Joe’s Old Town Bar & Grill to expand

WICHITA — Joe’s Old Town Bar & Grill may not be in Old Town proper, but it has turned into a huge Old Town hit.

The 14-month-old bar has proven so popular, it’s almost doubling its space with a new approximately 3,000-square-foot building to its south.

“Joe’s is doing better than we anticipated,” co-owner Charlie Badeen says.

He’s now leasing the former shop at 214 N. Washington and, if permits are approved, he’ll open a couple of spaces between the buildings and also extend Joe’s patio along the Washington side of the new building as well. That patio will be covered.

Badeen says he considers the new space, which could be ready in a couple of months depending on approvals, to be an oversize banquet room. He will rent it for parties and open it on particularly busy nights.

“If we’re super busy, it’ll take five minutes to open it up,” he says.

“We’re like most things in Old Town,” Badeen says of bars and restaurants. He says the business has “three or four good nights” a week.

“It’s up and down,” Badeen says. “Has it done better since certain establishments closed in Old Town? Yes.”

He won’t say if he’s referring to the closure of Doc Howard’s Lounge, which used to be down the street from Joe’s.

Nor can Badeen offer any other thoughts on what has led to Joe’s success.

“If I could answer that question, I would have 10 places,” Badeen says. “I don’t.”