Dining With Denise Neil

A favorite Wichita burger restaurant closes after 60 years

After 60 years in business, The Annex Lounge – a popular destination for Wichita’s burger aficionados – has closed.

A sign posted on the door of the restaurant at Harry and Woodlawn announces the closing and appears to have been posted by owner Kimberly Prickett, who bought the restaurant in 2014. Starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, an auction of The Annex Lounge’s contents will happen at the restaurant, which is at 6305 E. Harry.

The Annex Lounge originally opened in 1958 and was loved by its fans for its greasy burgers and its retro interior, which still included wood paneling, vinyl and Formica. Its shuffleboard table also was popular.

One of its best-known specialties was the Inside Out burger, made with excessively buttered, inverted buns. (Wichita Eagle Dining Panelist Philip Warren extolled its virtues in a 2015 review.)

Just before Christmas, several panicked readers wrote me to inquire about the restaurant’s status. They’d visited at dinner time to find the restaurant closed with for-rent signs posted outside. Reached at the restaurant, an employee said The Annex Lounge had started closing for the dinner hour because of slow business but remained open for lunch.

I’ve sent messages to Prickett and will update this post if I hear back.

Meanwhile, if you want a piece of the The Annex Lounge to remember it by, the auction will start at 9 a.m. on Tuesday and will include a long list of items, including tables and chairs, bar equipment, a karaoke machine, picnic tables and the bar’s shuffle board table. You can see the full list of inventory on this Craigslist post.

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