Loony Bin owners look to buy new space

WICHITA — Loony Bin owners Jeffrey Jones and Larry Marks are looking for a new site for their Wichita comedy club.

The club has been in Oxford Square at 21st and Woodlawn since it opened in 1999.

“When we opened in ’99, that was kind of a happening part of town,” Jones says.

He says growth is now much further east in addition to west.

“There was nothing going on out west when we opened.”

Now, Jones would like to split the difference.

“We’d just kind of like to be in a little more central location.”

A couple of weeks ago, Jones and Marks bid on property near Old Town but weren’t able to get it. Currently, they lease space, but now they’d like to own their own building.

“The difficulty is finding a location that has enough parking,” Jones says.

Parking combined with the high cost of property in Old Town, he says, “is just a real challenge.”

Jones and Marks also own clubs in Little Rock, Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

The Oxford Square lease is up in January. Jones says if he hasn’t found new space before then, he’ll try to get an extension where he is, but only for less rent.

If that doesn’t work, there’s a possibility the Loony Bin will temporarily close.

“Obviously,” Jones says, “we hope to find something.”