Dennis Wilkie wants to sell Grand Chapel

The Grand Chapel at 828 north Broadway is for sale. (Mar.5, 2014)WICHITA — Like hosting parties? Planning weddings? Need a place to do it?

Dennis Wilkie has a deal for you. He’s selling his Grand Chapel at 828 N. Broadway, where he’s been hosting weddings and other events in the former First Church of Christ, Scientist.

“It’s quite a place to operate if you’re a socialite or wanting to be,” Wilkie says.

He says it’s a chance to “get paid to be host of the party.”

“That’s not my cup of tea.”

Wilkie, who operates other businesses, says the Grand Chapel didn’t do well unless he was running it on a day-to-day basis.

“I just don’t have time to run the place myself,” he says. “I was just going in circles. I was trying to find someone to run that business the way I would.”

The 1917 building has 18,000 square feet and seating for more than 600 people in the former sanctuary. There’s also a reception hall, dance floor and bar area.

Wilkie has been planning to sell the property for a year, but he didn’t want to say anything and upset brides who had weddings scheduled there. He says he’s now either fulfilled all his event obligations or canceled the remaining ones. He says he’s not sure what he’ll do if the Grand Chapel doesn’t sell.

“Oh, I don’t know. We’ll wait and see. I’ve had an awful lot of people show interest.”

Wilkie says he’s kept the contact information for brides who had hoped to marry there, which he says he’ll share with a buyer.

“I’d be eager to give them all these leads.”

Along with the property, Wilkie says he has a lot of supplies to sell, such as tables, chairs, kitchen and bar equipment, linens, china, glasses and flatware.

“Just a whole warehouse full of things,” he says. “Every bride who comes in wants something you don’t have … so I’ve accumulated a mammoth collection of those kind of things.”

Wilkie says he’s not sure yet what his asking price will be for the Grand Chapel.

“I’m pretty sure it’ll sell. It’s not so much the price. It’s finding the right person.”