Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita restaurant redo took 7 months instead of 3, but owner says it was worth it

Update, 4 p.m., Oct. 8: The Meddys at Harry and Rock will reopen on Thursday instead of Wednesday. Owner Alex Harb said that installing signage has taken longer than he planned but that the restaurant will definitely be ready on Thursday.

Back in March, Alex Harb closed his original Meddys restaurant at Harry and Rock for a remodel he predicted would take about three months.

Now, seven months later, the job is done. He opened the restaurant on Thursday.

When Harb opened his first Meddys in the little East Harry strip center five years ago, the design was pretty basic: cement floors, a dropped ceiling and tall tables with attached stools covered in orange vinyl. But Harb kept opening Meddys restaurants, adding an east-side restaurant at 2300 N. Greenwich in the fall of 2016 and a downtown location at 120 S. Washington late last year.

Alex Harb is about to break ground on his fourth Meddys, this one in West Wichita Travis Heying The Wichita Eagle

The new locations both have a more sleek, modern look — and they both have bars where Harb is selling signature cocktails and beer on tap. His plan had been to leave the restaurant at 7906 E. Harry as it was. The customer base there, which has always included crowds from nearby McConnell Air Force Base, didn’t see to mind.

But as time went on, Harb minded, and in the spring, he decided to go ahead with a redo on the East Harry restaurant. The finished product gives the dining room a look that’s more consistent with the two newer restaurants, featuring modern design elements, lots of wood and a white and gray color palette.

It also now has more room. The redo allowed Harb to take the dining room from 65 to 100 seats.

A new patio at the Meddys at Harry and Rock will have a backdrop of greenery and a metal enclosure. Courtesy photo

Harb also added an attractive 30-seat outdoor patio that will be enclosed with a metal gate and will have a wall of greenery as a backdrop and a dramatic sculpture that will emit a 3-foot fireball visible from the street.

The hours at the new Meddys will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

In other Meddys news: On Monday, crews are now starting construction on Wichita’s fourth Meddys, which is going onto a piece of property that sits across the street from and behind the new Cracker Barrel and Cheddar’s restaurants near Kellogg and Ridge.

Construction on that restaurant should take about three months, Harb said, and he hopes to have it open by Christmas.

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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.