The crop of new restaurants planned for Wichita this year include several second locations of already popular eateries, some new ethnic cuisine options and a whole bunch of breweries.
Here is a roundup of many of the places expected to open this year, along with their projected opening dates. But mark them down in pencil. If restaurants are known for anything, it’s opening later than they planned.
Burn Out Bar and Grill, 1021 W. Maple: This new business is scheduled to have its grand opening on Jan. 23. It will be in the spot at the corner of Seneca and Maple recently vacated by Raven’s Room and Pour House before that. Owner Crystal Wynia says she’ll have a full bar, bottled beers and a menu filled with bar food favorites including burgers, wings and hand-battered chicken fingers. She’ll also have daily specials such as tacos and pork chops. For the first several weeks, the business will be open from 3 p.m. to midnight Mondays through Thursdays and from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Eventually, it will add afternoon and Sunday hours. For more information, call 316-644-9729.
District Taqueria, 917 E. Douglas: After several delays, Michael Farha is almost ready to open his downtown “urban taco bar” and says he’s aiming for late January or early February. Once open, it’ll serve tacos from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. It’ll stay open for drinks until midnight Mondays through Wednesdays and until 2 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.
Jimmy John’s, 7325 W. Taft: Wichita’s fifth Jimmy John’s is set to open sometime in February at 7325 W. Taft, in the same strip center near Ridge and Kellogg that Twin Peaks and Wingstop opened in late last year.
Sweet Basil, 2424 N. Woodlawn: The long, long wait for the new-and-improved Sweet Basil is almost over. The Italian restaurant, which closed after a fire in April, has been undergoing extensive remodeling, said owner Charli Singh, but it should be ready to reopen by late February. When it does, it will have a new full-service patio, a bar and a new look.
Sunflower Espresso: Kate Clause’s new bright red espresso truck is almost complete, and she plans to have it on the streets by February or March, she said. Clause, who also works as the on-air host of “Morning Edition” on KMUW, will start out parking near local businesses and at charity events. She’ll use locally sourced beans to make lattes, mocha, espressos, cappuccinos, drip coffee, seasonal drinks and more. Clause said she has plans to partner with local bakeries and doughnut shops to offer breakfast items as well.
Bricktown Brewery, 2142 N. Tyler Road: This Oklahoma City-based brewery plans to open a Wichita restaurant in the former Chapada Chophouse & Churrascaria space at the corner of 21st and Tyler. It will serve Bricktown’s own beer as well as several other local craft beers. It also will offer burgers, pizzas and more and will be open daily for lunch and dinner. Owners have said they plan to open the restaurant in late February and are considering adding more locations in Wichita.
Molino’s, 7817 E. 37th St. North: Mario Quiroz’s popular contemporary Mexican restaurant at 1064 N. Waco is getting an east-side location this year. He plans to have his new Molino’s open in the former Linkhaus space by mid-March or earlier. The new restaurant will have the same menu as the original, including the popular piratas, street tacos, cochinita pibil meat and a variety of salsas.
Qdoba Mexican Grill, 430 N. Rock Road: This build-your-own burrito chain is opening its first Wichita restaurant in the former Yen Ching space, and franchisee Eric Estes is aiming for a March opening. Qdoba serves customizable burritos, tacos, nachos, quesadillas and more.
Barroco Mexican Grill, 2330 N. Maize Road: Alberto Lopez and some partners are aiming for a March opening date for their new Mexican restaurant, which will be in the former Kobe Steak House of Japan space at 2330 N. Maize Road.
Monroe Coffee Roasters, Douglas and Hillside: Coffee lovers Amanda and Benjamin Spell are opening Monroe Coffee Roasters, a shop that will specialize in coffee drinks and also will serve breakfast and lunch. They’re aiming for late March or early April. The shop will be in the Dockum building, and the Spells will be roasting their own coffee beans. Tea and cocktails also will be on the menu.
Jinji Korean Grill and Bar, 216 N. Washington: This Korean restaurant, owned by the same people who have the downtown and east-side Wasabi Japanese restaurants, should be open sometime in March, right next door to Joe’s Old Town Bar and Grill. It will offer Korean barbecue that diners can cook themselves with small grills at their tables and a menu that also includes noodle and rice dishes.
Rita’s Italian Ice, Douglas and Ida: Wichita’s second Rita’s should open by the end of March or early April next to the Five Guys downtown at 1025 E. Douglas. The first Rita’s opened in March 2014 next to the Five Guys at 2929 N. Rock Road. It specializes in East Coast-style Italian ice and custard. Jeff and Jay Miller are the franchisees for all of Wichita’s Rita’s and Five Guys.
Wichita Brewing Co. & Pizzeria, 535 N. Woodlawn: The east-side location of this popular restaurant and brewery should open in early April in the former Kyoto Steak House of Japan space near Central and Woodlawn, said co-owner Jeremy Horn. The east-side location will offer the same beer and menu items as the original west-side restaurant, which opened in the summer of 2011 at 8815 W. 13th St., but owners likely will add some baked pastas and sandwiches to the menu.
Greystone, 9719 E. 21st St.: Local restaurateur John Arnold, who is a part-owner in Redrock Canyon Grill, originally wanted to have his upscale steak and seafood restaurant open this month, but it’s looking more like early April, he said. It’s going into the former Famous Dave’s building and will have a wine room in the middle of the restaurant, a full-service bar, private dining rooms and more.
Central Standard Brewing, 156 S. Greenwood: Andy Boyd and Ian Crane have started construction on their new brewery, which should open in April near Douglas and Hydraulic, Crane said. The focus of the business will be the beer brewed on-site, and initially, the duo will offer about six different beers. They’ll also have a menu offering meat and cheese platters, sandwiches and specials, though they’re still developing the menu. “We’re making artisan ales to pair with some artisan foods,” Crane said.
Cold Stone Creamery/ Rocky Mountain Express/LaMar’s Donuts Express: A new Cold Stone Creamery, Rocky Mountain Express and LaMar’s Donuts Express will bring sweetness to the strip center at Taft and Ridge that also has a new Wingstop and Twin Peaks (and the about-to-open Jimmy John’s). The combo business should be open in April.
Abuelo’s, Taft and Ridge Road: West-siders will no longer have to drive to wait for a table at the popular Abuelo’s, an upscale Mexican restaurant that opened in the Waterfront at 13th and Webb in 2004. Now, they can wait on their own side of town. The west-side Abuelo’s should be open by May but could be ready by late April in a new building just south of Panera Bread and Freddy’s Frozen Custard. The building will be about 8,000 square feet and will have a patio.
IHOP, 47th Street South and I-135: The Issa Group, which owns several Wichita restaurants, is planning a new IHOP in the Southfork development. It’ll be Wichita’s fourth. They hope to have it ready to go by late summer or early fall.
Starbucks, 8971 W. Central: Starbucks has confirmed that it plans to reopen in the building recently vacated by Chosen Wok sometime before the winter is over. Starbucks opened a shop in the space in 2008 but closed it two months later.
Subway, 37th Street North and Maize Road: A new Subway is planned for the Stonebridge development and will open sometime this year.