By my count, at least 50 restaurants and food trucks have closed down through the first ten months of the year. During that same time frame, there have been around 100 restaurants and food trucks that opened. For every two restaurants that have opened, one restaurant has closed. It’s a 2:1 pace I don’t think Wichita has seen before.
People have been asking what all restaurants have closed so far in 2021, so I did some research to compile a list of everyone who has. Here’s what I came up with:
An-Ex Bar N Grill – 6035 E. Harry
Nothing has been able to replicate the success the Annex Lounge had for sixty years. The An-Ex Bar N Grill gave it their best shot and was the first restaurant to participate in Food Bingo ICT which was an effort to promote local dining. But after less than a year, the An-Ex Bar N Grill closed down.
Aria Bakery – 6476 E. Central
After two years in business, the family announced they were needing to move and tried to find someone to purchase their bakery. But after unsuccessfully trying to find someone, they had to close.
Beautiful Day Cafe – 2516 E. Central
They served real, organic, delicious, nutrient dense food to the people of Wichita. Beautiful Day Cafe was one of the first places in town to focus exclusively on healthier meals. Unfortunately, after facing similar issues all restaurants in the industry had to go through, they made the decision to close.
Big Dog Shack – 2265 S. Greenwich Road
The little-known restaurant and market specialized in hot dogs, brats and Italian sausage and sat inside an antique store that closed early into the year.
Birney’s Snack Shop – 152 N. Cleveland
It opened back in 2019 and was a locally sourced snack shop to grab-and-go or sip-and-shop. They offered DIY toast bar, breakfast tacos, coffee, tea, beer and specialty drinks, kombucha and more. Be on the lookout though for Viola’s Pantry who will take the space over.
Birrieria “La Nieta De Villa” – 2959 S. Hillside
The Mexican restaurant closed in April and was soon replaced by Azul 21 Mexican Restaurant. If you were a fan of Birrieria “La Nieta De Villa”, their other location is still open at 2247 N. Broadway.
Bocco Deli – 3010 E. Central
Citing issues beyond their control, one of my top five favorite sandwich shops in Wichita had to close in July.
Boss Hogs BBQ – 2224 N A St, Wellington, KS
The Wellington, KS BBQ restaurant announced they were closing for good in August. Fortunately for Boss Hog’s fans, there’s still another Boss Hog’s locations just thirty minutes away in Winfield, KS.
Broadway Mart-N-Diner – 1815 S. Broadway
They served as a diner and convenience store. It was a short-lived run for the restaurant that opened at the start of 2021.
California Tortilla – 2244 N. Greenwich Road
The counter-serve chain for made-to-order burritos, quesadillas & other California-style Mexican fare opened in 2020. Rumors are saying someone could end up taking over the franchise to reopen it.
Chef’s Table Roadhouse – 353 S. Rock Road
The restaurant opened in the middle of COVID-19 in 2020 and was an extension of the popular Winfield restaurant, Chef’s Table. It was a very short run for the restaurant. The space will soon be taken over by Hook & Reel.
Chicago Donuts – 3233 E Harry St.
The donut shop near All Saints Church quietly closed down earlier this year without much notice.
Chiru’s Mexican Food – 9310 W Central Ave
The revolving door of Mexican restaurants at 9310 took its latest turn when Chiru’s closed and El Ricardo’s Mexican Restaurant took over.
Churn & Burn – 11414 E Central Ave
The ice cream and coffee shop is known for its nitrogen-infused ice cream and coffee closed one of their two locations. The original space at 548 S. Oliver still remains open.
DeFazio’s – 2706 N. Amidon
Probably one of the biggest shockers of 2021, Pete Defazio cited issues with staffing and declining health problems and with that, the decision was made to retire and close the restaurant.
DR. Tawook – Food Truck
The Mediterranean food truck served as an online and delivery service and had to close after less than a year in business. They started out with a short menu of three items: Tawook, Falafel and nuggets. No explanation was given for the sudden closure, but I believe owners moved out of Wichita.
Egg Roll King – 1321 W. Douglas
After twenty years in business, Delano’s popular restaurant had to close after owners made the decision to retire.
El Patron Mexican Restaurant – 4600 W. Kellogg
The Mexican restaurant had been open for a little over a year but shut down this spring. They join the likes of places like Pizza Mia’s and Greek Plus who are part of the mall’s history books.
El Rincon Mexican Restaurant – 11309 E Kellogg Ave Suite 200
Owners originally temporarily closed the restaurant due to COVID-19, but the decision was then made to not reopen. They’ve since been replaced by Tianluo Bistro.
El Taquero Mexican Fast Food Restaurant – 1451 N. Broadway
El Taquero opened in March 2021, but had to close after six months. The owners used to own the Lina’s Mexican Restaurant space at 4910 E. Central before deciding to get out of the franchise agreement and starting their own restaurant.
Espresso Self – Food Truck
After four years in business, Espresso Self made the decision to close. They were a popular mainstay at food trucks all over town. For me, nothing will ever beat their Brazilian limeade.
Fred & Barney’s – 2424 N. Woodlawn
The casual restaurant with an upscale feel opened in 2020 but was forced to close this fall after less than a year in business.
HeBrews Cafe and Coffeehouse – 304 Main St, Towanda, KS
While the building will remain open to host special events be available for groups, the kitchen side of the business will cease operations effectively immediately.
The Hot Pl8 – Food Truck
Owners, who started their food truck here in 2019, moved to Texas and with that, the Filipino food truck was gone from Wichita.
Jack’s Coffee Shop – 6154 S. Hydraulic
Between medical issues, the pandemic, and the struggles of being a small business owner, one of Wichita’s most classic hole-in-the-wall restaurants closed this summer. The owner did reach out to me soon after saying she was hoping to reopen, but I haven’t heard otherwise yet.
Just Simply Shonda – Mobile-Based Business
The soul food spot originally opened as a restaurant, which was taken over by Chicken Chicken. Owners then tried with their home-based mobile business before moving out of Wichita.
Kind Kravings – Food Truck
They served sustainable, cruelty-free, plant based home cooking for years in Wichita. But after the 2020 food truck season, owners decided to move their focus elsewhere, that they made known in a Facebook statement.
Las Fuentes Mexican Restaurant – 1313 N. Rose Hill Road
Due to the ever-changing market, owners said they could no longer afford to stay open. This one leaves Rose Hill with a big void for a sit-down Mexican restaurant.
Lilikoi Asian Bistro – 12111 W. Maple
It was during a difficult time that had the Pacific Rim / Asian Fusion restaurant open and close multiple times through 2021 due to staffing issues. Finding reliable help was a constant issue for the restaurant who closed after 8 months.
Lizard Lounge – 330 S. Greenwich Road
The bar opened and closed and open and closed until being taken over by Mortdecai’s Tavern and Eatery.
LoLo’s Crepes – Food Truck
Crepes has had a tough go in Wichita. Keeper of the Crepes closed last year and then this year, the only dedicated crepes food truck in town that opened in 2016 announced they were closing.
Marina’s Mexican Seafood – 3090 W. 13th St.
It was a short-lived run for the restaurant that took over in a shopping center that hasn’t garnered much success for restaurants after Byblos closed in 2017.
Nancy’s A-Maize-N Sandwiches – 5125 N. Maize
Their brick and mortar location closed this fall, that doesn’t spell the end for Nancy’s. The creator of the Famous #8 will still be available at The Cotillion, where Nancy’s serves their popular sandwiches. They’ll also be available for catering.
Nippon Japanese Grill – 4041 N. Maize Road
The quick-service Japanese steakhouse that offered hibachi food at an affordable price closed with in August, but will soon be taken over by Mr. Miyagi Japanese Restaurant.
Noble House Hawaiian Restaurant – 3031 E. Central Ave
After starting as a food truck, Noble House made quite the splash with their Hawaiian food on the local scene. But as of August, both the restaurant and food truck closed.
Next Level Cafe – 3802 E. Harry
Due to medical issues and shortages, the Thai restaurant closed for good. The space now holds the recently reopened Sorrel’s Jamaican Food restaurant.
Oh My Sushi – 6339 W. Kellogg Drive
The Japanese restaurant, who opened in 2020, had to close due to multiple factors. It was a tough go for this one that already started behind the eight-ball with a tough location.
Rockin’ Billy Goat – 925 W. Douglas
Delano got itself a new rockabilly bar in 2020. After less than a year though, the decision was made to close. Rumors were rampant that new owners would take over and reopen, but I haven’t heard if that was still the case.
Pizza Kwik – Food Truck
The food truck arrived in 2020 with their food truck reviving one of the most popular pizza restaurants in Jefferson City, MO. For months, the truck would travel back and forth between Wichita, KS and Jefferson City, MO. Due to a job change, the family was forced to move to Missouri permanently.
Senor Munchies – 1052 N. Waco
The Latino-inspired candy shop made the decision to close in July. They offered an assortment of different candies, nuts and gifts.
Shake Workz – 7700 E Kellogg Dr.
Inside Towne East Square, they sold monster-sized milkshakes that were visually appealing, but things just never took off, possibly due to the $13 pricetag that Wichitans weren’t ready for. This one made it to roughly the four month mark before closing.
Shawarma Restaurant – 2020 N. Woodlawn
They replaced Zaytun Bistro who closed at Brittany Center in 2019. They were dealt a bad hand when they opened right before the pandemic started. They served an all-you-can-eat buffet, but then Covid-19 changed everything.
Shot Time II – 3398 Exposition S
The south side bar quietly closed this fall. They are listed as temporarily closed, but some sources are telling me it could very well be permanent.
Sweet House – 701 E. Douglas
Union Station hasn’t fared well with keeping restaurants for long periods of time. Sweet House, who specialized in a Hong Kong treat called bubble waffles, opened in the summer of 2021 but closed at the beginning of fall.
Taco Pronto – 7333 W Central Ave
In September, a sign was posted to their door noting they have closed for good, but to visit the other location at 8385 W 21st St. Earlier in September, the central location was closed with a note citing lack of staff.
Tacos El Rey – 2943 S. Hillside
Owners made the decision to close Tacos El Rey after an opportunity arrived for them to open another restaurant at 917 W Douglas called Cafe Xpress.
Talliano’s Pizzeria – 408 N. Baltimore, Derby, KS
After 27 years in business, Derby’s popular pizza buffet closed for good. They would later be replaced by Gambino’s Pizza.
Town & Country Restaurant – 4702 W. Kellogg
New owners tried to revive one of Wichita’s most classic diners, but couldn’t make it after less than a year in business. There’s a Town & Country Classic at 10510 W. Southwest Blvd that is still open under new management.
Vicky’s Restaurant & Tienda Mexicana – 330 S. Greenwich Road
The restaurant closed around the same time as the opening of Ricos Elote Y Mas at Towne East Square which they also own. Whether that was related has never been confirmed, but not all is lost for the 330 S. Greenwich Road space. Angela’s Cafe recently reopened there.
Walt’s Klassic – 2420 S. Oliver
Following the death of the owner of Walt’s Klassic, the restaurant was forced to close. The Walt’s at Pawnee and Oliver was separately owned to the Walt’s Klassic near Kellogg and Tyler, Walt’s East or the Walt’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers on West Central, who all remain open.