Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita restaurant serving Chicago-style fare closed in 2014 but is making a comeback

Chicago dogs will be back on the menu in Wichita come spring.
Chicago dogs will be back on the menu in Wichita come spring.

When they closed down their Big B’s Beef restaurant in Delano in August 2014, Liz and Brian Bathgate vowed they would be back.

And their customers hoped they would. The restaurant, which operated at 605 W. Douglas, was the only place in town where fans of Chicago-style fare like Italian beef and sausage sandwiches and Chicago dogs topped with mustard, onions and sport peppers could get those flavors.

It’s been more than four years, but the Bathgates are ready to make their big return. They’ve been teasing customers on their Facebook page for weeks and are now ready to share that they’ll be opening a Big B’s Beef food truck this spring.

The couple said right after they closed that a food truck was in their plans, but it’s taken this long for them to feel ready, Liz said. When they first started, the oldest of their two sons was 3. Now he’s 9, and life is a little easier to navigate.

Also, Brian — who has a full time job in the shop at Waste Connections — works a lot of hours, she said, and only recently has he had time to research what it would take to open a truck.

Big B’s Beef operated at 605 W. Douglas until 2014. Its’ owners are about to bring their Chicago-style food back to Wichita. File photo The Wichita Eagle

The couple has purchased a big box truck and are working on getting it ready to go. When it opens, they’ll likely park it at businesses around town and offer a menu that includes their Italian beef and sausage sandwiches, their Chicago dogs, and gyros.

Liz said she’s also looking forward to reconnecting with former customers, many of whom have stayed in touch since they closed.

“We miss talking to so many of them,” she said. “I’m glad they haven’t forgotten about us.”

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.