Dining With Denise Neil

And the most ‘Wichita’ bar in Wichita is...

Few Old Town bars look as “Wichita” as the Pumphouse now does, thanks to a dramatic new roof mural that appeared late last week as patio patrons watched.

The 40-foot-long representation of the Wichita flag was painted on the side of the curved roof that’s visible from the bar’s patio, and it’s the work of Johnny Freedom, a local muralist who’s becoming known for his top-notch flag paintings. He also is responsible for the flag painting on the patio wall at Piatto Neapolitan Pizzeria, 1706 E. Douglas

Manager Daron Adelgren took a time lapse video of the whole process. Freedom started painting on Thursday and finished on Friday, just as the sun was going down.

“We had him paint it live Friday night, so people on the patio knew,” he said. “There was a little bit of a buzz going, and they could see him up there.”

Adelgren said that he and Pumphouse owner Jim Ross had been thinking about incorporating a Wichita flag into the decor for a while. They finally settled on the spot above the patio, which Ross had built himself a while back.

“We thought, ‘We might as well go big,’” Adelgren said.

Once the mural was done, the owners drug out some old Pabst Blue Ribbon patio umbrellas that have a Wichita flag color motif and put them up, turning the patio into an ICT explosion.

“Now, as you’re driving in to Old Town or coming down there, it kind of feels like it changes the perspective,” Aldelgren said. “It’s kind of like that’s now a gateway into the north side of Old Town.”