Prickly Pear to become Jose Pepper’s

A downtown Salina restaurant and bar will soon undergo major changes. The Prickly Pear Grill & Cantina, a Tex-Mex eating and entertainment venue which opened in August 2022, will be transitioning to a new ownership group and concept, Jose Pepper’s.  The change is expected to be complete by this fall. 

“As downtown Salina continues its revitalization, we are thrilled to announce this property occupied by The Prickly Pear Grill & Cantina will be converting to another great concept of Jose Pepper’s opening later this year,” said Guy Walker, a member representing Salina 2020, and President of Blue Beacon, Inc. “We are fortunate to have a seamless shift from one trusted ownership group to another in this pivotal part of downtown.”

“It has been a privilege to bring this historic property back to life and reinvigorate Campbell Plaza as a vibrant downtown attraction while operating The Pricky Pear Grill & Cantina,” said Tim Blake, co-founder of Prickly Pear Grill & Cantina and principal at Wheat State Hospitality. “Attracting a trusted concept like Jose Pepper’s is further testament to the sustained momentum of downtown Salina, as this shift will also enable Wheat State Hospitality to invest in other community projects.”

“We are excited to be in the Salina market, and the growth of the downtown area made this an ideal location,” said Ed Gieselman, founder of Jose Pepper’s. “With a strong customer demand for this type of dining experience, we look forward to providing a great atmosphere and serving this community.”

Wheat State Hospitality developed and extensively renovated the location at 123 S. Sante Fe Ave. beginning in 2020. Since 2022, it has operated Prickly Pear Grill and Cantina, a Tex-Mex restaurant with a first-of-its-kind concept in Salina. It offered a family-friendly environment with indoor and outdoor seating and frequent live music performed by popular regional acts.

“We are deeply appreciative of everything Wheat State Hospitality has done for this location by investing in its rebirth and adding vibrancy to Campbell Plaza and the downtown area, and we look forward to continuing this location’s popularity with Jose Pepper’s,” added Walker.

Prickly Pear’s last day of operations will be Saturday, July 13, 2024. The transition will commence shortly thereafter with minor remodeling and alterations to the floor plan.

Founded in the KC metro in 1988, this will be Jose Pepper’s twelfth location and the ninth in the state of Kansas. Known for “Tex Mex…Made Fresh,” it will mark the company’s first location in north-central Kansas.