Wichita has been Doo-Dah Diner-free since Dec. 30, when Patrick and Timirie Shibley closed their popular downtown restaurant at 206 E. Kellogg to start a massive renovation project that should last into the summer.
But now, Doo-Dah’s loyal customers can get their biscuits and gravy and Beefy Doo-Dads once again. Wednesday was opening day for the couple’s second location of the restaurant, and on Tuesday, they invited regulars in for a sneak preview.
The new Doo-Dah Diner is at 1530 S. Webb Road in a building that has been home to several restaurants in the past, including Auntie Mae’s and Curly’s American Diner. Inside, the building was already outfitted with a fun, 1950s diner motif, including red vinyl booths, checkerboard floors and neon accents.
The Shibleys have spent the first days of 2019 cleaning the place up — and adding a counter where its loyals, including dining fixture Richard Holmes, can sit and chat as they always have.
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The space feels oddly perfect for Doo-Dah, and you’ll find yourself wishing the Shibleys could just pick the restaurant up and transport it to their downtown lot.
At Tuesday’s practice run, the staff was serving the regular menu and getting food out quickly. The Shibleys roamed the dining room welcoming visitors and pointing out all the features of the new space, including a space in the back that will be the diner’s “Shocker Room.”
Customers will recognize the portraits and other decor from the downtown building hanging up in the new spot, and the cash register area has lots of Doo-Dah merchandise stocked and ready to sell.
Meanwhile, the Shibleys are hoping to get started on the downtown renovation soon. Their goal is to have the flagship restaurant reopened by June 1 with an expanded kitchen, more seating and new restrooms. The Doo-Dah Market, which serves take-and-bake fare and merchandise next door to the original space downtown, is still operating through the remodel.
The hours at the new Doo-Dah Diner are the same as they were downtown: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Quick tip: The building sits a bit back from the street at the corner of Harry and Webb, so it’s not easy to see from the street. Go to the northeast corner of the intersection and look for the diner behind the Port of Wichita and the strip center that holds Gambino’s Pizza.