Dining With Denise Neil

Don’s Restaurant will close on Sunday after 45 years in business

A reviewer on Yelp.com posted this photo of the former sign in front of Don’s Restaurant as it appeared in 2011.
A reviewer on Yelp.com posted this photo of the former sign in front of Don’s Restaurant as it appeared in 2011. Courtesy of Yelp.com

Another longtime Wichita restaurant is going away.

Don’s Restaurant at 1546 S. Broadway will close on Sunday after 45 years in business. The diner is owned by John Lee, who also has The Beacon downtown. I have several calls into him but have not heard back yet.

Don’s specializes in breakfast and is famous for its biscuits and gravy and home cooking dishes like chicken fried steak and burgers. A waitress who answered the phone said the reason for closing was “not enough business.”

A sign posted on the door and signed by Lee reads:

“Don’s Restaurant has proudly served the Wichita area for over 45 years now. During those years, we have seen vast growth within our city, as well ups and downs within our neighborhood. Through the good and bad, two things have remain unchanged: Great vendors, and even greater customers. Though we would love to continue serving our great city, we have, with heavy hearts, decided to finally close its doors. Effective Sunday, December 14th, 2014, we will serve our customers one last time. We would like to thank you for all the support and friendship you have given us over the years, and we sincerely wish you the best in all your future endeavors.”

The restaurant was opened by Don Colier in the late 1960s. Through the years, it was owned by Al Harris and Joseph R. LaFever.

Don’s will be open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

It hasn’t been a good year for older restaurants on Broadway. In October, Doc’s Steak House at 1515 N. Broadway also closed after 62 years in business.

I’ll update this post if I hear back from Lee.

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