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East-side Italian Garden to close; west restaurant will remain open

WICHITA — Ali Issa has decided to close the east-side Italian Garden at Kellogg and Webb, which has been open since 2000.

“The volume is down,” Issa says. “There’s no traffic. We don’t know where to get the people. You can’t go home and bring them from their homes.”

The Italian Garden at 21st and Tyler will remain open, and the east restaurant’s catering will move there. There’s been an Italian Garden on the west side since 1989, when it opened at Douglas and West.

Issa says the closure has nothing to do with his Heat Cigar and Hookah Lounge at 338 N. Rock, which he says is doing “phenomenal.”

There’s a chance Issa will bring back an east-side Italian Garden one day when the economy is better and he finds a new location.

Issa wants longtime east-side customers to know Italian Garden will be open through dinner Sunday and then close for good.

“I just want to give them a chance to say goodbye.”