What is it about cheesesteak restaurants in Wichita?

It seems like the lifespan of a dedicated cheesesteak spot in town is not long at all. The latest hit comes to Pepperjax Grill. Their west side location has been marked as permanently closed and removed from their corporate website. People reported seeing the building being emptied out at 2626 N Maize Road.

This is the second Pepperjax Grill location to close with the first one being on north Rock Road. Four years ago, when the national chain arrived they had planned on 3-4 locations in Wichita. Now that number is back to zero.

It’s been a rough go for any dedicated cheesesteak restaurant in Wichita. Places like Philly Inc closed down citing lack of customers. Other places have also included WOW Cheesesteaks  that used to be where Tacos TJ 664 is now at. It’s still a toss up what is going on with T.O.P.S. Steaks and Hoagies. I have a gift card there and they have been unresponsive to messages and phone calls on whether they will return.

Is it because Wichita dislikes cheesesteaks or did these places not meet the standards of diners?

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  1. It’s because none of them can compare to Sub ‘n Stuff! They had the best cheesesteaks!

    Pepperjax was just ok. It was expensive and service was just adequate. A lot of other sandwiches lack flavor. They taste like beef with some undercooked peppers.

  2. The problem is, perceived economy of the cheese steak. It is 8.50 before upgrades. Customers want $5.00 foot longs. They dont understand a good cheese steak is made from shaved rib eye at the best joints and shaved sirloin at the cheaper ones. It says steak in the name, but so do the ones from the yellow and green arrow. I had a peppers and steak pizza on the menu I had to remove because my food cost were simply more than the local customer was willing to pay for the completed pizza. It takes time to develop good flavor in cheap ingredients, time cost money. Or you start with higher quality ingredients that take less time to develop flavor, but those also cost more money. This is why menus end up with 110 items that are all just OK. Until the local consumer stops thinking that local restaurants only pay $.99 a pound for hamburger when we pay $3.60 to $4.50, and sirloin is running us $4.50 to $9.00, with Ribye Running $8 to $21. Sorry run on sentence, The local food scene will always suffer.

  3. Pepperjax was amazing when they first opened. A little pricey, but worth it for a good Philly. However, the last few times I had gone, I can tell you that the reason they closed, is that the price didn’t change, but the amount of food you got for that price DRASTICALLY decreased. The last time I was in there, they literally put THREE pieces of mushroom, it was absolutely ridiculous. And while Joseph can say that the price for the meat may be higher, fries cost the same everywhere, and they WAY overcharged for fries and drinks. Just my opinion on it.


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