Chicken N Pickle’s Succulents and Sangria event is as delectable as it sounds


Easton Thompson/ The Sunflower

Wichita State graphic design student, Madison Zorn, waits the tables during the “Succulents & Sangria” event at Chicken N Pickle on Wednesday, March 27, 2019.

Promoted as “a unique, indoor/outdoor entertainment complex,” Wichita’s Chicken N Pickle sprawls a full two acres on the corner of 13th Avenue and Greenwich Road. The large space, new to Wichita, allows for multiple areas dedicated for specific aims. Indoor and outdoor pickleball courts, corporate event spaces, an indoor game room, and smaller rooms for more intimate gatherings, are just some of the possibilities.

Bill Crooks, design developer and partner, stated the flagship location is based in Kansas City, Missouri, and a third location will soon open in San Antonio. He was quick to mention that “Wichita will have the biggest one in the country.” It is an ambitious concept that seems to already be paying off.

On Tuesday night, a sold-out crowd gathered into a sunny upstairs room of Chicken N Pickle to mingle, drink sangria, and create their own pots of succulents. The event was hosted by Andover plant expert Kelsey Kuecker (of Sweet Stems and Succulents) to guide participants in their arrangements. The mood was upbeat and casual as people sit at communal tables chatting, sipping, and potting plants. This hybrid of bar-meets-craft night might be unusual for Wichita, but it’s par for the course for Chicken N Pickle.

“This concept is so different than anything else (in the area),” Events Manager Michelle West said. “We don’t have this kind of thing in the Midwest.”

“We sold out in less than 24 hours,” added Events Coordinator Maddy Irvine.

Due to the high volume of interest, the two are already organizing another Succulents & Sangria, scheduled for April 27th.

The experience seems to be filling a gap for Wichitans.

“It’s all about getting people connected. We like to say we’re low tech and high touch,” West said.

Irvine agreed. “We don’t want people plugged in. These events are hands-on. You literally can’t look at your phone.”

A glance around the room proved their point, as people converse and busily arrange their plants, soil spilling onto tables.

What drew people to this particular event? For some, it’s quite simple.

“I love succulents,” participant Bonnie Hull said.

“Yeah, and supposedly I can’t kill these,” added her sister-in-law Stephanie Stewart. “I guess we’ll find out!”

West and Irvine spoke passionately about future crafty events at Chicken N Pickle, mentioning an upcoming master gardening class in April as well as a Ladies Night Out Workshop for handcrafting wooden signs — which has already sold out.

West was exuberant about the possibilities ahead.

“This is easy for us. As event planners, we get to do everything we want do,” West said. “We love our community — whatever we can do to help.”