Archive for Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bitler ‘looking’ at return to city

Gambino’s eyes move into Mo’s

March 21, 2007

Tonganoxie's restaurants continue to shuffle.

Earlier this month, Mo's Pizza closed after serving the Tonganoxie area for 18 years. About the same time, Bullfrog Bar and Grill closed.

The owners of Gambino's, Ryan Bowen and Aaron Bowen, plan to move their business from beside Conoco in the Stone Creek subdivision, into the former Mo's Pizza restaurant.

Now, former Tonganoxie restaurateur Neil Bitler said he and his wife, Joyce, were looking into the possibility of opening a restaurant in Tonganoxie once again.

"I'm looking," Bitler said Tuesday, "There's nothing final and I don't have any idea whether it will work out or not."

Bitler operated a restaurant in Tonganoxie from 1986 to 2000. That restaurant was on U.S. Highway 24-40 and Second Street, where Casey's is today.

Six years ago the Bitlers opened the Santa Fe Depot Diner in Leavenworth. While Bitler said business there was steady, he's interested in selling that business and relocating in Tonganoxie. Bitler said he's looked at existing properties and also at putting up a new building.

Meanwhile, brothers Ryan Bowen and Aaron Bowen, are planning a springtime move for their Gambino's pizza restaurant from Stone Creek to the former Mo's Pizza. The Bowens also own Gambino's in McLouth and Eudora.

Ryan Bowen said Tuesday he wasn't sure when they'd move into the former Mo's building, which is owned by Emmett and Marlo Wetta.

"We're shooting for May," Bowen said.

Bowen said he and his brother opened the Tonganoxie Gambino's in December 2003.

"It took about a year for it to take off and from there it did pretty well," Bowen said.

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