Texas Roadhouse has been so successful in Wichita that the Louisville-based company is opening a second restaurant in Wichita, except this one will be a new concept.
Bubba’s 33 is going to open in Rockwood Plaza just north of the LongHorn Steakhouse at the northeast corner of Kellogg and Towne East Mall Drive.
Spokesman Travis Doster says the high-energy Bubba’s concept has “a little bit more flair, if you will,” than the average restaurant.
Bubba’s main menu is pizza, burgers and beer, though it has salads and other dishes as well.
“It’s got something for everybody,” Doster says.
Diners can watch their pizzas hand tossed, which he says “is kind of some theater for folks.”
The “33” in the restaurant’s name is for the 33-degree beer Bubba’s serves.
The 8,900-square-foot restaurant will have more TVs – more than 60 total – than tables.
Bubba’s isn’t a sports bar, though.
“It’s more of a sports restaurant,” Doster says.
Music videos also will regularly play.
“It’s pretty interesting to see kids especially looking at the videos,” Doster says. “It’s just a great vibe for the employees.”
Bubba’s will employ almost 200 people and be able to seat about that many as well.
The restaurant will have three sections – a dining area with booths, a bar area with garage doors and an area with seating for larger groups.
“We’re so different from a lot of our competitors,” Doster says. “Everything is from scratch.”
He says that’s also how it is with Texas Roadhouse, which opened on West Kellogg near Dugan in 2004.
“That is a phenomenal store,” Doster says.
He says that’s part of what led the company to select Wichita as its eighth market for Bubba’s.
“It just makes sense that you would go to markets that appreciate that kind of food quality.”
The company is eyeing a number of markets to expand Bubba’s, and Doster says part of why a given area is chosen is “which deal you can get done first.”
Christi Royse of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal for the Wichita space.
Amy Liebau, a spokeswoman for Rockwood developer Laham Development, says construction likely will start in September and be finished in February.
There’s one lot left at Rockwood after that.
“As we always say, we do market-driven plans, Liebau says. “Whatever the market tells us it should be, we’ll put there.”
She says it’s one of the busiest intersections in the city.
“We’re excited to figure out what the right user will be for that parcel.”
Though restaurant chains often open a west side site after opening east – or the other way around – Doster can’t say what will happen with Bubba’s.
“Let’s get our first one opened, and then we’ll figure that out.”
Sounds like there’s hope, though, with what Doster says are early expectations.
“We expect Wichita to be a great location for Bubba’s.”