Dining With Denise Neil

Doo-Dah Diner celebrates expansion, new chef, new menu, vacation

Patrick and Timirie Shibley at an official ribbon cutting on Wednesday for their Doo-Dah Diner expansion
Patrick and Timirie Shibley at an official ribbon cutting on Wednesday for their Doo-Dah Diner expansion The Wichita Eagle

There’s a lot of “do”at Doo-Dah Diner these days.

Not only have owners Patrick and Timirie Shibley opened their addition, which even half-done is making the Doo-Dah experience much more pleasant, but they’ve also hired a new chef, are about to revamp the menu and are planning a week-long vacation.

The Shibleys, who opened their breakfast and lunch spot at 206 E. Kellogg in 2012, have watched their restauarnt become one of the most popular breakfast destinations in Wichita. Waits on Saturdays and Sundays can be lengthy, and until recently, everyone waiting was either crammed uncomfortably into the front of the restaurant or lingering on the sidewalk outside.

On Wednesday, Doo-Dah had a ribbon cutting and party to celebrate its large new addition into the space next door, which doubles its square footage. The Shibleys haven’t added tables to the new space because its kitchen is already operating at its maximum capacity, Timirie said.

Instead, it’s using it as a place for people to wait more comfortably for their tables. So far, the space has worked well. The dining room is much less chaotic, the Shibleys report. But it has had one unintended effect: It’s taking longer for the restaurant to turn over tables because diners no longer can see the hungry people waiting and feel less pressure to finish up and go.

Eventually, the Shibleys hope to add more retail items to the space. They’re currently stocked up with Doo-Dah t-shirts and mugs but will eventually ad items including pancake syrup, chili sauce, pancake mixes and more.

Another thing that is making chef Patrick Shibley’s life easier: The addition of an old friend in the kitchen.

Chris Collier, who has worked a number of kitchens over the years including the Inn at Sedgwick, recently agreed to help Shibley out at Doo-Dah. He worked for her two decades ago at the Inn at Sedgwick.

That’s freeing Shibley up a bit to focus on updating the diner’s menu. He’s keeping all the favorites but is planning to add an entire Benedict section to the menu, including his popular special, crab cakes Benedict, and will also add a steak sandwich an egg white omelet and more. The new menu should be ready in about three weeks.

Finally, the Shibleys, who have been working nonstop since launching the diner, are planning to take a week off to travel with their teen-age daughters. The diner will be closed from Nov. 12 to Nov. 16.