Dining With Denise Neil

Adult shaved ice business Funky Monkeys finds a bigger, better downtown spot

2016: Funky Monkeys Shaved Ice 21+ at Union Station

(FILE VIDEO -- OCTOBER 24, 2016) J.D. Young expanded his Funky Monkeys Shaved Ice concept to include alcohol and opened at one of the new Union Station canopies.
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(FILE VIDEO -- OCTOBER 24, 2016) J.D. Young expanded his Funky Monkeys Shaved Ice concept to include alcohol and opened at one of the new Union Station canopies.

When he announced last month that he was closing his popular Funky Monkeys Shaved Ice 21+ at Union Station, owner J.D. Young said that he wanted to reopen elsewhere but doubted it would happen this summer.

That was before he knew about the space on Washington.

Now, Young is about to start work on a new location for the business, which specializes in shaved ice spiked with alcohol, and he hopes to have it open by late May or early June.

Young is taking over the space at 216 N. Washington that sits in between 6 Degrees and GangNam Korean Grill & Bar. The space most recently was home to Keys Dueling Piano Bar but has been vacant since it closed last July.

Funky Monkeys Shaved Ice 21 +
Funky Monkeys Shaved Ice 21 + has found a new home in downtown Wichita and should reopen by late May or early June. Matt Riedl The Wichita Eagle

The new location will allow Young quite a bit more space for his business — he’s going from about 300 square feet to about 3,200 — so he’s planning to expand his offerings. The new business will have a full bar, and it will also serve draft beer. He’ll have both indoor seating and a spacious patio in front.

Young also will be able to keep the business open year round. The canopy had room for only a couple of indoor seats, so he would close the business when the weather wasn’t cooperative.

He plans to start renovating the new place next week, he said.

Young originally opened his adult shaved-ice business in the Union Station canopy closest to Douglas two summers ago. But this year, he said, his rent went up and he couldn’t justify paying it for a business that was open only a few months out of the year.

In the meantime, a new business has decided to move into the Union Station space Young vacated. Wichita Cheesecake Company, owned by Mark and Grace Daniels, will open there soon serving cheesecake in a variety of flavors and sizes.

Young also has the Funky Monkeys Shaved Ice booth at 2250 N. Woodlawn that is open now selling only non-alcoholic ice. He also owns No Bake Cafe, which he opened at Clifton Square in December serving safe-to-eat raw cookie dough.

Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.

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