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.”

Read More »

Emerson Biggin’s West to sell to GM Renee Weingartner

WICHITA — As expected, Dave Dunn is selling his Emerson Biggin’s West.

Earlier this month, Dunn announced that he sold his 10-year-old Emerson Biggin’s in Old Town to longtime operations director Chuck Miller.

Dunn is preparing to go into a new, as-of-yet-unnamed business, so he’s in the process of selling his west site to Renee Weingartner.

Weingartner has been the restaurant and sports bar’s general manager since it opened three years ago in the former B.G. Bolton’s space near 21st and Maize Road. She also owns the Penalty Box on MacArthur near Ridge Road.

Weingartner already is working on changing the menu at Emerson Biggin’s.

“You can go anywhere and get bar food.”

At a time when so many people are watching their spending, she says, “I want to give them a reason . . . to come spend their money here.”

Weingartner and her husband, former Wichita Thunder player and coach Rob Weingartner, have lived a lot of places, and she says they want to bring a little of what they sampled elsewhere to here.

Read More »