For east-siders who have been patiently waiting, Le Monde Cafe finally is opening on their side of town.
Mohamad Krichati has owned the Le Monde Cafe & Deli at 602 N. West St. for 15 years.
For all those years, diners have requested that he open an east-side location. But Krichati already had a second job as an engineer at Cessna Aircraft . He was laid off in June, though, so he thought this is the time to open a second Le Monde.
He and business partner Imad Youssef will open in the former Nouvelle Cafe space at 3101 N. Rock Road.
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George Youssef (who is not related to Imad Youssef) closed his restaurant Jan. 1.
"I'm looking for a new adventure," George Youssef says.
He may reopen another restaurant, but for now his cafeteria work at the Independent School and a new baby are keeping him busy enough.
"It was too much for me," Youssef says.
The new Le Monde will feature the same menu as the west-side one, with a few additions, such as more fish.
There also will be a full bar. The west-side Le Monde does not serve alcohol.
Imad Youssef says he hopes to be open by Valentine's Day.
The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner seven days a week, though it may close earlier on Sundays.
Imad Youssef says he'll be putting in 18-hour days to make the new Le Monde a success, but he can't dedicate 24-hour days.
"I need six hours for my wife."
In other Youssef family news, Mediterranean Grill owner Youssef Youssef (who is Imad Youssef's brother) is planning a new bakery for Wichita.
"It's very good, and it's fresh, and it's lovely," Youssef says of his concept.
The business is still at least four months away, but Youssef already is looking to bring baking equipment from Beirut, where he has two bakeries.
Youssef plans to call his business the Baker . That's what his bakeries are called in Beirut, though they're in Arabic: Alkhabaz .
Youssef will use the English name here because when he used Arabic for his Kababji (formerly in Cambridge Market ), too many diners were confused by the name.
Youssef also is a past owner in Le Monde and Marbella Cafe .
He hasn't chosen where to put the Baker yet, but the east side is his preference.
"If we have to build a building, it's fine," Youssef says.
The Baker will serve a variety of items, including Arabic pie.
"It's like pizza without sauces," Youssef says.
In Beirut, he says, he sells 5,000 pies daily.
His bakeries are open 24 hours a day.
"I don't know if I can do 24 hours here," Youssef says.
But he thinks the business could be attractive to Wichitans.
"It's something different."
Yamasa No. 2
And in the final bit of restaurant news for today, Benny Liu is opening his second Yamasa Japanese Grill .
Liu's first is at 327 N. Hillside.
The new one, which will be open in about three months, will be at 407 E. Pawnee.
It will feature teppanyaki-style cuisine and sushi.
As Have You Heard? previously reported, Liu's family also is opening another Great Wall Chinese restaurant.
The new Great Wall, which is one of 12, is by the Dillons at 21st and Amidon and should be open by Monday or Tuesday.
You don't say
"We hauled around more red hatters than you could count!"
—Part of a New Year's e-mail from Unified Party Bus , which listed 2009 passengers by the numbers (including 48 21st birthday parties, four 80th birthday parties, 80 bachelor and 74 bachelorette parties and 212 Christmas light tours in addition to the Red Hat Society ladies)