54 Palms Latin dance club to open in Towne West Square June 15

WICHITA — Former Copa Cabana owners Ricardo Moreno and Carlos Ortiz Sr. are opening a new Latin dance club at Towne West Square.

Their 54 Palms, named for Highway 54, will open in almost 10,000 square feet next to Denim & Diamonds on June 15.

Copa Cabana was open briefly in 2003 before trouble with a third partner forced it to close, Moreno says. It was downtown.

“There’s a big building there now called Intrust Bank Arena,” Moreno says, laughing.

He didn’t want to locate in that area again.

“We wanted to stay away from Old Town,” Moreno says. “There’s too much trouble down there. There’s too many problems with police – young crowds getting out of hand.”

He says he and Ortiz want to offer what he calls the security and safety of the mall.

There will be theme nights throughout the week.

Saturday is the premier night with Latin music, salsa and merengue. Friday is “throwback jams” with music from the ’80s. It’s the only night there will be food. Doors will open at 5 p.m. to attract an after-work crowd that might need “alcohol therapy,” Moreno says.

Thursday is college night with dance music and Sunday is an industry night for people who work in bars and restaurants.

“That’s just a melting pot,” Moreno says. “We’re going to play to the crowd.”

He’s contemplating a teen night on Tuesday. The club will be closed on Monday.

Moreno says the dress code will be strict.

“No jeans, no tennis shoes, even for the ladies,” he says. He says it’s “dress to impress” only.

“Our clientele we want to hit is more mature,” Moreno says.

He wants to appeal to a wide variety of people, though, which is why he’s offering several kinds of music.

“It’s diverse.”