Dining With Denise Neil

Cortez Mexican Restaurant could close if business does not improve

Cortez Restaurant at 344 W. 29th St. N. serves a Mexican buffet on Wednesdays and Saturdays and on Thursdays at lunch.
Cortez Restaurant at 344 W. 29th St. N. serves a Mexican buffet on Wednesdays and Saturdays and on Thursdays at lunch. The Wichita Eagle

Another longtime Wichita restaurant is in trouble.

Cortez Mexican Restaurant at 344 W. 29th St. N. could close in the next few months if business does not improve, said owner Mary Cortez.

The restaurant has been in operation for nearly 30 years, opened in June 1985 by Mary and her husband, Enrique Cortez. Enrique is part of the family that started Felipe’s, and he worked in the local chain during his youth before deciding to venture out on his own.

Mary theorizes that the economy plus the explosion of restaurants on Wichita’s east and west sides as well as in Old Town has contributed to the restaurant’s troubles. She points to the decline of neighbor Doc’s Steak House, which closed in October after 62 years, and Don’s Restaurant, which closed in December after 45 years.

“People used to go to family-owned places,” she said. “Now they go to the big ones.”

Cortez is open for lunch and dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays and is closed on Sundays and Mondays. It serves a Mexican buffet all day Wednesdays and Saturdays and at lunch on Thursdays. For more information, call 316-832-0640.

I’ll keep you updated on what the Cortez family decides about the restaurant’s fate.

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