Dining With Denise Neil

Club His Hop, an all-ages Christian nightclub with Las Vegas roots, will open in Wichita

Greg Pianga, left, Darin Smalls and PC Patton are planning an all ages Christian night club and lounge called Club His Hop Wichita.
Greg Pianga, left, Darin Smalls and PC Patton are planning an all ages Christian night club and lounge called Club His Hop Wichita.

A group of three local entrepreneurs say that are close to settling on a location for a new Christian lounge and night club in Wichita that will be open to all ages.

It’s name: Club His Hop Wichita.

The club, which will be under the umbrella of a Las Vegas club of the same name, will be operated by PC Patton, Darin Smalls and Greg Pianga. It will be in a centrally located spot in Wichita and will offer Christian outreach during the week and an alcohol-free, family-friendly nightclub environment on the weekends.

The club, which the operators hope to have open by the end of this year or early in 2020, will feature a variety of entertainment, from comedians to live bands, and the music will come from all genres. It’ll also have food and arcade games.

“We have the resources already,” said Patton, who works as a para educator and coach at Mayberry Middle School and who also is a hip hop performer. “We’re just makings sure we put this in the right area for everyone.”

They hope to share the location in a couple of weeks, they said.

Patton said the idea for the club was born last spring, when he was invited to perform at an after party for the Stellar Awards, a gospel music awards show staged in Las Vegas. His performance was at Club His Hop Las Vegas, owned by Sam Stewart.

He loved the vibe of the club, which was positive and wholesome and embodied Patton’s belief that hip hop and rap music could carry a positive message.

“I was like, ‘Man, I would love to open something like this in Wichita,’” Patton said.

He met Stewart, and about a month ago, the two reconnected. Stewart, who opened his Vegas club about seven years ago, told Patton he wanted to expand the club into other states. He wondered if Patton was still interested.

Patton pulled in two collaborators he knew from Church on the Street, a homeless outreach ministry that puts on weekly services in an alley near Douglas and St. Francis: Smalls is a general contractor in town, and Pianga is the onetime owner of The The Big Apple food truck.

The two loved the idea, and Pianga said it sparked memories of the Eclipse Teen Center that was open in Wichita when he was younger, giving teenagers a safe place to hang out.

But the club won’t be just for teens, they said. When Patton was at the Las Vegas Club His Hop, the patrons ranged in age from 2 to 62, he said.

“It’s going be something good for the whole family,” he said. “You don’t have to worry about anything. You don’t have to drop your kids off to the babysitter. Everyone can come to this lounge and just enjoy.”

The club will serve as an outreach center during the week, offering a space for Bible studies and other group meetups. On Friday and Saturday nights, it’ll be a party zone, and entertainment will rotate every week, the owners said. There could be a rock and roll band one week, a “praise dance” the next and a Christian comic the next.

It will have concessions and will offer food. Mo’s Hut owner Shawn Gordon will be involved with food service, the owners said. He moved to Wichita to serve as the project manager of Church on the Street and earlier this year opened his Hawaiian restaurant at 2800 E. Central.

Smalls said that this is the type of club that Wichita needs, and he’s especially excited to offer young people a safe, positive space to gather.

“A lot of people, when they hear ‘Christian,’ they think, ‘Okay, life is over, you can’t have fun,’” Smalls said. “But no. You can be a Christian and you can still have fun. Life doesn’t end. It only begins truly when you become a Christian.”

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