Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita chef’s very bad month ends with decision not to reopen historic diner after all

Wichita chefs show their passion through tattoos

(FILE VIDEO -- AUGUST 4, 2016) Many Wichita chefs have food-related tattoos.
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(FILE VIDEO -- AUGUST 4, 2016) Many Wichita chefs have food-related tattoos.

It’s been a hard few weeks for well-known Wichita chef Jeremiah Harvey.

Late last month, Harvey — who over the past 20 years had headed kitchens at places like The Anchor, The Candle Club, The Petroleum Club and more — announced his plans to reopen the historic Brints Diner, which operates out of an old Valentine diner at 4834 E. Lincoln, with his friend and partner Winwood Bowman.

Not long after the article announcing his plans was published, Harvey unexpectedly lost his day job. It was a blow, he said, but he and Winwood decided that rather than just helping out at Brints in his free time, Harvey would lead the kitchen there. He started planning a Harvey-esque menu.

But in the end, after taking a realistic look at his finances, Harvey decided he just couldn’t pull off reopening Brints. Winwood was asked by his current job to stay on, so the two decided not to sign the lease at Brints and pulled out of the deal.

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The duo that announced plans last month to reopen Brints Diner in Wichita have pulled out of the deal. Jaime Green File photo

“It just wasn’t a good financial move,” Harvey said. “We were just getting ready to sign the lease, and we sat down with my wife and took a look at everything, and as hard as it was, unfortunately, we had to throw in the towel.”

During the same period, Harvey’s mother was hospitalized and his car engine blew up. He and his wife, who have two young kids, started posting their personal belongings for sale on Facebook to keep up with bills.

“When it rains, it pours,” Harvey said.

His friends were so concerned about him, they set up a Go Fund Me page to “Keep the Harveys Afloat.” So far, it’s raised nearly $3,000.

Harvey said he’s trying to remain optimistic. He’s looking for another full-time gig, and in the meantime, he’s trying to beef up his Chef Sharp business. In addition to sharpening, he’s now making custom knives for his clients.

We will let you know where Chef Harvey ends up — and if anyone else steps in to reopen Brints.

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