WICHITA — Almost six years after opening the popular Anchor restaurant and bar on Douglas just east of Old Town, owner Schane Gross is expanding.
"We've gotten so busy, especially with going nonsmoking," she says.
Gross hired Farha Construction to help her with a couple of key changes.
First, she's knocking down the wall that separates the two sides of the business.
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That's in part because she wants the Anchor to feel more like a restaurant.
"Our food sales are easily 70 percent of our sales," she says.
Because of the current dividing wall, Gross says the bar area seems even bigger.
"It has such a huge presence."
The back room at the Anchor traditionally is where customers can book parties and events, but now Gross is building a new banquet hall to the east of the Anchor where Honie's Wig & Beauty Supply used to be.
"We have so many people wanting to do private parties," Gross says.
She doesn't like having to turn diners away when there's a private party, in part because the parties are less lucrative.
"Plus, we upset our regulars."
The new event space will hold about 140 people or even more without tables and chairs.
The physical bar at the Anchor also is being rebuilt, Gross says.