Dining With Denise Neil

Welcome news for anyone who's ever had trouble parking at The Anchor

It's now easier to snag a parking place in front of The Anchor on Douglas.
It's now easier to snag a parking place in front of The Anchor on Douglas. Courtesy

The Anchor at 1109 E. Douglas has long been one of downtown Wichita's most popular, most busy restaurants and bars.

But it's also long been one of Wichita's toughest places to find a parking spot. If the little lot to the west of the building was full, patrons would usually search for spaces on Ida or try their luck parallel parking in the limited spaces in front of the restaurant on Douglas.

Recently, though, the city finished some improvements on Douglas, and they are improving life for patrons of The Anchor.

A couple of weeks ago, the city switched the parallel spaces in front of the restaurant (and for several blocks to the east) into angled slot parking. Now, at least six cars can slide right into spots in front of the restaurant on Douglas rather than trying to squeeze into a parallel spot. There are at least six more spaces in front of the businesses directly to the east.

The new parking is part of the City of Wichita's Douglas beautification project that will make the street more welcoming to pedestrian traffic.

Naomi Shapiro, a spokeswoman for The Anchor, said that she thinks the spaces make the front of the restaurant look more friendly, and many customers agree. She's heard several positive reviews.

The spots do make a few customers nervous though, she said.

"Naysayers have mostly been moaning about backing onto Douglas, but I would bet they never tried parallel parking on Douglas," she said. "That's way worse."

(FILE VIDEO -- AUGUST 25, 2016) Schane Gross, owner of The Anchor, The Chop Shop and Fork and Fennel, talks about her three favorite restaurants to eat at when she's not eating at her own.

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