Carrie Rengers

Hibachi Boy to open on east side this month and west side within about a year

The owners of Hibachi Boy in Derby are preparing to open the concept in east Wichita later this month and have their eyes on west Wichita after that.

“A lot of customers from Wichita came to Derby,” says Roung Kumgool, who owns the business with her husband, Philip Sayavong.

Their next Hibachi Boy will open later this month at 601 S. Greenwich, which is in a strip center just south of the Green Lantern Car Wash at Kellogg and Greenwich.

Kumgool used to have Gindi Thai & Japanese Diner, which opened in the former Back Yard Burgers space at West 21st Street near Ridge Road in 2008. She then decided to open in Derby to appease customers there and on the east side. Kumgool opened Dawn Thai & Sushi Bar in the former Smashburger space at 1220 N. Rock Road in Derby in 2011.

“We got hit with the economic turndown in 2012,” she says. “We tried to survive.”

She says she and Sayavong each have experience with Japanese grills and decided to open a fast-food style grill. So Hibachi Boy replaced Dawn Thai.

“We still keep the originality … of Japanese grilled food,” Kumgool says. “It’s five-star flavor that won’t break your pocket.”

She says reasonable prices and freshly prepared food have helped the restaurant succeed.

Prices range from $7.95 to $14.95 on the all-day menu. In addition to grilled items, there also is a variety of sushi and noodles.

Kumgool says the new Wichita location is just a bit bigger than the one in Derby and can be configured to have a private meeting or party space. It also will have a drive-through.

There’s not an opening date yet, but Kumgool says it should be before the end of the month. She says she hopes to have the west-side site picked out and ready to go by late this year or early in 2016.

“I’m trying to take it slowly.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

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