Three years after opening Mooyah on West Street, franchisee Anthony Powell has closed the business but is reopening his own concept in the same space.
Cowtown Burger & Brew, at 352 S. West St., will have two chief differences from Mooyah: beer and a drive-through.
“We have a very loyal fan base, and I just think it will be improved with a drive-through and beer,” Powell says.
He says the head of Mooyah came to Wichita to visit with him.
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“I said, ‘Well, I’m doing OK, but there’s certain things about the Wichita market that I think could help us,’ ” Powell says.
For sporting events, he says, “It’s hard for us to compete without alcohol.”
Also, Powell says, “If you look on West Street, West Street is surrounded by drive-throughs.”
Those aren’t things Mooyah regularly offers.
Powell says the transition could have been more difficult with another chain.
“Mooyah was incredibly gracious.”
The restaurant closed early on Sunday and will reopen Tuesday, though it won’t immediately have alcohol. That will be on the menu around Feb. 10.
“I’ve been naive about a lot of things in my life, and you can add that to the list,” Powell says of getting a liquor license. “I was just down at City Hall today for, like, the tenth time. It’s an incredibly intricate process.”
Mooyah is known for customizing burgers, Powell says, and he’ll still offer some of that along with more localized burgers, such as the Century II double burger and the East- and West-Siders.
He says Cowtown will honor all Mooyah Groupons and will have fries and shakes as Mooyah did and add chicken sandwiches.
Powell says east-siders have been asking him to bring a Mooyah their way for a long time. That’s not going to happen, but he says a second Cowtown is a possibility.
“I’m going to see how this goes.”