Dining With Denise Neil

A new taco restaurant will open soon in west Wichita

There’s a new restaurant taking over the spot on West Central that Omar’s Kitchen abandoned in March.

Gerardo’s Restaurant, which will serve Mexican food, should be ready in about two weeks at 2801 W. Central, said owner Rosa Hernandez, who is opening the restaurant with her husband Gerardo Alvarez. Alvarez, who currently works at another Mexican restaurant, will run the kitchen.

Hernandez said this is the couple’s first restaurant, though they both have history in the kitchen. She previously worked as a cook at Kansas Heart Hospital.

“I always worked as a cook,” she said. “I just decided I wanted to work for myself.”

Gerardo’s Restaurant will serve traditional Mexican fare like burritos, gorditas and quesadillas, Hernandez said. Her specialty is tacos, and she’ll serve both street tacos and crispy tacos.

Customers will order at the counter at the restaurant, which will be open for lunch and dinner. They won’t serve alcohol.

The spot on West Central was home to Omar’s Kitchen for about a year. Previously, it was the longtime home of TLC Muffins.

Omar’s Kitchen owner Ranya Taha closed the restaurant to focus on rebuilding her Petra Mediterranean Restaurant, which burned in a 2018 in a two-alarm arson fire that its owners suspected at the time was a hate crime. She said the new Petra should be ready to go soon at 535 N. Woodlawn.

I’ll let you know when there’s a firm opening date for Gerardo’s Restaurant.

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.