Doo-Dah deux

Second location opening this month

Written by Amy Palser

A beloved Wichita breakfast spot is expanding its current location, while simultaneously opening a brand new one — and the owners are hoping that will mean shorter wait times for customers lined up for their gourmet diner food.

Since opening six years ago, Doo-Dah Diner has become a favorite of locals and out-of-town guests alike, including the men’s Wichita State University basketball team and ESPN broadcasters, who regularly give television shout-outs to the Wichita diner. It’s not uncommon for customers to experience long waits on the weekends (although that can be avoided by calling ahead or using the waitlist feature on the Yelp app).

The owners, Patrick and Timirie Shibley, needed to address their space shortage and give their aging building a serious makeover. But they didn’t want a lengthy remodeling process to rob their loyal customers of the hearty meals on which they’ve come to depend. So, while the location at 206 E. Kellogg is closed for a five-month renovation, The Shibleys will be opening a new location, just seven minutes east of the original diner.

“It’s exciting that by June 1 we will have two Doo-Dah Diners in Wichita with seating for 150,” Timirie said.

The new Doo-Dah will be in an existing restaurant building at Harry and Webb that needs very little work, and is scheduled to open Jan. 9. Their current staff will move to the new location, making for a seamless transition. “It’s turnkey pretty much,” Timirie said, “other than the murals of dancing milkshakes and hotdogs! And as soon as the weather permits, those will be disappearing.”

The new location will seat 150 and offers a private dining space, as well as patio seating in the summer. While Doo-Dah has always been closed on Mondays, the new location will be open seven days a week beginning in February. The Shibleys plan to keep the east location open, even after the downtown location reopens this summer. “Our east Wichita landlord has given us the ability to leave after one year if it’s not meeting our expectations and our customers’ expectations,” Timirie said. “This is a great opportunity for us to connect with new customers out east.”

As for the downtown diner, it will get a new and expanded kitchen, new restrooms, and a complete redistribution of space, increasing seating from 91 to 150. Those familiar with the popular breakfast counter and Shocker booth will be happy to know both will remain with minor modifications. “It’s important to us to maintain the open kitchen and the breakfast counter, which have become synonymous with Doo-Dah,” Timirie said.

The Shibleys are purchasing the building on Kellogg, originally constructed in 1968 as a Radio Shack and Tandy Leather. “It was not designed to be a restaurant. We’ve broken it in every way, shape and form,” Timirie said. “It’s been very costly keeping up all the repairs. But neither Patrick nor I could wrap our heads around leaving downtown. We love downtown.”

The Doo-Dah Market, adjacent to the downtown diner, will remain open during the remodel. The market sells Doo-Dah meals that can be taken home and reheated and Doo-Dah goodies like homemade cookies, buns and biscuits. The market also sells Wichita-themed gifts and Kansas-made foods.

“Truly, with us having opened with nothing, it has been an amazing first chapter. Our guests sharing their love for the diner has put us in the position we are today, and we are incredibly grateful,” Timirie said. “With these two bold moves, we hope to keep our old friends and make new friends. Hopefully our ESPN friends will find us at our east location this season!”

 
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