Pat and Sheri Knolla are about to make a lot of people very happy.
The couple, who have the Knolla’s Pizza near 13th and West streets, are expanding to have more seating. They’re taking the former Golden Bay space, which once was Mama-Sans Japanese Restaurant.
“With this additional space, we should be able to seat somewhere around 30, 35 people,” Pat Knolla says.
Currently, this Knolla’s is mostly carryout and delivery with only six seats.
“We have so many people ask us,” Knolla says of additional seating.
It’s never been something he’s wanted, though.
“I know the trials and tribulations that go along with dine-in restaurants,” Knolla says. “I didn’t want to deal with the various sundry problems that go along with that.”
He knows he’s missing out on business, though.
“It’s hard telling what we don’t garner there that we probably would if we had more seating.”
Knolla says he has a lot of good employees telling him how much customers want this.
“I think it will help us out, too.”
The Knollas opened the restaurant near Central and Oliver in 1988 and have had it at this space since 1995. The additional space should be ready by November.
There are three other Knolla’s Pizza places around Wichita that other family members own.
Knolla says his daughter, Darinda Knolla, and brother, Steve Knolla, are also considering expanding their 8-year-old Knolla’s Pizza at Central and Rock Road.
“We need it,” Darinda Knolla says.
She says at busy times, there aren’t enough seats for customers. Knolla says she wants to expand her catering and delivery, too.
Currently, the restaurant is in 2,400 square feet in a center on the northwest corner of the intersection. Knolla says she’s about 98 percent certain she’s going to take another 1,200 square feet next door.
“Business is really good, and we have great customers,” she says.
Knolla says she and her uncle have discussed a second location as well. In places such as Derby and Andover, she says, there are “lots of people who want Knolla’s.”
She says they’re open to considering other areas, but expansion of their existing restaurant is the top priority.
“This is where we’d want to go first.”