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Saddle Ranch sets timetable to open

Wednesday, January 10 2007 12:00 AM
WateWalk's first restaurant will have built-in attractions that draw out the dining experience.

By Bill Wilson
The Wichita Eagle

Officials with the Los Angeles-based Saddle Ranch Chop House announced plans Tuesday to break ground in late spring or early summer on an 8,500-square-foot facility, the first destination restaurant in WaterWalk.

Larry Pollack, Saddle Ranch president, said he hopes to be open at Water and WaterWalk Place late this year or in early 2008. The Eagle reported in August that Saddle Ranch had signed a lease at WaterWalk.

"We're not going to be your average restaurant where you're in and out," Pollack said. "We're a restaurant where you come in to stay for two and a half or three hours.

"People will come in for cocktails and appetizers, have their breakfast, lunch or dinner, have cocktails and dessert and then hang around to watch people ride the mechanical bull."

The restaurant will serve three distinct crowds from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week, Pollack said -- early morning breakfast-goers, the business-lunch crowd and the afternoon and evening diners who want to watch music videos or sporting events on big-screens.

Saddle Ranch will offer a breakfast/brunch menu from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, Pollack said, before its focus turns to both early and late dinners.

Its signature dessert is the s'more, made by diners in outdoor pits.

Saddle Ranch will employ about 120 in a restaurant with a mechanical bull ring in the center, an oval bar and tables and booths surrounding all the activity.

The chain is growing rapidly, with restaurants already open in California and Kansas City, two opening before Wichita in Arizona and six more on the drawing board this decade.

"We came down to Wichita when we opened in Kansas City in the Legends development, and we were very excited by what we saw," Pollack said.

"We love the buildings of Wichita, the old-style architecture, and we think that with the offices, the shops and the condos, we will be an excellent partner."

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