. 21st St. are expanding to the east side with a new concept: a poke restaurant that doubles as a coffee shop. It’ll have the same build-your-own poke that the west-side store does but will add a long list of coffee drinks and desserts — as well as a drive through. Owners hope to have it open by April or May.

Yokohama Ramen Izakaya, east side: Yokohama Ramen Joint owner Jack Fukuda isn’t ready to announce the location of his east-side restaurant, but he’s confident he can have it ready by early May. In addition to the ramen soup the original Yokohama Ramen Joint at at 613 W. Douglas has become known for, the second restaurant will also offer alcoholic beverages like sake as well as several appetizers. In Japan, an ‘izakaya’ is a type of bar that serves drinks and small plates, and it’s becoming trendy in big cities.


Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Kellogg and Ridge: Wichita’s second Cheddar’s Restaurant is quickly taking shape just to the north of the new Cracker Barrel, on the site of the old Palace West Theatre. The corporate office doesn’t have an exact date but says the restaurant should be open by spring.

Lava & Tonic, location TBA: Partners Alex Thomas and Paul and Jennifer Drace hope to open this tiki bar sometime in late spring. They’ve picked a location and are in the process of signing the lease, Thomas said. The bar will serve tiki drinks plus pizza and sushi.

Wichita will be drinking tiki by spring. The Wichita Eagle File photo


Dave & Buster’s, K-96 and Greenwich: Wichita is finally getting its long-desired Dave & Buster’s, which is tentatively scheduled to open this summer next to Cavender’s in the development at K-96 and Greenwich. Dave & Buster’s, which is popular in bigger cities, offers a menu of appetizers, burgers, pastas and more along with a full bar, video games and party rooms.

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, 21st and Oliver: Wichita’s second Fuzzy’s Taco Shop is set to open this summer in Braeburn Square, the retail complex on the Wichita State University campus that also has a Starbucks and the Shocker Store. It should have indoor and outdoor seating for about 180.

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop is opening next summer in Wichita State University’s Braeburn Square restaurant and retail development.

Church’s Chicken, 3824 E. Harry: Local entrepreneur Mike Jizzini opened the first of his brand-new Church’s Chicken restaurants at 4780 E. 13th St. this year, and people responded with never-ending lines wrapped around the building. Initially, he had planned to build his second Church’s at Broadway and Pawnee, but that one will be delayed until early next year, he said. The Harry restaurant will go up first, and Jizzini said he hopes to have it ready by summer, if not late 2019.


Barn’rds Restaurant, 37th and Maize: They’ve been thinking about it and talking about it for a while. And soon, the owners of Barn’rds Restaurant are going to get started on their long-planned west-side restaurant, they said. They hope to have it open at 37th and Maize by September. The original Barn’rds, which serves roast beef sandwiches, soups, shakes and more, is at 2037 N. Woodlawn.


El Viejito Mexican Restaurant, 4722 S. Broadway: This Mexican restaurant is making a move from its spot at 5518 W. Central, where it closed in November, to the former La Fiesta space at 4722 S. Broadway. Owners say they’re not sure when exactly they’ll open but it should be early 2019.

1985 Arcade Bar & Grill, 1021 W. Maple: Video game repairman and “Back to the Future” fan Scott Stickney is still working on his restaurant and retro arcade in the former Burn Out Bar & Grill space at the corner of Maple and Seneca. He hoped to have it open last year, but getting all the games up and running has been more time consuming than he expected, he said. The business, which is noticeable because of a mural of Marty McFly and Doc Brown painted onto the side, will have craft beer, burgers, fries, 25 arcade games and 14 pinball games to be enjoyed by the 21 -and-older crowd. Look for it some time this year.

Rooftop restaurant at Hilton Garden Inn: The new hotel that’s been under construction for more than a year in the 400 block of East Douglas will have an eye-catching glass-bottomed pool that juts out 10 feet over Douglas. It’ll also have a rooftop restaurant. Developers have said that the restaurant will have big windows facing Douglas and a glass roof, though other details are scarce. There’s no word on when it will open, but the Wichita City Council, which offered developers tax incentives, have given them a March 31 deadline to complete the project.

La Islas Marias, 2150 N. Amidon: This Mexican seafood restayurant has been slowly taking shape in the former Neighbors space in Twin Lakes all year. But recently, construction has picked up. Owners haven’t given an opening date, but expect it in the first part of 2019.

Greek restaurant, Doglas and Main: Businessman Sophokles Anthimides is planning a big Greek restaurant on the lowest level of Century Plaza at Douglas and Main. The restaurant will take the space where the Lancer’s Club operated years ago. A possible name: Dionysus.

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

The rooster that stands atop The Donut Whole gets a new coat of paint. The popular doughnut shop and hangout in the Douglas Design District recently underwent an ownership change. (July 31, 2018)

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.