Carrie Rengers

Cracker Barrel chooses Wichita for its first Kansas restaurant in 20 years

Cracker Barrel confirms it is opening near where the Palace Theatre once was. Its address will be 619 S. Ridge Road.
Cracker Barrel confirms it is opening near where the Palace Theatre once was. Its address will be 619 S. Ridge Road. The Wichita Eagle/File photo

The long saga of whether Cracker Barrel is or is not coming to the Taft and Ridge Road area is over.

As the Tuesday e-mail from a representative of the Tennessee-based company said: "Today is the first time Cracker Barrel has confirmed this location."

The italics the company used to stress "first" are interesting.

Speculation first began about the chain around the time last summer when Have You Heard? reported that there was an application with the city to make some changes to the property where the Palace West theater sat. The application sought to change the configuration of the three parcels on which the theater sat in order to better suit them for possible future redevelopment.

The theater has since been demolished.

Then in January, Have You Heard? reported that the home-cooking chain was the likely intended user — or at least one of them — though the chain did not confirm it.

The 10,000-square-foot restaurant, which will include a front porch, likely will open in November. It will seat 180 and will hire more than 175 employees, including full-time and part-time positions.

This is the chain's fifth restaurant in Kansas and the first one it has opened in two decades.

Look for more information as it's available.

Construction crews demolish the Palace West theater. April 8, 2018, was Warren Palace 8 Theatre's last day in operation.

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