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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Pacific Coast Pizza will add color to Siena Plaza

pizza

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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