Pacific Coast Pizza and Walkers Bar and Venue could open yet this summer

WICHITA — Construction is again under way at the future Pacific Coast Pizza and Walkers Bar and Venue near Intrust Bank Arena. They could open yet this summer or in early fall.

The businesses were supposed to open in March at 222 S. Commerce St. That’s at the south end of a series of buildings attached to the back of the former Spaghetti Works space, which is east of the arena.

There have been numerous challenges, although no one involved is discussing what those challenges are.

“Some of those have been able to be worked through on both sides,” says building owner Ryan Mills.

He says in the next week or two, he should have a better idea of when the businesses can open. He says the owners would like to time the openings to events at the arena.

First, though, he says, “There’s a lot to do.”

Financial and other challenges delay opening of Pacific Coast Pizza and Walkers Bar and Venue near Intrust Bank Arena

WICHITA — Pacific Coast Pizza and Walkers Bar and Venue were supposed to open next to Intrust Bank Arena in March, but they’re still not in business yet.

While construction and other delays are common when opening restaurants, there are more than typical delays happening here.

“Just some unforeseen events came up,” says building owner Ryan Mills.

He says the restaurants will still open at 222 S. Commerce St. That’s at the south end of a series of buildings attached to the back of the former Spaghetti Works space, which is east of the arena.

“The project … hit some hurdles that were in the road and caused us to kind of take a step back and regroup, and we encountered some challenges that we didn’t necessarily think were going to happen,” Mills says.

He won’t go into details, but he says there are issues on his end and with restaurateurs Aaron Moore and Rusty Law.

“I would say there’s been challenges on both sides that need to be worked out,” Mills says. “There’s some things … I’ve been working on for the past few weeks and anticipate in a very short period of time those things coming together.”

Some of the challenges are financial.

“We’re working through a couple of different options for how to fund the rest of the project,” Mills says.

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Pacific Coast Pizza and Walkers Bar and Venue to open by arena in March

Aaron Moore (left) and Rusty Law, who are opening Walkers Bar and Venue and Pacific Coast Pizza near Intrust Bank Arena.

UPDATED — Before Intrust Bank Arena opened in 2010, there was a lot of buzz about how many bars and restaurants it would attract to that part of downtown.

That hasn’t happened, but two new venues are preparing to open in a month or so, and one more may follow this summer.

It’s been about a year since Have You Heard? first reported it, but Rusty Law is getting ready to open his second Pacific Coast Pizza at 222 S. Commerce St. That’s at the south end of a series of buildings attached to the back of the former Spaghetti Works space, which is east of the arena.

The 5,350-square-foot space was built in the 1980s. It will be adjacent to the 4,950-square-foot space to the north where Law’s longtime friend Aaron Moore is opening Walkers Bar and Venue. The 1908 building was a flour mill at one time.

Law and Moore hope to open both businesses in early March.

“I think what we’re going to … have is something Old Town does not necessarily have,” Moore says. “Location’s obviously key.”

He’s calling his business Walkers “because people seem to walk here.”

“It’s quite obvious when you come down here on event night that everybody’s walking,” Moore says. “When you watch the flow of traffic on event night, I can’t see why everybody wouldn’t want to stop in. I think we’ll capture a large audience just by being something fresh.”

Law says he plans to capitalize on Old Town revelers who may have had a few adult beverages by selling “a slice of pizza for them at 2 o’clock in the morning.”

He says the area will become a destination.

“Location wise it’s perfect for us being right next to the arena, right next to all the development in downtown,” Law says. “The customer count down here is going to be really good.”

He says Wichita Thunder hockey games bring in a potential 4,000 to 5,000 people, and concerts and other events can bring in as many as 12,000.

“It’s almost free advertisement being down here by the arena.”

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Arena entertainment district inching closer to opening with restaurant and two bars

WICHITA — In February, Have You Heard? first reported that a deal was in the works to bring a Pacific Coast Pizza downtown near Intrust Bank Arena as part of a larger entertainment development.

As most development seems to go, it’s taking longer than expected, but it’s still on track.

“We’re definitely trying to get it open,” says Kevin Law, one of the partners.

In addition to Pacific Coast Pizza, which has an east-side location that opened in 2009 at Siena Plaza at 37th and Rock, there will be a couple of bars next door as well.

The first one to open has the working name of Walker’s Venue.

“It’s a play of everyone walking by, going through the area,” Law says. “The crowd that’s going to be coming in is going to be walkers.”

He says there will be a large patio and live music. On nights when there are concerts at the arena, the music will be geared to whatever is playing there.

“Then we’re hoping to put a martini bar below Walker’s,” Law says. “We’re kicking the idea around of an upper-end martini bar.”

Walker’s and the restaurant will open first, followed by the martini bar. More businesses will follow, Law says.

“We’d just like to try to develop a district down here for something.”

He and his partners have to get the initial two businesses open first, which isn’t a speedy process.

“It’s jumping through hoops.”

New bars and restaurants opening on east, west sides and downtown

WICHITA — There are several new bar and restaurant deals in the works.

Not unexpectedly, Charlie Badeen and David Allan have decided to reopen their O’Brien’s Irish Pub on East Kellogg by Scotch & Sirloin.

They closed it last year, and the short-lived Encore Restaurant and Nightclub took its place.

Earlier this month, Badeen told Have You Heard? he and Allan were considering various options for the space, including reopening O’Brien’s.

They originally closed because they were opening the new Joe’s Old Town Bar and Grill in Old Town, plus they already had Dudley’s Sports Bar and Grill on the west side and Mulligan’s Pub out east.

They’ve since sold Mulligan’s, and they’re ready to open Joe’s in the next week or two.

Badeen says O’Brien’s should open by the end of March.

“Basically everything’s going to be about the same.”

There’s another deal in the works to bring a Pacific Coast Pizza downtown near Intrust Bank Arena.

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Pacific Coast Pizza will add color to Siena Plaza

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Going to school on the East Coast inspired Wichita native Rusty Law to open a restaurant named for the ocean on the West Coast.

Law and his brother, Kevin, plan to open Pacific Coast Pizza at Siena Plaza by July 4.

The beach-themed concept will add some vibrant color to Siena’s Tuscan design at 37th and Rock.

Rusty Law moved to South Carolina 14 years ago.

“That’s where I stumbled upon the concept that I have here,” Law says. “We put our own little spin on it.”

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