Melad Stephan to open Revolution Rock Bar and move Empire Catering into Eaton Place

WICHITA — Melad Stephan is growing his Old Town empire, literally and figuratively.

Stephan’s Empire Catering is moving into Eaton Place at Douglas and St. Francis where Eaton Steakhouse used to be.

“We’re really going to attack the catering big time,” he says.

Instead of spending money to put in a kitchen there, Stephan is taking over the former Whiskey Creek space, which most recently was the Air Capital Grill, to use that kitchen for all his catering.

In the front of that space, which is at 233 N. Mosley, Stephan is putting in a bar called Revolution Rock Bar.

The building isn’t as visible as some restaurants in Old Town.

“It’s more like a bar-hopping place,” Stephan says of that area. “By putting a bar in there, it fits right in there with the other bars.”

Unlike Stephan’s Oeno Wine Bar in Old Town Square, which caters to an age 30-and-up crowd, Revolution will cater to a younger set.

“We’re going to do some exciting things in the front of the building to attract people in,” Stephan says. “We’re going to play music from the ’80s and things like that.”

He’ll have a DJ and show music videos on the wall.

The bar should open by early October.

Stephan hopes to open at the Eaton by early September.

He currently caters out of the Champagne Room at Oeno and across the sidewalk at Caffe Moderne, where he’s in partnership with Janet Rine. Those venues don’t give him enough seats, though.

“We’re running out of room for events,” Stephan says.

The Eaton will give him room for 150 to 320 people.

He considered putting a kitchen there, but it would be costly. Using the former Whiskey Creek kitchen makes more sense, Stephan says. “It will minimize my risk.”

Stephan’s Old Town businesses also include Sabor Latin Bar & Grille and Luca Italian Kitchen, which are also in Old Town Square.

The 1-year-old Luca isn’t losing money, but Stephan says, “We’re not setting the world on fire.”

He adds, though, “We’re working on it. We’ll get it there.”

Stephan says Sabor, Oeno and Caffe Moderne sales are up 20 to 30 percent over last year. Sabor is doing especially well, he says.

Stephan isn’t sure if the mild winter helped or what happened exactly, but he’s enjoying it.

“I’m having so much fun. It’s so nice to have them all down there.”