Scratch cooking and ‘insanely cool bar area’ on tap at Jax

Written by Kim Dugger Attwater

When it comes to the food at Jax Restaurant & Bar, owner John Arnold says, numbers tell the story.

“I have 485 ingredients that go into 109 recipes to make 27 menu items,” Arnold said. “That’s what a real scratch kitchen is.”

The east-side establishment opened last fall in the former Greystone, after walls were knocked out to open up the main dining room. The result is a high-energy space fitted with plenty of big-screen TVs to let patrons keep up with their favorite sports teams, partner Lauren Irwin said.

“We just want to be a local presence and have really great food and an insanely cool bar area,” Irwin said.

Jax’s menu starts with a number of enticing appetizers. Lobster Cargot consists of lobster topped with garlic butter and Havarti cheese, run under a broiler and served with toasted bread. If you liked the Shrimp Cargot Arnold used to serve during his days at Redrock Canyon Grill, you’ll love this. Toast is also served with small plates of house-made pimento cheese and tenderloin tips in red wine sauce. The top-selling starter so far is spicy calamari, flash-fried and served with mango sauce and habanero aioli.

Salads range from a House Wedge topped with blue cheese crumbles and bacon to main course salads topped with Thai-style chicken or steak. If soup is your thing, a bowl of French Onion topped with melted cheese will do the trick.

Entrees include burgers, steaks, seafood, chicken, pasta and another treat for fans of Arnold’s days running Redrock Canyon Grill: John “B” Good Chicken Enchiladas. Arnold said he’d resisted putting it on the menus of his later restaurants so long as it remained on the Redrock menu. “But they took my name off it, and it’s mine, so … ”

There’s a kids menu and a selection of desserts to finish off any kind of evening, including the Oreo cookie-inspired cake, aptly named “Chocolate Happiness.”

Jax serves brunch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. Happy Hour specials start each day at 4 p.m. with half-price drinks and “stuff that’s on the regular menu,” Arnold said. Thursday’s Happy Hour runs all day. Private rooms and patio seating are available.

Jax is the latest creation of Arnold, who also owns Oak & Pie, Deano's Grill & Tapworks, and Stearman Field Bar & Grill in Benton. He sees Jax fitting nicely into the lineup.

“I would say that we have the family place in Oak & Pie, we have kind of an outdoor celebration place at Stearman, we have a local celebrity sports bar at Deano’s, and we have a casual, higher-energy date night place at Jax. We just try to please our neighbors.”

Jax Restaurant & Bar
9719 E. 21st St. N.
Wichita, KS 67206

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