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The Anchor

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

28 Ratings
Ratings: 28
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 12.71%
Taps: 58
Bottles: 200
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1109 E Douglas Ave
Wichita, Kansas, 67211-1604
United States
phone: (316) 260-8989

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: Quaffer)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 | Reviews: 19 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jaydoc
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of MooSully
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Probably the best beer place in town. Has a great tap selection and is getting better at having tap takeovers and brewery events.
The food is pretty good, which is always a plus, although the rotating chefs seems to get old.
Service can be hit and miss. Somedays great others not so much.
Their hours is about my biggest complaint, as they say open til 1-2 but somedays they'll close at 11 without any prior notice.

Photo of Sludgeman
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Visited on a Thursday night, relatively early, for about 2 hours.

The best place I have found in Wichita, so far. If you want to talk beer this seems to be the placed to go.

A - Open, but not too open. Bright, but not too bright. My visit coincided with a Buffalo Sweat firken from Tallgrass along with some reps present. Everyone at the bar knew their beer. And Hillary behind the bar - go by and find out for yourself.

Q - No complaints. Seems to be a constant rotation on the kegs. All bottles kept in coolers. Generally served beers in proper glasses.

S - Generally good attention. Food came quickly. But difficulty in cashing out.

S - Draft list (20 or so) was wide and somewhat deep. Nothing too rare, but that in itself is rare. Probably the best place in Wichita.

F - I had a decent blue cheese and bacon burger. Burger good be bigger. Fries were average. Menu is the typical bar/pub food.

V - Definitely a value, but everything seems to be cheaper in Wichita compared to home.

Photo of BeerZack
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Located downtown next to the Old Town area. Its close proximity to River City brewing make it an easy stop for the beer traveller. Long & narrow old building with high ceilings and low lighting gives this place a cozy yet stylish feel.
They had a good amount of local taps and quite a few offerings from Boulevard (semi-local) and Odell. Probably the coolest part is they have a nice selection of bottled beer that includes some vintage. Ask for a menu.
They did have a kitchen here, but we didn't try the food.
Very decent beer selection, cool atmosphere and food option make this place a winner for sure.

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.66/5  rDev +11.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I do not go out to bars much at all anymore, but when I do, The Anchor is the ONLY bar I will choose. Why? The beer selection is absolutely unbelievable. When I get there, I immediately ask the bartender for a beer list, and he/she will print me one that has the entire list of beers on tap or not, with the price. Let me assure you, the list is long. They have beer on tap that I never get to try anywhere, and it's always a delight to enjoy that aspect. I'll be honest and say that I've never eaten there, their reputation for good food is special. They are always, always crowded at lunch time for a reason! The atmosphere is cozy with what I'd call low ambient lighting that goes well with the brick walls. This is everything I expect from a bar ... casual atmosphere, amazing beer selection, and an adequate, friendly staff. It's the only bar I will go to in this town.

Photo of TreeTopFlyer
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Just arrived in Wichita for a couple nights and decided to check out The Anchor for dinner on a Monday night. They had a fantastic draught list and very good menu. I had the Green Chili and a spinach salad with grilled chicken. The food was delicious. The beers on draught included Boulevard Batch #7 and a New Belgium/Allagash collaboration sour. Both were tasty (even served in shaker pints.) The two Belgian beers I had may have been slightly under-carbonated, but otherwise delicious. The service was prompt and non-imposing.

Overall I'd recommend this place to anyone looking for a cool, casual place to have a good beer in Wichita.

Photo of maltiavelli
3.6/5  rDev -13.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

The atmosphere is very casual. The wait staff don't impose themselves on you like in some establishments. This can present some problems in service but usually they just let you enjoy your brew and company. At one time they had live music on the weekends, but I haven't seen that lately. Currently they are completely no smoking according to Kansas law.

The service is where the Anchor need some improvement. Despite this being one of the premier/only beer bars in town the regular staff lacks real beer knowledge. Once I did go in a couple of days after they had a Goose Island beer dinner and had a wonderful conversation with the chef about food pairings, but this is rare. Usually you're lucky to be acknowledged by the wait staff.

The selection is the best in town. I tried Widmer's Prickly Pear on tap, which was not even available in liquor stores in this area. There are over 30 taps and a decent bottle selection.

The food is standard bar fare but with a little more flavor. I had the Haystack which is an open-face burger with fries and melted cheese piled-on. Despite sounding like a standard greasy burger it had a complex smokey and spicy flavor Overall, it was good late-night munchies food.

The price may be a little steep for the average bar patron, but for the selection of beers available it is right on par.

Overall the Anchor is a great place to have a beer. Just remember to be patient and bring someone to pass the time with.

Photo of hopstradamus
3.1/5  rDev -25.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A. This is a very comfortable place to go to have a few beers. They often have live music to listen to, and there are plenty of different types of people to talk to.

Q. Quality is not a huge issue here. I have my doubts about how often the tap lines are cleaned, but have never been served a beer that would indicate a problem in that area.

S. If you walk into The Anchor and cannot sit at the bar, turn around and leave immediately, or you will be sorry you didn't. The service away from the bar is atrocious! If you like to order a beer and wait over 30 minutes to receive it, only to have another hour to think about how good it was after you have finished it before they ask you what you want for your second beer; then you will love sitting away from the bar at The Anchor. If you are lucky enough to get a seat at the bar, you will find the staff is passionate about beer. They don't know much about it other than that they serve it, but they are still excited. They have a tap list that includes descriptions of each beer, but they don't update the list regularly so they often have to tell you they are out of the beer you have ordered.

S. The selection here is by far the best you will find in Wichita. I don't know how they get beers on tap that no other bars in the area get, but they do!

F. The food is very good, but you will wait a while for it too.

V. The prices are higher here than other places in the area, but I consider that part of the cost of the extensive selection they maintain. The prices are still lower than what you will be charged for the same beer in many of the larger cities around the country.

I love the selection The Anchor has, and the atmosphere as well. If the employees and management staff knew anything about customer service, I would probably live here. I feel like things would be better if there was even one other bar in the area that could compete with them in terms of the beers they have available especially on tap. Then they may be forced to pay attention to the customers they do have or risk losing them.

Photo of patsmearstout
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I first visited the Anchor about a year ago and everytime I'm in Wichita I make this one of my stops. They have a great selection of beer and food and there on tap selection is also very impressive. Last time I was in the waitress told us the menu was getting updated and I can't wait to go back because it sounded good. BTW they have some nicely aged Pere Jacques in their cooler that always gets my vote!

Overall, great bar food (updated menu will make it phenomenal bar food) and an awesome selection of beer. Great place to go with your friends and chill.

Photo of tr4nc3d
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I just recently went again to "The Anchor" making it the 2nd time. I feel I need to give a little more credit to this place so I'm editing my review.

Well Im just going to keep it short. This time I went with my brother in law and it was around 6:30 p.m. The place wasn't crowded and once again there was nobody on the non-smoking side. It was pretty dark inside and the atmosphere was calm.

I ordered "Westmalle Dubel" as my first beer, as I have been wanting to try this beer for months and heard they have it, my second was Chimay and third was "Old Rasputin". The quality of these beers seemed fresh and I enjoyed it. Like others I wish the waiters knew more about the beer they have. The service was not so good, we waited quite some time to get our food and also to order another beer. The place was not busy and thats something they need to work on.

The selection is like no other bar I have been too. Heres where I pay credit too. The first time I went I dont know what happened but I thought I only saw about 40 bottles and maybe 10 on tap. I guess I just didn't get a good look. I asked and they said they have at least 150 bottles of beer and 30-33 beers on tap(which I did look for myself).

The food was great like last time, and for a beer bar they have excellent menue and selection of foods.

Now the place is a bit pricey and I do think they could lower down the cost on beers and food. It seems like they overprice it a little to much.

Overall I was pleased and did enjoy it, especially since they have beers I have been wanting to try and cant get at my liqour store. I will definately go back for the beer selection and good food, not too often though since its a bit pricey.

Photo of russpowell
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Visited 11-26-14, place is slipping again. Beer menus are useless & half of the tap handles visible were a trick as the keg had already blown. A few of the staff were fairly condescending about that, probably not really in a hurry to go back any time soon...

Visited again 11-26-11. Bumping up several catagories. Food & service have really improved!

Visited 9 Aug, will bump up selection & hold the line on everything else. Better tap selection 3 free States, Grand teton lips of faith & old rasputin )this time around, good thing my niece babysits or we would've had to pass; Kansas law prohibits bringing kids into smoking joints, even on the nonsmoking side. A business decision for them I guess

Updated 21 Mar 09, tried to do lunch & was told the place went all smoking, since I had my kids with, a no go according to them & me, screw'em better things to spend my cash on. If you like piss pour service, iffy beer selection & cigarette smoke, then this apparently, is your place, not mine..

Disappointed, knocked off a half a point for quality, service & service, why? I get there on a Monday for lunch, order a draft & get one. Then they tell me their draft system is too warm & they don't waste the beer on the pour. That & the no give a shit attitude of the waiter did not impress

The vibe on the smoking side looked cool, I'm sure it jumps with a band there. The non-smoking side, bland & boring

The waiter was competent, but not really feeling me on my bitch about not being able to get another draft

The one draft & one bottle I had were alright to average, not fresh tasting at all ( was served a Duchy bitter in a Leffe chalice)

The selection of draft was good but not on offer would've loved to try that Ommegang double chocolate. It would've been good to see a few more Kansas beers on draft, there was an already dead Free State tap & that was it. Plus a few taps wasted on Macro & hipster swill. The bottled selection wasn't much better than Old Chicago to me, big whoop (1 beer hadn't tried outta 80ish)

The food was above average pub grub, but pricey as was the bottled beers

In short, I will be back through Wichita, but in no hurry to go back to this joint

Photo of coldmeat23
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Stopped in here for a bite and a brew while in Wichita to go beer shopping.

What a way cool place! Atmosphere is great! People from many different walks of life sitting around together enjoying fine beer and food. Decent music playing in the background, loud enough to hear but not to drown out your conversation. (Today was a CCR album, which is good background music for me.)

Food is very good and definitely above par for a bar. I had an open-faced burger covered in a pile of french fries, topped with chili and queso and grilled jalapenos. Mmmm!!

The waitress was attentive and nice but could have used just a bit more product knowledge about the available beers.

Speaking of beer, they have about 150 different bottled beers and about 30 different beers on-tap. (This is my guestimate from looking, I didn't ask.) I have to say that it is quite a decent selection.

Overall this is a great little place which I will go back to when I'm in the area again, and if you happen to be passing through, I say that it's definitely worth checking out.

Photo of raverjames
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I started visiting the anchor from the first day I set foot in Wichita. Ever since that day, it has been a tradition of mine to eat and drink there at least once a week. This is the best beer bar in Wichita. The selection is amazing for a small pub in Kansas. The food has always been tasty and filling. The atmosphere is exactly what I look for in a beer bar. Now that they have the non-smoking section finished, the place is even better.
Highlights of the Anchor:
Somewhere around 200 types of beer, several on tap
Smoking and non-smoking sections
Plenty of seating
Front patio for relaxing outside
Pool table
Kitchen is open late
Beer prices lower than you would expect in a bar
Owner is awesome!

I will always love the Anchor. If you are traveling through central Kansas, you must stop at the Anchor.

Photo of blackjack000
3.3/5  rDev -20.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2

Atmosphere: I enjoy the environment. For Wichita, it's nice to be in a bar that isn't a meat market, national chain, or dive. Wooden furnishings create a cozy environment, TVs aren't unsightly or distracting, and decoration is tasteful and adds to the effect.

Service/Food: Here's the rant. I've received horrible service about half the times I've been here. From my experience, the staff seems to gravitate towards regulars. A thirty to forty-five minute wait to get initially helped and between beers isn't acceptable when the bar is less than half full. I've left this bar several times because I just couldn't get service. I can't justify walking up to the bar to get a beer every time when there's only ten other customers.

I'm not a vegetarian, but I ordered a veggie burger once, and received something resembling vomit. It was a cold and mushy patty in between two buns. It was, literally, far below room temperature and the consistency of Thanksgiving stuffing. I'm not one to waste food, but it didn't quite qualify as food. I've heard good things about their other items, but I'm not planning on testing the waters for a while.

The bar has a very nice non-smoking section, which is sometimes closed in non-peak times. I do not enjoy being in a smoking environment all the time, and I've gone here specifically to be in the non-smoking section. It really turns me off to the place when it is closed when I show up because there just aren't many non-smokers.

To add something positive, they did have sweet potato fries, which were great.

Anchor, please hire better staff and keep both sections open. It's a shame that I avoid such a great place because I can't get acceptable service.

Selection: The Anchor has an excellent selection of drafts, and at expected prices.

Photo of udubdawg
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

A must visit for the Wichita craft beer fans. Unfortunately many don't know what they're missing.

Nice friendly atmosphere. I avoid the area during crowded times, so it has always been pretty quiet and laid back. There is definitely a core clientele of regulars who love their good homey food and great beer.

Counted about 90 bottles in the cooler near one end of the bar. Have never asked if there are more; have always found something there or especially on tap. Of the bottles I'd replace about a third with something decent, but overall the selection is quite good, and considering the locale, fantastic for Wichita. Love getting Free State beers on tap!

Haven't had anything less than good food here yet. They even have breakfast! Pleasantly surprised by their latte too. Barbeque burger and fish and chips were both very good. I recall on St Paddy's day I opened with breakfast here - corned beef hash, potatoes, and Guinness and Free State Oatmeal Stout (hey, oatmeal = breakfast, right?)

Prices have never been out of line. Service has been spotty - certain beer-loving employees deserve a "5", but sometimes you aren't so lucky.

Photo of jbmorch
2.6/5  rDev -37.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2 | selection: 2 | food: 4

Granted, I'm partial to IPAs, but with 20 taps and not a single IPA on the board? Come on. OK, so they had Rogue Dead Guy and a lot of beers that reasonable beer drinkers would appreciate. But I like fresh tapped beer with a bite, and didn't find it on the board. So I went to the bottle list.

Two IPAs. A Bridgeport (not bad) and a Samual Smiths English-style IPA that is not really my idea of a hoppy beer (what I really want is an American Pale Ale, usually called an IPA on the label).

The two girls working the bar has no clue about the beer they were serving. I'll bet they could make a mean mocha, though - they have an impressive espresso setup there.

The food, I have to say, is excellent, at least the one dish I had there. It was a BLT on a croissant.

If you are a microbrew lover, especially if you are a bit of a hop head, skip the Anchor. Go to River City if you need to be in walking distance to Old Town, or better yet, drive a few miles East on the highway (54/400 I think) and go to Old Chicago.

Photo of woodychandler
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Note the focus here! AutumnalDave, this one’s for you, bro. A note of explanation for the uninitiated: a couple of summers ago, Dave and I met for the first time and we were headed to a couple of places that billed themselves as “Restaurant & Brewery” and Dave said that because their focus is not beer first, food second, the beers may not be top quality. Now, go back and re-read the preceding.

Let’s settle down to business. I was effin’ drinkin’! It was not as dark as Delilah’s in CHI, but it still had that same rockin’ punk vibe. I immediately fell in love with their logo – a demonic mermaid with Bettie Page bangs seated in the fluke of an upright anchor. Have I mentioned that I am a retired US Navy sailor who started out as a deck seaman?

The space was much deeper than it was wide, which made for an interesting aesthetic. They had a fenced-in patio out front, followed by the doorway, which when passed through, put me immediately inside. On the left-hand side was a chalkboard detailing their bottled beer selection in colored chalk. There was a second chalkboard that delineated “Upcoming Events”, since they are also a live music venue and further aft, a third chalkboard, suspended by a simple rope and pulley system, that listed “Coffee and Such”. Underneath this third board was the first part of the long copper-topped bar, broken by a space for the servers that was marked “”Don’t Stand Here” with a cardboard cutout of a pointing finger. The rest of the bar continued down the left-hand side with three coolers full of bottles and the extensive back bar with a large mirror and two smaller flanking mirrors. To the extreme right of the back bar was another chalkboard that was used for “Drafts at the Anchor”. Beyond that, still on the left side, were the washrooms down a short passageway with a corkboard on the right side that was used for flyers of every stripe. The centerline was taken up by a pool table, which I was told is movable for live music nights; restaurant tables and chairs; and all of the way aft, the kitchen with a “Welcome to the Anchor” and “Specials” blackboard above it. The swinging doors into the kitchen featured a split anchor logo. The right side was booths and tables; a pastry case; a door to/from the parking lot; and an elaborate colored-chalk portrait. In the overhead were a pressed-tin ceiling; fans; various hanging lamps; and exposed ducting. What more could I ask for? How about an easy-on-the eyes tattooed female waitstaff? Check.
I thought that their selection of beer was quite good, especially for the area. They had a number of beers that I had not had before, including a good lineup of New Belgium products. I would make this a definite stop if I were to come back through.

Photo of Quaffer
4.29/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

UPDATE 07/10/05

In the seven or eight months that I have been going to The Anchor, I have noticed the beer selection slipping from what it used to be. Sure, it's still the best beer bar in Wichita, but beers keep disappearing from the menu. Plus, I haven't seen them pick up any of the B. United beers since they have become available in Kansas. Still worth a visit, but I have lowered the selection rating from a 5 to a 4.

ORIGINAL

What, an actual beer bar? In Wichita?! Well, shiver me timbers!

The Anchor is located in the Old Town district and is extremely easy to find for out-of-towners. Due to urban location, it is a long, narrow building, not unlike bars that I have been to in New York and other cities. The proportions are just bigger. The atmoshpere is very relaxed and kicked back. This is not a sports bar, this is not a "Irish pub," this is not a theme bar of any kind. It is just a good old fashioned beer bar. Simple decor, an nice long bar along one side, and tables and charis along the other. Just the way a bar is supposed to be. Occasionaly, there is artwork from local artists displayed on the walls which is cool. Luckily, there is only one small TV in the whole place, and it is not on half the time. There is usually jukebox music in the background, but it is kept ot a low level and the selections are great. Not the usual blaring, bar jukebox fair.

Selection. Ah, yes, the selection. The Anchor is the only, and I repeat only, true beer bar in Wichita. (And, no, I don't count Old Chicago.) There are about 20 taps of which only one is a macro (Bud Light) and they keep that handle covered with a rubber chicken. Bottle selection is probably around 100 and they are on display in a large glass case for browsing. They are also all written on a HUGE chalkboard towards the front of the bar along with the prices. All macro bottle are kept in a sliding-top cooler underneath the bar and out of sight. The selection represents about any brewery that is available for distribution in Kansas. Seasonals are rotated in on a regualr basis. The only place in the city where you can find a comparable selection is not another bar, but Goebel Liquior.

The staff is very friendly and do a great job. However, I don't really think that any that I have dealt with are extremely beer savvy. I believe that they appreciate the selection that is available and realize that they are a unique establishment in Wichita, but I don't think they really know the ins-and-outs of beer.

I really only have one complaint about the place, and it is a relatively small thing. I almost always have to ask for a glass, which I believe is a no-no in a true beer bar. Plus, they only have pint glasses. It doesn't matter what you order, when you ask for a glass, you'll get a pint.

One unique thing about The Anchor is the fact that they have a three-head espresso machine. A wide variety of coffees, teas, espressos, and cappuccinos are available. While I think that the staffs beer knowledge is not that high, I do believe that they know their coffee. Any questions that I have asked on the subject have been quickly and expertly answered.

There is no food available at The Anchor. However, they are currenly working on putting in a kitchen and, eventually, will have some sort of grub.

The Anchor is a definite, no-questions-asked, must stop for anyone looking for good beer in Wichita.

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The Anchor in Wichita, KS
93 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.