By Travis Mounts
Friday marked a milestone moment in the construction of the Wichita Union Stockyards, an event center and steakhouse under construction on MacArthur Road, just west of Hoover.
Mike and Tina Andra are the owners of the 40-acre site, and plans are for the facility to be open by early November. The post-and-beam framework is now complete. The last two of 2,000 wooden pegs were autographed and hammered in by Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell and Wichita City Council member Jeff Blubaugh, who represents the city’s Fourth District that encomposses the Oatville area and much of southwest Wichita west of the Arkansas River and south of Maple Ave.
The Oatville location sits in the USD 261 Haysville School District, and is just around the corner from Oatville Elementary. The Wichita Union Stockyards is about about three miles north and two miles west of Haysville.
“This is an absolutely gorgeous facility and something people can appreciate,” said Longwell.
Editor’s note: This story appeared in the July 13 print edition of the Haysville Sun-Times, and in the Aug. 2 print edition of the Star-Argosy. To see stories like this first, and to get all your community news, subscribe to your hometown newspaper. Call 316-540-0500 today to get home delivery next week.
“I’m really excigted about the whole thing,” added Blubaugh, who said his family came to that area to be part of the Oklahoma Land Rush. The site is near where the Chisholm Trail crossed the Cowskin Creek. “It’s exciting to have points like this.”
The Andras – who are from the Conway Springs area – have big dreams for the site.
“We hope to be the center of country music in Wichita,” Mike Andra said.
That includes hosting country music concerts. The facility will be able to host 1,100 people for concerts, although they will initially target shows with smaller crowds.
Built to look like a barn constructed more than 100 years ago, Wichita Union Stockyards also will be an event facility. Wedding parties already are reserving dates.
The barn will include a 3,000-square-foot pecan dance floor custom made in Texas. Barn doors will cover the stage at the north end and open in a “Grand Ole Opry” style.
The Andras’ radio station, KWLS 107.9, will relocate its studio to the barn, and Mike talked of broadcasting live music on Saturday nights.
All of that is part of phase one. The second phase will include a meat market cookhouse, where they will serve steaks grown on their ranch and fed non-GMO (genetically-modified organism) grain they raise themselves. That will be in a separate building southeast of the barn. They also plan to hold a weekly farmers market, bringing another business entity to the south metropolitan area.
The facility is named after the former Wichita Union Stockyards on 21st Street North in Wichita.