Carrie Rengers

Sente coffee shop with board game focus to open downtown

Thomas Koch, left, and Caitlin Doolittle stand in front of where they plan to open Sente, a new coffee bar and game room, in the Douglas at the northwest corner of Douglas and Market.
Thomas Koch, left, and Caitlin Doolittle stand in front of where they plan to open Sente, a new coffee bar and game room, in the Douglas at the northwest corner of Douglas and Market. The Wichita Eagle

UPDATED – As more people continue to move downtown in general and the Douglas apartments in particular, there soon will be another downtown coffee shop to serve them.

Sente, which is going to open at the northwest corner of Douglas and Market where the sales office for the Douglas currently is, will have a twist.

“We’d really like to provide a space for people to come and play board games and just relax,” says Caitlin Doolittle, who is opening the business with her boyfriend, Thomas Koch. “The plan is to open with 200 or more games.”

The games will be available for customers to play, not to buy.

Sente is named for a move in the game Go.

“Sente is the move when you sort of force the other player’s hand,” Doolittle says. “It’s kind of like check in chess.”

The coffee shop will take the entire corner suite, which is 2,610 square feet.

“It has these huge, beautiful windows,” Doolittle says.

The building is across from the pop-up park, which she says she particularly likes.

“I really am a huge supporter of all of … downtown,” says Doolittle, who currently works in the cafe at Barnes & Noble.

She’s also a recent Wichita State University graduate and has been an educator. Koch spent six years in the Air Force.

“We were kind of ready for the next adventure,” Doolittle says.

Along with gourmet coffee, she says they’ll serve Italian sodas. Doolittle says flavors such as lemon lavender soda are just a little more special than the average soft drink.

Sente will partner with local businesses for coffee and baked goods.

Craig Simon of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

Sente likely will open around 7 a.m. to be available for people leaving their apartments and others going to work. It’ll be open until about 10 p.m. on weeknights and a little later on weekends.

There will be tables and chairs along with some more comfortable seating, such as sofas.

“We want it to be pretty casual and relaxing,” Doolittle says.

“The plan – fingers crossed – is to open around Aug. 1.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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