New Restaurants Revitalizing Old Buildings

- For sale signs at once vacant Wichita Falls restaurants are flipping as new businesses are taking over those locations.

Back Porch Draft House will soon open inside the old El Diablo Burrito building off Kell.

Dan Riley, owner of Back Porch Draft House, says, "The genesis behind it was just bringing number one craft beer and a good selection to the area."

Jeremy Pierce, manager of the restaurant, says, "Fresh ground, in-house burgers and fresh-cut fries. It's scratch cooking. It's back to real cooking. A lot of tricked out sandwiches that we put some twists on."

The original business opened in Lawton, where Riley grew up, about a year-and-a-half ago.

"And have had just wonderful business and have built a good clientele, and we wanted to come down here and do the same thing," Riley says. "This is a good spot. It's close to home. And there are good people down here that I think need a good option for dining."

Demrick Davis is another hometown man turned restaurateur.

Davis, who grew up in Wichita Falls, is the owner of 2011 Bistro, which opened up inside the former New Orleans Connection building on 7th St.

"I love the area, so it was a no-brainer," Davis says. "It's time to give back and to try to help downtown and Downtown Proud bring downtown back up."

Davis says opening his own restaurant was a lifelong dream, and when you visit, you'll enjoy tastier versions of some of your favorite foods.

"Just American cuisines. Just refined, refined food, like a buffalo bacon chicken sandwich," he says.

Other restaurants coming to the area include: the breakfast and lunch joint Jimmy's Egg that will soon occupy the old Atlanta Bread building off Midwestern Parkway; Pho Cafe, that's now open inside the old Quizno's location off Kemp; Pho Viet, which will soon open at Faith Village off Call Field; and, of course, Chipotle, which is going in off Midwestern Parkway and Gayle Avenue across from Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

Company officials say Chipotle is expected to open by the end of the year and Back Porch Draft House will open any day now.

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