Dining With Denise Neil

The restaurant west Wichita has been waiting for will finally open on Monday

The moment west Wichita has been waiting for ever since a mysterious building started going up next to the new Cracker Barrel at Kellogg and Ridge happens on Monday.

That’s opening day for the new West Wichita Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen at 535 S. Ridge Road Circle. And if you show up early, you might get a sweet treat. The first 100 people through the door get free Honey Butter Croissants, one of the restaurant chain’s most popular menu items.

The new Cheddar’s is Wichita’s second — the one at 11711 E. 13th St. opened in 2007. And the new restaurant has a different look from that one. Its interior is bright and airy, and the decor has been updated. The kitchen also is visible from the dining room so customers can watch as the food is prepared.

Managing partner Elaine McCellon, a longtime Cheddar’s manager from Texas, relocated to Wichita to oversee the new restaurant. She said the west side has been excited about the opening, and her staff has had to turn people away every day who assume the place is already open.

“We’ve had people stopping by every day since we started construction,” she said. “It’s amazing. The people of Wichita have been so welcoming and so warm.”

And for those worried about parking on the congested lot, McCellon says that she should have plenty of spaces. In addition to parking in the front and on the south side of the restaurant, there’s also a big lot behind it to the east.

The ribbon cutting for the restaurant will be at 10 a.m. on Monday, and the doors will open at 11 a.m. The hours for the new Cheddar’s will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.