“We have a contract out on a building on St. Francis downtown,” says co-owner Larry Marks.
“That part’s real encouraging.”
In September, Have You Heard? reported that the club was looking to leave Oxford Square at the northwest corner of 21st and Woodlawn.
Marks, who lives in Oklahoma City, and co-owner Jeff Jones, who lives in Little Rock, still have a few things to iron out before the downtown deal is done.
“It’s just a matter of completing the financing process, which probably isn’t going to be no problem,” Marks says. “In today’s economy, you never know.”
The 13,000-square-foot building is between First and Second streets on St. Francis across from the urban park on the southeast corner of Second and St. Francis.
The Loony Bin had been in Oxford Square since 1999.
“That club was very special to us,” Marks says.
He and Jones also own Loony Bins in their hometowns and Tulsa, but Wichita was the best-performing one for a long time.
“That was the premier club for a good nine, 10 years,” Marks says.
“Wichita’s economy probably got hit a little harder than some other cities.”
The bigger issue was trouble at Oxford Square, Marks says. The center had a few issues, including a shooting, that he says negatively affected the Loony Bin.
Marks says business was off by as much as 35 percent at a time the other clubs were either holding steady or improving.
The club would need about 4,000 square feet at the new space.
“We’ve talked about reconcepting a little bit,” Marks says.
He says the rest of the building’s space could be used for retail, office and apartments.
“From an investment standpoint … it’s pretty encouraging,” Marks says.
“We’re real optimistic at this time. I can say that,” he says. “Hopefully, we’ll move ahead just as quickly as we can.”