Carrie Rengers

Finally, construction to start on the first new Church's Chicken

Mike Jizzini is going to start construction on his first Church's Chicken at 13th and Oliver in May, and the restaurant should open in August.
Mike Jizzini is going to start construction on his first Church's Chicken at 13th and Oliver in May, and the restaurant should open in August. Courtesy photo

UPDATED — For years — and years and years — the restaurant question readers asked with more regularity than anything else was, “When is Wichita going to get a Cheesecake Factory?”

However, since September when engineer Mike Jizzini told Have You Heard? he’s bringing Church’s Chicken back to the city, the most frequently asked question is, “When?”

Jizzini wondered that, too, when some environmental testing revealed his first site at 13th and Oliver would need some remediation.

There once was a gas station on the northwest corner in front of American Freight where he’s going to build the restaurant.

“Now everything is done,” Jizzini says.

He says his permitting with the city is complete, too, and construction should start in the first week of May.

“We have everything lined up.”

Still, he’s as disappointed as his potential customers that it has taken so long.

“It was supposed to be open by now.”

If the weather cooperates, the restaurant should open in August.

Jizzini has acquired land for a second Church’s at Broadway and Pawnee. Construction will probably start around January after the first Church’s is open a few months.

Somewhere along Harry is Jizzini’s next target. He plans to open six of the restaurants in the Wichita area in the next few years with the potential to do more after that.

There used to be several of the restaurants here before they all abruptly closed in late 2015.

Jizzini says the other buildings were older and not in great condition, and he wants the chain “to come back with a better image” in new buildings.

He has double master’s degrees in computer sciences, but Jizzini says he’s always been interested in the restaurant business because his family was in the business in his native Lebanon.

Also, Jizzini is simply a big fan of Church’s.

As he previously said, “The product is so good.”

Look for more information when construction starts and as it goes along.

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com.

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