Old Town business owners say the lease is up at Doc Howards Lounge. The club is the largest bar in Old Town. Since it opened, there have been fights, shootings and other violence in the area. Many business owners said they've been waiting for years to see Doc Howards leave Old Town and they believe there are better options for the building.
Annalisa Moreno and Nicci Lundquist visit Wichita once a year for a real estate education conference. They stay downtown and want to experience the Old Town nightlife, but they've been warned to stay away from a certain area.
"We have heard that at Doc Howards there has been a lot of shootings and stabbings," Moreno said. "In fact, before I traveled I heard be careful, be careful because there are shootings,"
"It's just so funny to me because everything else around here seems so pleasant and nice and we've had really good experiences with the other places," Lundquist said.
Some owners of those other places feel the violence around Doc Howard's keeps potential customers away. In the past year, police responded to four shootings in the area.
"I feel like if it was safe and everyone could trust their kids going out then I think all the other businesses around would get their clientele back," said Brittani Lonergan, former customer.
Some people who frequent the area during the day say they would never go at night. They they hope to see a more family-oriented business replace the bar.
"Just something that kids can go hang out in and feel comfortable and safe and not have to worry about leaving the club or leaving the bar and feel like they're not going to get home safe at night," Lonergan said.
Eyewitness News tried to talk to the owner of the building but he did not return our calls. We did talk to a manager at Doc Howards who would not go on camera or say much. But when we asked about the lease, she said nothing is set in stone at this point.