Carrie Rengers

Church’s Chicken to return to Wichita with six restaurants

This rendering shows what the new Church’s Chicken restaurant on U.S. 550 in Bernalillo will look like when complete. rrayburn@abqjournal.com Wed Aug 13 11:45:20 -0600 2014 1407951920 FILENAME: 176590.jpg
This rendering shows what the new Church’s Chicken restaurant on U.S. 550 in Bernalillo will look like when complete. rrayburn@abqjournal.com Wed Aug 13 11:45:20 -0600 2014 1407951920 FILENAME: 176590.jpg

Church’s Chicken is returning to Wichita.

Engineer Mike Jizzini plans to open six of the restaurants in the area in the next few years with the potential to do more after that.

Jizzini is a longtime fan of Church’s fried chicken.

“The product is so good,” he says.

There used to be several of the restaurants here.

“I always wondered, when are they going to remodel?” Jizzini says.

Then they all abruptly closed in late 2015.

Jizzini says he saw an opportunity to not only open new Church’s restaurants but also carry on a family tradition.

“My family owned restaurant businesses back home,” he says of Lebanon.

Jizzini moved to Wichita seven years ago.

He has double master’s degrees in computer sciences, but Jizzini says he’s always been interested in the restaurant business “just because of my family history.”

Each of the Church’s restaurants Jizzini plans will be in new buildings. He says the other buildings were older and not in great condition, and he wants the chain “to come back with a better image.”

Jizzini has franchise rights for the Wichita area, Salina and Hutchinson.

“We are targeting Wichita first,” he says.

Plans are at the city now for a Church’s at the northwest corner of 13th and Oliver in the parking lot in front of where American Freight opened earlier this year. The restaurant will face the former QuikTrip on the northeast corner.

“We felt like this neighborhood would like us to come over,” Jizzini says. “It’s a big neighborhood that there is nobody taking care of. We’re just going to step in.”

The restaurant will open early in the new year.

Jizzini also is looking around 21st and Amidon, Harry and Hillside or between Hillside and Oliver, West Street between Douglas and Central and possibly the Pawnee and Seneca area.

Look for information on additional sites as Jizzini makes new deals.

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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