Dining With Denise Neil

Two new places to dine outdoors near downtown Wichita

Piatto Neapolitan Pizzeria has opened its cozy new patio, complete with a Wichita-centric mural.
Piatto Neapolitan Pizzeria has opened its cozy new patio, complete with a Wichita-centric mural. The Wichita Eagle

Wichita is in that sweet spot of spring when patio dining is still ideal.

The air is warm but not too warm. Temps turn California-perfect in the evening. And the flies have yet to materialize in masses.

Two Wichita restaurants have just debuted patios where the moment can be savored.

The first is Piatto Neapolitan Pizzeria at 1706 E. Douglas. Fans of this pizza place know that its small dining room gets pretty crowded pretty quickly. But owners have just opened an attractive, cozy and private new patio off the back of the restaurant that adds an additional 40 seats. I had my Mother’s Day dinner there on Sunday, and it was more crowded on the patio than it was indoors. It’s tucked in between two buildings, which provide lots of shade.

It’s decorated with tables and colorful chairs, and lights have been strung over the top. The best part: The owners hired local artist Johnny Freedom to paint a mural on one wall that features the image of the Keeper of the Plains plus the Wichita skyline and a Wichita flag.

Also, Union Station tenant The Kitchen also has just debuted its new patio. The restaurant, which operates in the former Tanya’s Soup Kitchen spot at 725 E. Douglas, now has several tables with umbrellas set up off the west-facing side of the building. It features 24 seats plus some stone benches for additional seating if people want to enjoy a cocktail and listen to the music pumped on to the patio. Owner Natasha Gandhi-Rue said she plans to eventually have live music on the patio, too.

“We’re super lucky being off of a main street, so our patio is quiet and not disturbed by sounds of traffic,” she said.

Both patios are open when the restaurants are, weather permitting.

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