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Ratings: 26 | Reviews: 19 | Display Reviews Only:
4.4/5 rDev +6%
Note the focus here! AutumnalDave, this ones 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.
Lets settle down to business. I was effin drinkin! It was not as dark as Delilahs 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 Dont 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.
11-23-2006 14:13:25 | More by woodychandler
3.88/5 rDev -6.5%
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
07-08-2008 05:27:19 | More by russpowell
District of Columbia
4.28/5 rDev +3.1%
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.
05-17-2013 04:03:56 | More by Sludgeman
4.25/5 rDev +2.4%
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.
04-03-2007 02:39:17 | More by udubdawg
3.93/5 rDev -5.3%
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.
10-07-2011 03:24:09 | More by BeerZack
4.29/5 rDev +3.4%
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.
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.
07-10-2005 20:38:03 | More by Quaffer
3.1/5 rDev -25.3%
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.
07-16-2010 18:40:30 | More by hopstradamus
4.6/5 rDev +10.8%
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
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.
05-24-2008 09:38:53 | More by raverjames
The Anchor in Wichita, KS
92 out of 100 based on 26 ratings.