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Warming weather means welcome jump in business for local restaurants, bars

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 10:40 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - This weekend’s forecast for the Wichita area gives a preview of summer. For some local restaurants and bars with patios, that means more business.

For Chicken N’ Pickle in east Wichita, the busiest days are when the sun is out and the temperature is warm. Days like Friday and through the weekend give the restaurant a lookahead to the boom in business it’s expecting this summer. To keep up, Chicken N’ Pickle increased its staff.

“As it’s warmed up, we’ve almost doubled our staff on the weekends,” said Chicken N’ Pickle Manager Zach Kratochvil. “With it being busy outside and being beautiful, everyone wants to be outside. Pretty much Thursday through Sunday, it’s busy out here.”

It’s a similar situation at Mort’s Martini and Cigar Bar operating partner Emma Russell said seeing the patio busy is a refreshing sight.

Last summer, most bars and restaurants were closed because of the pandemic.

“I think we were open for three weeks of the summer last year,” Russell said. “This already feels better.”

The sun and warm weather is coming just in time for Mort’s annual Kentucky Derby party.

“This weekend is the Kentucky Derby and we always do a Kentucky Derby party that’s a fundraiser for Victory in the Valley,” Russell said.

The CDC says the risk of transmitting COVID-19 is significantly lower outdoors, especially if you’re vaccinated. That’s the perfect reason for businesses to take advantage of the weather and put their patios to use.

“When it’s nice like this, people can really enjoy everything we have to offer,” Kratochvil said.

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