Carrie Rengers

Fireside Grille to open at Wichita Marriott (+video)

Before Ruffin Properties embarked on a $5 million renovation of most of the ground floor of the Wichita Marriott at 9100 Corporate Hills Drive in 2014, the hotel closed its Black Angus Grille.

With the renovation, the hotel opened a multipurpose Greatroom, a Marriott concept, which is a combination bar and restaurant and place for guests and others to simply hang out.

Since then, the former Black Angus space has been used for private events.

“We felt like it was underutilized,” says general manager Michelle Ruffin-Stein.

She says the Black Angus had a loyal following with locals who “just missed the steakhouse concept.”

Ruffin-Stein has decided to now open Fireside Grille in its place.

“We found that this would be the best idea for it.

She says she expects that like with the previous restaurant, Fireside will attract an equal mix of locals and guests who are staying at the 11-story, 294-room hotel.

The steakhouse menu will feature steaks from Creekstone Farms along with seafood and other dishes.

There’s also an official Marriott bourbon program that Fireside will offer that features flights so guests can try multiple bourbons.

The 1,100-square-foot space is an intimate setting with not quite 50 seats.

Ruffin-Stein says she views the restaurant as “a place where you can kind of just relax.”

Fireside will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

With the restaurant’s opening on Thursday, renovations are now complete at the hotel.

“With this, it’s a little bit more than $5 million,” Ruffin-Stein says of the investment.

Now, she’s budgeting and planning for the next round of renovations.

“Next, we will be doing the guest rooms.”

Ruffin-Stein says that means there’s no time to rest and enjoy the renovations that are already done.

“Not at all.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers