Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita’s first Chick N Max has closed, is relocating to a long-vacant restaurant space

East Central’s loss is South West Street’s gain.

The original Chick N Max restaurant, which opened in January 2018 at 410 N. Hillside, closed at the end of business on Friday, and the owners will be relocating it to the space at 352 S. West St. where Moo-Yah once operated. That spot, at the end of a strip center that also has Goebel Liquor, has been vacant since January 2016.

The space on West Street will offer a better environment for Chick N Max, mainly because it has a drive-through window, said owner Max Sheets. Construction has started in the space, and Sheets says he plans to have it open before Thanksgiving.

Sheets has two other Chick N Max stores — one at 2530 N. Greenwich, which opened in April 2018, and another at 3520 N. Maize Road, which opened in January of this year. The restaurants are quick-service places that offer fried chicken tenders, wings and sandwiches plus smoked chicken.

He said he’s planning to open more Chick N Max restaurants — three in 2020 — but a spot for a drive-through is a must, he said. In fact, the drive-through limitations of two spots Sheets was planning to open restaurants — at 21st and Amidon and in the Spaghetti Works District — caused him to abandon both of those plans.

“Our takeout business is such that we really have proven that a drive through is really necessary,” he said.

Anthony Powell ran Mooyah in the 352 S. West St. space from late 2012 to 2016, then he closed it and converted the space to a new business called Cowtown Burger & Brew. It was open only a few months.

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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.