Wichita Neighborhoods: The Arena District
Downtown Wichita, Kansas, is made up of a few districts, both formal and informal. One of the newest, the Arena District, has developed into a hub of activity and events.
The Arena District is the area surrounding Intrust Bank Arena, which sits just east of Emporia between Waterman and English. The Arena District’s borders vary a bit depending on the source, ranging from Douglas south to Kellogg, and from Main Street east to Washington.
Prior to Intrust Bank Arena’s completion in 2010, the most notable building in the area was the large brick Spaghetti Works building on William Street just east of St. Francis. Currently, this building is being redeveloped by Brad Saville, president of Landmark Commercial Real Estate, and Nick Esterline, a commercial real estate agent at landmark, have plans to redevelop the building. It has been vacant since 2004.
The Arena is Wichita’s largest venue for sporting events, concerts, and other live entertainment. To entice its thousands of patrons each year, many of the old warehouses and buildings nearby have since been updated into restaurants, stores, and other private businesses.
Although Wichita’s master plan refers to the surrounding area as the Arena District, the name never caught on with Wichita Residents. So in May 2016, Bruce Rowley, Managing Partner with RSM Marketing Services, unveiled an Arena District logo, created by his staff, to help the name catch on in the community.
Things To Do
The Arena itself offers food and beverages during events, but there are also great dining options nearby if you want to get a bite before a show or anytime. There’s truly something for everyone: Try the unique flavors of barbecue and pub food with an Asian twist, plus local craft beer and whiskey, at The Hungry Heart. The Beacon Restaurant is another local favorite, serving classic American food including breakfast. There are chain fast-food restaurants, too, but if you’ve got time to sit down, Café Bel Ami serves up Mediterranean and French cuisine. At A Taste of Times Square, you can grab New York-style breakfast and lunch favorites. Try a selection of meats and cheeses at Lou’s Charcuteria & Cocktails, or visit the Ambassador Hotel’s Siena Tuscan Steakhouse for an upscale dining experience.
A number of businesses call the Arena District home, and with the recent purchase of the Spaghetti Works building, there may be additional commercial space available in the coming months.
Whether you’re coming to Wichita for a concert at Intrust Bank Arena or you’re a local planning a staycation, you can book a room at the Ambassador Hotel and stay close to all the action. Eaton Place and soon, the old Spaghetti Works building, have apartments that allow you to live right in the middle of the Arena District!
Enjoy the outdoors at Naftzger Park or spend an afternoon hunting for hidden gems at A Legacy Antique Mall and Al’s Old & New Book Store. Or, get in a workout at CrossFit Wichita and get glam at Shelter Salon.