Dining With Denise Neil

Owner of about-to-reopen Wichita eatery is juiced about his new secret outdoor space

Austin Dugan plans to reopen his 86 Cold Press in a much larger new space near Old Mill Tasty Shop on Saturday.
Austin Dugan plans to reopen his 86 Cold Press in a much larger new space near Old Mill Tasty Shop on Saturday. The Wichita Eagle

When Austin Dugan reopens his 86 Cold Press in its new spot just a few doors to the west of its original location on Saturday, he'll have about six times more space.

And he's pretty excited about that, especially considering that he's adding food, cocktails and his house-made yogurt to his already popular menu of cold-press juices.

But the feature of the building Dugan might be the most excited about is a hidden outdoor patio that you wouldn't know was there if you didn't enter his new space at 600 E. Douglas, which previously was home to Lifeboat Creative.

It's a long, skinny alley sandwiched between the east wall of Dugan's new space and the west wall of the building next door, and it's visible only from a dramatically tall original window inside. Because there are tall walls on each side of it, the space stays shaded most of the day.

At the moment, it's accessible only from an alley running behind the building — or by crawling out that tall window. But Dugan plans to add a door that leads onto the patio. He plans to fill the space with tables and chairs and envisions having jazz groups perform there from time to time. Dugan said he imagines opening the window and letting the music float inside the business.

Dugan, who first opened his 86 Cold Press in 2016 in the form of a cold-press juice cart, added a brightly-lit store front a few months later just a couple of doors down from Old Mill Tasty Shop. His old space, which closed at the end of business on Tuesday, seated 15 to 20 people comfortably. The new space will have triple the amount of seating and will provide him room to produce his yogurt and up the production of his juice.

It's big and modern, with lots of hanging retro light bulbs, an exposed ceiling, couches and tall group tables, most of which Dugan crafted himself.

Dugan said his business is transforming from a juice bar to an “urban juice cafe.” In addition to his juices, he's served food prepared by Evolve Paleo Chef as well as yogurt bowls made with his own Backbone Yogurt, a product he’s about to start selling wholesale to other restaurants around town. He also plans to have the yogurt stocked on the shelves of local grocery stores soon.

The move also will allow him to expand the number of days he offers his juice cocktails. Dugan has been mixing his juices with alcohol and turning them into cocktails for several months now, but because of his limited space, he’s been able to offer the cocktails only on Final Fridays and special cocktail nights.

For the rest of the week, those who drive by will see employees moving items down the street in boxes. Dugan plans the grand opening from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. He'll have jazz in the afternoon, and at 4 p.m., Hot Asana yoga will put on a free class in the spot, and Dugan will serve juice cocktails after. He plans to add a Sunday brunch to his offerings soon.

"This feels so amazing," Dugan said. "The other spot felt like, 'OK, I'm trying out a small business to see if it works.' But this feels like it could be franchise-able."

The regular 86 Cold Press hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.

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