Car dealer Brandon Steven is going into the restaurant business, but he says it’s not because he wants to.
“I was forced to, to get a fine-dining restaurant on the west side,” says Steven, who lives there.
He’s putting a high-end steak house at 6200 W. 21st St. where Calleigh’s 88 briefly was last year and Larry Bud’s, Brooklyn’s and Players were before that.
“It’s going to be extremely upscale,” Steven says. “You won’t recognize the restaurant when we get done with it.”
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Steven, a poker player who makes frequent trips to Las Vegas, has some longtime friends there – two brothers and their father – who are restaurant operators and will be partners on the new business with him.
“They’re moving to Wichita to do this deal,” he says. “They’re excited about Wichita.”
So is he, Steven says.
“I’m the biggest Wichita fan.”
He says it has long disappointed him, though, that he has to drive to the east side for what he feels is an upscale dining experience.
“The west side of Wichita deserves a fine-dining steak house … that we can be proud of.”
Steven thinks it’ll take about half a year to open.
“I don’t think I’m going to make Christmas, but I’m sure going to try.”
He says he’s chosen a name, but he’s enjoying teasing about it for now instead of revealing it.
“I’m really excited about the name.”
Though the restaurant will be a steak house, it will serve seafood and other dishes as well.
“We’re going to have a lot of seasonal specials,” Steven says.
“It’s pretty awesome. I’m pretty excited about it.”
He says plans are almost complete, and construction will begin shortly.
“In my opinion, it will be the nicest restaurant in Wichita,” Steven says.
Bradley Tidemann of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal for the leased space.
If this foray into the restaurant business goes well, Steven can’t say whether he’ll open more.
“Are you kidding me? I don’t know what I’m going to do when I wake up in the morning. How the hell am I going to answer that?”