Two brothers who are opening a new contemporary Italian restaurant in Wichita have finally found a location, and it’s quite apropos.
Jason Rickard and Jordan Rickard, who late last year announced plans to partner on a restaurant they’d call FioRito Ristorante, are taking over the spot at 3134 E. Douglas that Two Brothers BBQ and Burger Grill just vacated. Owners of that restaurant closed it on Jan. 4 after almost 12 years.
They’re planning a major renovation of the space — a onetime service station — but hope to open the restaurant in May.
“We liked the location,” Jason Rickard said of the space, which is on the northwest corner of Douglas and Hillside. “It’s right on the edge of a direction the city is growing in, and we think it will be very exciting to be part of that Douglas thoroughfare.”
FioRito will sit just across the street from old favorites like Harry’s Uptown and Margaritas Cantina and to the west of a growing area that has favorites like The Belmont, Ziggy’s, Vora, College Hill Deli and Dempsey’s Burger Pub.
Their menu will be “pasta forward” and the restaurant will be “fun and vibrant and maybe a little kitschy,” Jason said.
Initially, the brothers had planned to focus on four-course meals that were always changing, but Jason said this space lends itself more to a la carte pasta dishes and shareable plates. They’ll share a menu in the coming months.
The Rickard brothers grew up in Wichita and both graduated from East High School’s International Baccalaureate program.
Jordan helped Jeremy Wade open his Napoli Italian Eatery last year and recently left a job there as executive chef to focus on FioRito. He also worked at Greystone Restaurant in Wichita, and before that cooked his way across Denver at restaurants like Beat & Bottle, Frasca Food and Wine, and Linger. He’s also a culinary arts graduate of Johnson and Wales University in Denver.
Jason attended Northwestern University and earned a degree in political science. He was considering a career in law before he fell into cooking, too. The brothers worked together in Denver at Frasca, and Jason also had jobs at Denver restaurants like Beckon and Safta.
Both brothers found their way back to Wichita over the past several years. Jason returned first, helping Carlos Vera get Taco Locale off the ground. In 2020, he also worked as executive chef at YaYa’s Eurobistro. Jordan returned next, taking a job as executive chef at Greystone then moving on to Napoli.
Those who want to get a feel for the Rickard brothers cooking can attend the next Chef’s Collective dinner at Odd Fellow Hall, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Jan. 29.
Jason and Jordan will be the guest chefs at the event and are planning a menu that includes eight courses with cocktail pairings and live entertainment from Sage Judd & Co. Tickets are $175 apiece at oddfellowhall.com.
One other fun piece of trivia: The landlords for the Two Brothers building that the Rickard brothers are leasing are themselves two brothers: Bryndon and Ryan Moussavi.
I’ll keep you posted as the restaurant’s construction progresses.