Dining With Denise Neil

Former Annex Lounge space is about to become a restaurant/bar catering to veterans

Restaurants Wichita lost in 2018

Beloved Wichita restaurants that closed their doors in 2018.
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Beloved Wichita restaurants that closed their doors in 2018.

Steve Field first learned his way around the kitchen as an infantry cook in the U.S. Army.

Now he’s a veteran who’s about to realize a longtime dream: owning his own restaurant and bar. And the whole thing is even sweeter, he said, because his business will cater to people who are members of his extended “family” — specifically veterans, members of the military and first responders.

Field is about to open The Foxhole Veterans Lounge in the space at 6305 E. Harry that was home to The Annex Lounge until it closed in January 2018 after 60 years in business.

He hopes that opening day will be, appropriately enough, July 4.

The business will be a full-service restaurant and bar that will be welcoming to veterans, active duty military and first responders — who all will get a 10 percent discount — but it won’t be exclusive. Anyone is welcome in the business.

“It will give them and their families a comfortable place to go, but anyone can come,” he said. “The idea was that everyone has a story, and I’d like to hear some of them.”

Already, he said, he’s had veterans stopping in, eager for him to open.

“When veterans get around each other, they start to talk, and they all have a story,” he said. “It’ll be nice to sit back and reminisce.”

The menu, which you can see below, includes bar food favorites like chicken tenders, onion rings, burgers, pizzas, wings and sandwiches. Field says he’ll have weekday lunch specials as well. He plans to have a full bar but it might take a few more weeks to get his liquor license, he said.

Field said he’s spent a couple of months renovating the interior, and now it’s decorated with lots of military memorabilia.

Hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call 316-688-1836.

The Foxhole Veterans Lounge menu

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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.