Dining With Denise Neil

Not a Cheesecake Factory, but a Cheesecake Company will open soon in downtown Wichita

Back in October, Mark and Grace Daniels shared their plans to eventually open a cafe location of their Wichita Cheesecake Company somewhere in Wichita.

They couldn’t offer the Cheesecake Factory the city has been clamoring for, they admitted, but the business they envisioned would be a “viable alternative.”

Now, they’ve found the spot. In about a month, they’ll open in the outside canopy at Union Station that Funky Monkeys Shaved Ice 21+ recently vacated.

Mark said he just signed the lease at 701 E. Douglas and that he’ll get to work next week on building out the space. He hopes to be open within 30 days.

The couple plans to serve cheesecake in a variety of flavors and sizes, from minis to by-the-slice to whole. They’ll also initially offer bakery items like muffins and cookies as well as coffee and tea.

After they get up and running, the couple also plans to add food to their menu, though they’re not exactly sure what. They want to see what other restaurants might open inside Union Station and get a feel for the demand from nearby businesses before they decide for sure what to serve, but their menu will likely included packaged sandwiches that will be easy to take to go. They also might offer bagels in the morning.

Wichita Cheesecake Company will sell mini cheesecakes, slices, whole cheesecakes and more. Courtesy photo

“It’ll be all sweets in the beginning, but we plan to build in the food as we get established and get our footing down there,” Mark said. “We want to find out exactly what food items people are missing and wanting.”

The little canopies allow for one or two inside tables but in warm weather months have outdoor patio seating, too. At the moment, two of the four canopies are occupied: one by the recently opened The Dapper Doughnut and the other by 8 Below.

The Daniels started Wichita Cheesecake Company as a cheesecake business that would occasionally serve at events around town. The company was initially born out of Grace’s love for cheesecake, which she said she first tasted as a 13-year-old girl at a family dinner. She loved it so much, she learned how to make cheesecake, and as an adult, she would serve her cakes at family functions and for special occasions. Her family would encourage her to consider opening a cheesecake business.

I’ll let you know when the business is ready to open.

Related stories from Wichita Eagle