Best bar: Heroes Sports Bar and Grill

Heroes Sports Bar and Grill is located in the heart of Wichita right behind the museum in Old Town. With everything beer, TV’s and a mechanical bull one would be hard pressed to not have a good time.

A diverse crowd, signature drinks and sports are what keep Heroes Sports Bar & Grill in Old Town alive. 

With a rich history, this local dive was once a produce warehouse that had an elevator running right through it. Around 1990, developers started looking at the Old Town area as an entertainment district in the center of the metro area. The rustic, red brick buildings seemed an idyllic setting for bars and restaurants, and the building was remodeled into a bar and grill. Heroes Sports Bar and Grill opened its doors Dec. 26, 1991, and it hasn’t changed much since then. 

“As much as it changes, it kind of stays the same,” Heroes general manager Eric Davisson said. 

Remodeled bathrooms and a roof for the patio are a few of the minor additions to the venue.

The interior is mostly brick with about 20 flat-screen televisions strewn everywhere, and a patio sits out front by the entrance. LED light fixtures surround the entire place, while the bar sits in the middle back. The place is anything but generic. 

Davisson tells of how the crowds have changed over the years, but really stay the same. 

“There’s always someone new turning 21,” he said. 

For bartender Wesley Wallace, it’s about the people. 

“I get to meet people who are young and who are old,” Wallace said. “I’m a very social person, so getting to talk with others is always great.”

Entering his fourth year with Heroes, he said he still enjoys talking with new customers every day and building relationships with regulars. The worst part about the job, he said, is kicking people out when they’ve had too much.

What makes this bar and grill the best in Old Town is the atmosphere, the food, drink and a friendly staff — three elements, Davisson said, that make a place successful. 

 “You can come down here and get a good burger, a good salad and a cold beer,” Davisson said. “The staff here is friendly, and that place has a lot of character to it.”

Of course, Heroes sees its fair share of regulars. Wichita State students venture to Old Town most weekends for the nightlife, and Heroes appears on the agenda.  

 “I love that there isn’t a cover, and the drinks are pretty cheap,” graduate student Nathan Thompson said. “That’s what you want.” 

Graduate student Mogie Curmode echoed his thoughts.

 “I like that the service is always good,” Curmode said. “The people are friendly and the drink specials are great.” 

Manager and bartender Mike Vannover, like Wallace, said it’s all about the people.

 “The thing I love about it is the people who come in,” Vannover said. “You see the different crowds and generations of people after working here for a while.” 

Vannover said he would venture to Heroes with his buddies when he was in college. Eventually, they grew older and started raising families. He now likes to see the new wave of college kids make their way through the nightlife. 

“You see a certain crowd come through for a while, then as they get older, they start coming earlier and getting different drinks,” Vannover said. “As they get older, a new crowd comes in and you see the same pattern.”