Dining With Denise Neil

Overwhelmed by running two Wichita eateries, owners decide to close one of them

How to roll lumpia

A Parsnipity Cafe employee demonstrates how to roll lumpia, a specialty on its menu. (Video courtesy of Parsnipity Cafe)
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A Parsnipity Cafe employee demonstrates how to roll lumpia, a specialty on its menu. (Video courtesy of Parsnipity Cafe)

Parsnipity Cafe, the little restaurant that Cynthia Wilson and her husband Craig Bjork opened on the ground floor of Wichita’s Epic Center three years ago, is closing, the couple announced on Facebook today.

The cafe’s last day will be Friday. The couple’s food truck, LumpiaPalooza, will remain open, and the owners are in discussions with Patrick and Timirie Shibley of Doo-Dah Diner to use their kitchen during the hours the diner is closed. The Shibleys also are looking at taking on some of Parsnipity’s longtime staff.

“Craig and I weren’t young when we started the cafe and, at three years older, we find that our strength and energy is finite and we can no longer handle managing both the cafe and food truck,” Wilson wrote in the post.

The cafe opened in August 2016, taking over the ground level space where Toni D’s Too had operated since 1990. It served sandwiches, soups and comfort food specials and was open to the public as well as to the people who worked in the building.

The cafe was in the national news a couple of times during its run, including earlier this year when Wilson was featured on the HuffPost website talking about how her business had been affected by the government shutdown. It was published with the headline: “A Little Cafe in Kansas Feels The Ripple Effects of the Government Shutdown.”

“It has been fun,” Wilson said. “It has been an incredible journey for us. Our customers have been great, and we had a great time. It’s just been the most incredible adventure that anybody could have had later in life.”

Beloved Wichita restaurants that closed their doors in 2018.

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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.
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