Swanky speakeasy

Ambassador Hotel opens Dockum

Written by Sara Garrison

Offering a trendy speakeasy experience of the 1920s to the people of Wichita, Dockum, tucked in the basement of the Ambassador Hotel, provides an intimate bar atmosphere with a décor reminiscent of the historical drugstore that was housed in the Union National Bank building for decades.

The concept for Dockum started in 2015 when Ambassador Hotel owner Paul Coury and general manager Tad Stricker discussed utilizing the vacant space in the Ambassador Hotel basement. Coury and Stricker wanted to bring the popular speakeasy concept to Wichita while honoring the historical significance of the Dockum Drugstore. The Union National Bank building, where the Ambassador Hotel resides today, was originally built in 1926. For decades, the Dockum Drugstore operated out of the first floor of the Union National Bank building.

Dockum Apothecary opened its doors in October 2016.

“It is important to pay homage to the history of Wichita and share that history with our guests,” explains Stricker. “Dockum provides an experience not like any other bar or lounge in Wichita. Dockum is a throwback to a simpler time before televisions and cell phones. When you walk through the space you will see drugstore-style candy and touches from drugstores of that time period. The cocktails are mixed in beakers. This is a unique option for Wichita to socialize in an intimate way.”

In addition to a wide selection of craft cocktails, wine and beer, Dockum serves small plates and tapas. Although entrances to the speakeasies of the 1920s were hidden, the Dockum entrance is accessible by following the pharmacy signs in the hotel lobby.

“Dockum also has a few house rules. If you are taking photos we ask that you turn your flash off. We also have a dress code with no hats allowed,” explains Stricker. “Our goal is to transport our guests back to a time that has been lost. Our staff will bend over backwards to provide the best experience for our guests.”

Reservations are accepted at Dockum for individuals having dinner earlier in the evening at the Ambassador’s Siena Tuscan Steakhouse. Additionally, the original Union National Bank vault from 1926 is available to reserve as a private setting for parties with six to 18 people.

“When our guests walk in, they say it looks like something out of a movie,” says Stricker. “The Dockum speakeasy is a great way for individuals of varying ages to get away, enjoy a cocktail and honor the history of Wichita.”

Parking in the garage will be validated for all guests of Dockum. For more information or to reserve the vault for a private party call (316) 719-7119 or email docsangers@dockum.com.

Dockum Apothecary | Ambassador Hotel | 104 S. Broadway St., Wichita | Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. | (316) 719-7119 | Dockum.com

 
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