Dining With Denise Neil

A favorite Kansas Italian restaurant has closed, this time for good

Restaurants Wichita lost in 2018

Beloved Wichita restaurants that closed their doors in 2018.
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Beloved Wichita restaurants that closed their doors in 2018.

A small-town Kansas Italian restaurant that closed last year only to reopen a few months later has closed again.

And this time, it’s for good.

Courtney’s Place, a popular attraction at 120 W. Main St. in Toronto, Kansas — a town with a population of 265 that’s 85 miles straight east of Wichita — closed at the end of business on Friday. Owner Courtney Neill announced the news on Facebook late last week.

“This may surprise you, or maybe it won’t, but I am calling it quits. I love you all and appreciate you all, but I’ve gotten tired,” she wrote on the post. “I know I will miss you and I know I’ll be sad about my choices, but I will not be changing my mind again.”

In 2004, Neill opened the restaurant as a pizza place and bakery in a building on Toronto’s main drag that was originally erected in 1886. In 2010, she and her son turned it into a nice sit-down restaurant with candlelight, table cloths, piano music and a menu of chicken Parmigiano, manicotti and lasagna. The restaurant started to draw visitors from across the state.

But in April of 2018, Neill was recovering from knee surgery and decided that she needed a break. She closed the restaurant, then was overwhelmed with messages from her customers expressing their distress. By July of last year, she was feeling better and decided to give it another go.

On Saturday, Neill shared another post offering the restaurant for sale. She even offered a potential future owner some free advice: Make the restaurant a “Pasta & Pasture” place.

“In other words, serving Italian food and steaks,” the post read. “Adding steaks to our menu was very well received.”

Anyone want a Pasta and Pasture restaurant? Call 620-803-1080.

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.