Balloon artist brings the fun to local restaurant kid nights

I took my daughter to Mooyah a few months ago for a burger, and we came home with a giant motorcycle, complete with wheels, handlebars and a blinking headlight, all made out of balloons.

That was the first time I’d seen the amazing work of Chris Conner, a local balloon artist whose creations are like intricate sculptures that kids, and parents, can’t believe they’re getting for free.

Conner’s talents are now on display weekly at local restaurants around Wichita — all of which make pretty delicious food for kids, too. We went to watch him in action on Monday night at Pacific Coast Pizza, and I made the above video.

This story about him will appear in Friday’s Go! section. Check his schedule and get your kids out for a night of Twisted fun soon.

Jetty’s, not Pacific Coast Pizza, will open next to arena

Businessman Mickey Lynch says he’s changed his mind about partnering with Pacific Coast Pizza at his under-construction bar and restaurant space at 222 S. Commerce, just north of Intrust Bank Arena and south of the old Spaghetti Works building.

The under-construction spot that will hold Walkers Bar and Venue and Jetty’s

Instead, he said, he’s enlisted his friend Greg Keenan, who developed the recipes for pizza restaurants such as Papa Keno’s in Lawrence, to help construct the pizza menu.

The pizza restaurant, which will be adjacent to and connected to Walkers Bar and Venue, will be called Jetty’s and will likely serve big slices of pizza plus a pizza buffet for the lunch crowd. Lynch also plans to offer activities for families in the evenings.

The adjoined businesses have an entrance where customers can access either one. Walkers will be more of an adult-focused, live music venue that also will have a bar-style menu.

Lynch and his partner, building owner Ryan Mills, hope to have both businesses open by Oct. 1.

I’ll keep you updated on developments.

Question of the week: Best chicken wings

A reader named John wrote me recently with this probing question:

“I was curious what is considered to be the best wing place in town? It would seem a pity if the only real choice is Buffalo Wild Wings. Are there no great local wing places?”

The bad news for John is that Wichita does not have too many places other than BWW that make wings their main focus. But Wichita does have several restaurants in town that make great wings in addition to their other offerings. I have been particularly impressed by the wings I’ve had at Pacific Coast Pizza and at Wichita Pizza Co.

Who else serves great wings? (Or, as is shown in the picture at right, great drumsticks slathered in wing sauce, which I actually prefer.) Thank you, very kind and diplomatic readers, for pointing out that the morsels pictured here are actually pieces of the wing. Whatever would I do without your kindness and diplomacy?)

Answer in the comments section below.

Great news — unless you’re a chicken

I think it was right around the time that my colleague Suzanne Tobias introduced me to the terribly addictive Buffalo Ranch dip recipe that it hit me.

I. Love. Buffalo. Sauce.

Now, I can’t get enough of it. Every day, I crave things coated in that spicy red goodness. So even though I’m not into football, I’m thinking Super Bowl Sunday is the perfect day to feed my addiction.

The National Chicken Council sent me an e-mail this week saying that 1.25 billion chicken wing portions – more than 100 million pounds of chicken wings — will be eaten this weekend, making it the chicken-wing-iest time of the year.

Several places in town serve unexpectedly fabulous chicken wings, in my opinion, including Pacific Coast Pizza and Wichita Pizza Co.

Who serves your favorite wings?