Wichita’s Old Town combines history with art and retail

Old Town Marketplace in Wichita is home to about 100 businesses. The area is more than 100 years old and has featured some historical events.

Carrie Nation, the infamous prohibition supporter, raided the Carey House during her drive to rid the United States of alcohol. As we know, prohibition lasted a few years, eventually giving way to the renewed legalization of booze. The Eaton apartment building now stands where Nation once fought her battle.

The brick buildings remind us a lot of Omaha’s Old Market area – restaurants, bars, clubs and shops – make up the area.


We stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott in Old Town. Our hotel was only a few steps away from the heart of the district. Across the street was the Pump House, a pizzeria/sports bar.

We took a short walk one morning near the Warren Theater complex. The theater offers freshly made meals as part of its operation.


Shops and restaurants make up the rest of the complex. We were told about Lucinda’s. The store seems to offer a variety of items for sale.

One place we’d never heard of was Yo-B. The yogurt and burger eatery appears to combine the best of two worlds with frozen yogurt and toppings with burgers. Burgers are reasonably priced and have a variety of toppings, including a fried egg.


We had lunch at the Old Mill Tasty Shop. The owners have long been supporters of the area and are among the biggest cheerleaders for the Old Town Marketplace.

Old Mill Tasty Shop

Honestly, we goofed up during our visit. We missed out on actually visiting some of the stores. I am kicking myself right now.

We did, however, do what we really enjoy doing – checked out some of the architecture and public art. A mural of William Shakespeare with quotes dominated a building on the Tallgrass Film Festival trail.

Mural of William Shakespeare in Old Town Wichita

A public sculpture walking tour allows people to roam Old Town. You can take a map and look for each sculpture, if you’d like. We like doing those types of things, because they usually lead to additional discoveries.

Public Art in Old Town Wichita

A train depot building stands near the old union station. The depot is weathered and aged. A back building is actually a Cox Communications store. The main building – in need of repair – struck us as a potential restaurant location or a unique gift store.

Train depot in Old Town Wichita

The union station building a few feet away was beautiful with its granite appearance. It appears there may be a future life for this building, as the property was recently sold for development. The new owner plans to spend about $54 million in developing the site. I’m not sure what’s planned to go inside, but I’ll bet it will be amazing. An outdoor plaza will also be developed.

Union Station in Wichita

We enjoyed our time in the Old Town district. Our next trip to Wichita may require spending more time there, as there is a lot to do and take in.

Disclaimer: Thanks to the Wichita Visitors Bureau for the complimentary hotel stay and to Old Mill Tasty Shop for the complimentary meals. However, all opinions and views are ours.