A tiny replica of Old Town’s popular Pumphouse will make its Wichita debut tonight

The big Pumphouse — the Old Town bar at 825 E. Second St. that draws big weekend crowds — has been around for 18 years.

But now, it has a tiny little sibling — and crowds who attend tonight’s Wind Surge game vs. the Arkansas Travelers at Riverfront Stadium, 275 S. McLean Blvd., will be the first to meet it.

Pumphouse is the new sponsor of a little standalone bar near left field at the stadium, which until now has had no particular identity. Now, though, it’s been rebranded by Pumphouse and looks like an itty bitty version of the original, complete with signage and decorative antique gas pumps. Before the season is over, the miniature Pumphouse will also have a miniature Pumphouse patio reminiscent of the bar’s outdoor space in Old Town.

To be clear, said Pumphouse manager Daron Adelgren, the new ball field bar is not a second location of Pumphouse. The bar doesn’t own the space, which since Riverfront Stadium opened in 2021 has been a nondescript and underutilized little building serving micro beers and other adult beverages. It’s just sponsoring it.

Pumphouse in Old Town now has a presence at Wichita’s Riverfront Stadium.
Pumphouse in Old Town now has a presence at Wichita’s Riverfront Stadium.

But Adelgren, whose idea it was to bring the Pumphouse brand to the stadium, said that he hopes to add more Pumphouse touches to the bar over time, including some of its craft cocktails. Though he’d originally hoped to serve Pumphouse pizza from the space, the infrastructure of the building doesn’t allow it.

“But you ever know what the future might hold,” he said.

Adelgren, who is friends with Wind Surge President Jay Miller and Director of Sales Billy Houle, said that he was discussing the left field bar with the two and lamenting that it hadn’t been a bigger hit.

“I talked to a lot of people who didn’t even realize that it was a bar,” Adelgren said. “It kind of operated like another concession stand.”

They started brainstorming ideas and landed on a Pumphouse sponsorship. Adelgren was given the go ahead to remodel the bar, and while the Wind Surge has been playing away games, he’s transformed it into a tiny Pumphouse replica, even painting the inside walls black and adding vintage signs. He also added a pool table.

The little building was already fitted with retractable garage doors, another Pumphouse signature, and Adelgren put five big TV sets behind the bar, which will always be showing different sporting events.

“If that’s not Pumphouse, I don’t know what is,” he said.

Starting tonight, fans at Wind Surge games will be able to grab drinks and hang out at the tiny Pumphouse, which offers a full bar.

Adelgren also is planning a Phase 2 of the project: Soon, he’ll start construction on a little patio off the east side of the structure that will replicate the Old Town Bar’s big patio, complete with comfortable outdoor couches and string lights. Though he’s not sure exactly how long it will take, the patio should be done before the Wind Surge season is over, Adelgren said.

“We think this will better serve the customers that come to the Wind Surge games if it’s operated and resembles a bar as opposed to a concession stand,” he said.

Pumphouse in Old Town also is getting several upgrades.
Pumphouse in Old Town also is getting several upgrades.

Upgrades in Old Town

Meanwhile, Pumphouse owners also have been working on improvements at the flagship bar in Old Town.

Not only has the bar added some new architectural lighting that will light up the trees and the building’s facade, it’s also put up a unique glass fence facing Mosley Street.

But the biggest project is a new set of restrooms that will be available to Pumphouse’s late-night weekend crowds. An old warehouse on the west side of the building that was previously used for storage has been transformed into restrooms that have five new stalls for women plus several urinals and a stall for men.

The restrooms had been a high priority for a while, said Adelgren, who once counted 30 women waiting in line to use the bar’s existing restroom on a busy Saturday night. They’ll be open only for late-night weekend crowds, and they should be ready to open in about a week, he said.

“They’ve been desperately needed for some time.”

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