Event space to open in former Moose lodge

WICHITA — Kyle Riffel already works at Barney’s, his family’s drug store on West Central just east of Zoo Boulevard, and now he’s preparing for a second job just down from there at 3130 W. Central where the Loyal Order of the Moose 138 closed late last year.

“We were just trying to come up with an idea that might work in that type of a space,” Riffel says. “They had already ran some dances and things out of there.”

Riffel says there’s a dance floor and bar area, so he says an event space for parties and weddings makes sense.

“We thought that that was our best bet,” he says.

“There’s only a couple of options out here,” Riffel says of other west-side event spaces.

He’s working on zoning and a liquor license now.

Riffel says the Moose lodge could serve alcohol to members on certain days and have a cash bar that was open to the public one day a week.

“It was very specific … as far as who could buy drinks.”

Riffel says he’s not trying to get a license to sell alcohol to the public. He says he’ll do private parties only.

“We didn’t have much trouble getting it zoned for the Moose to get in there.”

Riffel doesn’t anticipate problems now, either.

“I think the neighborhood would be worried if we were opening a bar,” he says. “I don’t see a lot of trouble, but still we have to go to the meeting and make sure everybody’s OK with what we’re trying to do over there.”

He says he’ll also have to work with city planners on what the maximum capacity for occupancy would be.

Riffel says he hasn’t come up with a potential name yet.

“You know, do you have any awesome ideas?”

He says he’s playing with a name based on the building’s address, which he thinks could be catchy.

“That’s still a work in progress.”