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BenchWarmers Tavern & Grill to open in former Highlands Gastropub space

WICHITA — The almost 7,500-square-foot building at 3731 N. Rock Road has been home to several restaurants in recent years.

Highlands Gastropub and Cardroom was the most recent short-lived tenant. Serengeti Grill was briefly there before that, and Black Canyon Grille had a longer existence there before that.

Now, BenchWarmers Tavern & Grill, an upscale sports bar, has a 10-year lease on the space.

"We're very serious and plan on being there a long time," says Pamela Tauman, marketing manager and department head for the Erie, Co.-based BenchWarmers International. "It's a great spot."

Nathan Farha of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group represented BenchWarmers in the deal.

BenchWarmers is looking for a second Wichita site but doesn't have it finalized yet.

The first BenchWarmers opened in Aurora, Co., near Denver in January. The company is in a huge growth mode, though.

After a planned opening in Centennial, Co., on July 8, BenchWarmers plans to open a new site every other week for a year.

"They just feel very confident about their business plan and about the model we have in place," Tauman says. "Since they have the funds to make it happen at that rate, they're just ready to go.

"They're very eager to make their mark."