Dining With Denise Neil

A long-vacant Wichita Burger King gets new life this week as an alcohol-free bar

The Light Dry Bar & Grill on North Broadway has closed.
The Light Dry Bar & Grill on North Broadway has closed. The Wichita Eagle

For years, it was a sad, empty Burger King building being overtaken by weeds.

But when its new tenant opens on Friday, the building at 1051 N. Broadway, which sits just to the south of popular Vietnamese restaurant Saigon, will start a cheerful new life.

The Light Dry Bar and Grill is a new bar and restaurant that is alcohol-free and offers a place for people in recovery — and people who just want to avoid alcohol — to enjoy some nightlife.

It'll serve food and will have a bar full of fun, alcohol-free cocktails, said founder Laura Broyles. Eventually, it will have live music and a fun nightlife vibe.

Though Wichita has several alcohol-free hangouts, it needed one like this, Broyles said.

"A lot of places have coffee, and you can sit and relax," she said. "But this will be more like real nightlife place, a bar and grill."

Broyles is the head of the nonprofit New Life Reentry Program, which aims to help women who have been in prison and are trying to restart their lives. The nonprofit has a home where it serves about five women at a time.

One of the reasons Broyles, who also is a pastor at Renewed Life Community Church, wanted to start the new bar was to give those women a place to work, and several are already employed there, she said.

The Light will be open to anyone and will feature American fare like burgers and chicken fried steak. For the first week or so, while the kitchen waits for the hood to be installed, the bar and grill will offer a limited menu with a couple of sandwiches, two soups, a dinner salad and three desserts.

It’ll also feature a “dry bar,” where people can get non-alcoholic cocktail-style drinks. The restaurant will have a dance floor, karaoke and a place where kids can hang out.

Starting on Friday, The Light Dry Bar & Grill will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays. It'll be closed on Sundays.

For more information, call 316-558-3611.

The Brass Tap is a speakeasy-inspired bar hidden behind a secret entry at Side Pockets near Kellogg and Tyler. (Video courtesy of The Brass Tap)

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