Politics & Government

Microbreweries: Not just for grown-ups anymore, City Hall says

Children will be allowed to go to microbrew pubs with their parents under an ordinance approved by the Wichita City Council on Tuesday.

Mayor Jeff Longwell and council member Cindy Claycomb said they had received nothing but positive feedback in their e-mail on the subject.

"People have recognized this changing kind of a climate out there today," Longwell said. "When you look at microbreweries, they are probably more family-centered than the traditional just bar/drinking establishment that we're used to."

The change was requested by Central Standard Brewing, a brew pub at 156 S. Greenwood. It passed unanimously.

Under the current city code, people under 21 are banned from microbreweries that are also licensed as drinking establishments by the state.

Children have been allowed in restaurants that serve alcohol, as long as the establishment derives 30 percent of its income from food sales.

There are 10 microbreweries in Wichita, five of which serve enough food to qualify as restaurants. The change in city code will allow children into the other five, said City Attorney Jennifer Magana.

In addition to Central Standard, brew pubs that will now be allowed to admit children include: Augustino, 756 N. Tyler Road; Hopping Gnome, 1710 E. Douglas; Aero Plains, 117 N. Handley; and Third Place Brewing, 630 E. Douglas.

A sixth microbrewery, Limestone Beer Co., 707 N. Waco, is adjacent to a restaurant and the city was researching whether it qualified as a restaurant, said city spokesman Van Williams.

Longwell said that just because a microbrewery doesn't sell food doesn't mean there isn't something there for the kids to eat.

"Nearly all (microbreweries), even though they don't serve food, reserve spots for food trucks to pull up there," Longwell said. "So they're all using food trucks, indirectly providing opportunities that mirror many other places that serve food and alcohol."

Longwell said some of those who commented to him feel the change will help facilitate family gatherings.

"When their friends and family come into town traveling, they want options such as this that allows the entire family to participate," Longwell said.

The new ordinance will allow children to go into and stay in microbrew pubs if accompanied by a parent or guardian. The underage patrons will have to leave by 10 p.m.

Mo's Place in Beaver is a microbrewery that is drawing folks from across the state of Kansas. (Video by Beccy Tanner)

Dion Lefler; 316-268-6527, @DionKansas
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