Carrie Rengers

Gabel’s Family Restaurant name is back in Wichita

Gabel’s Family Restaurant is back in business in Wichita.
Gabel’s Family Restaurant is back in business in Wichita. Courtesy photo

Gabel’s Family Restaurant, which first opened in 1989 near Harry and Emporia, is operating once more.

“We brought back our roots,” says Teresa Linker, who owns the business with her husband, Craig Gabel.

Most recently, the restaurant at 1215 W. Pawnee has been operating under the name Fireside Cafe.

“We moved locations several different times under several different names,” Linker says.

At one point, the couple took over Mike’s Steak House on South Broadway and did business under that name, but Linker says significant construction in the area “just kind of killed us off really.”

“We just really had a hard time.”

Also, she says, they concentrated more on high-dollar dishes such as steak and shrimp.

“We kind of had drifted away from doing quite so many homey foods.”

They’re now returning to more breakfast dishes, home-style meals and free dessert with lunch entrees.

“What we can do is provide a fabulous home-cooked meal,” Linker says.

Also, she says she and Gabel will have more presence in the restaurant.

Over the years, Linker says they lost parents and gained kids, which led to them not being at the restaurant as much.

“That kind of kept us from being in the forefront as much as we should have been,” she says.

“We’re back, we’re here, and we’re working seven days a week,” Linker says. “We’ve just decided that obviously the only way we’re going to make it is if one or the other of us … is here every single minute. That’s how you guarantee good customer service and great home-cooked food.”

In addition to changing the restaurant’s name, Linker says there’s more to come, such as painting and other improvements at the building.

“We’re making strides,” she says. “We’ve rededicated ourselves to it.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers