Carrie Rengers

Indigo Lounge to undergo major revamping and name change (+video)

For most of it’s almost 20 years in business, Indigo Lounge has been mainly a downstairs lounge with a rooftop that sometimes was open as a bar.

That’s about to change.

“We’re going to try to be a rooftop venue that has a lounge downstairs,” says managing partner Brian Arenson.

Following extensive remodeling on the rooftop, known as the Moonbar, and in the lounge, a new name and venue will debut in the middle of May. The focus will be on the roof.

Previously, that bar was open only when weather allowed.

“It needs to be the … main priority now because it is special,” partner Brad Steven says. “There’s nowhere else in town that has a rooftop bar, and so we need to capitalize on that.”

Steven, his brother, Brent, and Arenson say they first started talking about renovating the business while renegotiating their lease last year.

The Stevens, who have owned the bar for eight years, say the change has nothing to do with any concerns the Wichita Police Department has expressed about safety at Old Town bars.

“No, what’s funny is all this was already in the plans,” Brad Steven says.

“Clubs kind of have a general lifespan.”

The partners say they want a more upscale feel – “more cocktail inspired,” as Brent Steven puts it.

That will mean new couches and lounge furniture downstairs, glassware instead of plastic and, on the rooftop, a new covered section, a couple of restrooms with two stalls each, a full-service bar and easier stairs to get there.

The rooftop will be about 40 percent bigger. The club hadn’t been utilizing all of the available space.

The covered area will allow the bar to be open even in inclement weather, which the partners think will increase business. There will be live bands that perform and possibly TVs in the covered area.

Some reconfiguring in the lounge will allow for more room there as well.

The new name, which the partners haven’t settled on yet, will be for both areas but will especially focus on the rooftop.

“It’s … going to be our mentality,” Arenson says of making that the focus.

Construction starts this week. Brent Steven says the partners are spending a “good amount of money” on both areas.

They say the business’ demographics – young professionals ages 21 to 40 depending on the night – aren’t likely to change, and the lounge area will still be a late-night spot in particular. The rooftop will attract more of an after-work crowd as well.

The club will have to close for a couple of weeks as the downstairs is remodeled, but it remains open for now. The rooftop won’t open until the grand reopening in May.

Indigo and the Moonbar have had several smaller updates through the years, but Brent Steven says they were due for a major change.

“We felt like it was just time for a revamp.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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