NCAA party zone

Brick + Mortar

Written by Karen Long

In just two short months Intrust Bank Arena and the surrounding neighborhood will fill up with 15,000 rabid basketball fans traveling in from around the country, to cheer on their teams in the first and second round of the NCAA tournament. Brick + Mortar owners Brandy and Jesse Zogleman are building a court of their own in the shadow of the looming arena. They’ve spent most of 2017 in the paint, renovating what used to be the Cowie Electric building and transforming the almost 100-year-old structure into a new event space.

Now they’re busy putting the finishing touches on an entertainment pad, a fresh concrete and brick surface at the site of a former parking lot outside the venue, directly across the street from the arena. The couple is brainstorming a packed schedule of concerts and entertainment, a mix of private and public events for hungry and thirsty sports fans.

The glass tent

The Zoglemans purchased the historical building in September of 2016 and spent the next year renovating it and relocating their party rental business, Event Elements, into an expanded showroom and warehouse on the west side of the block. They transformed the east side of the building, which used to be the old Cowie Electric garage, into Brick + Mortar, an event space sporting exposed brick walls and a rustic, soaring, wooden barrel ceiling.

“It’s pretty much a blank slate,” says Brandy. “There’s nothing permanent in here besides the chandeliers.” The look right now features islands of large, white round sofas and sectionals, flanked by gleaming, reflective tables accented in gold. “It’s very modern, very clublike. If you’re having a New Year’s Eve party it would be great.”

Likewise if you’re hosting a five-day NCAA party.

To celebrate the NCAA first and second rounds, which are happening March 15 and 17, The couple is in the process of erecting a tent on the entertainment pad.

“The coolest thing is that it’s enclosed,” Brandy says. “It’s made of actual structured glass walls, so it’ll be warm.” There will also be fireplaces set up on the brick corners of the pad, and a Cor-Ten fence will surround the space for privacy, adding a trendy, rusted-patina ambiance. The 7,000-square-foot tent will define a party zone for an additional 500-1,000 fans.

On the day SPLURGE! visited Brick + Mortar, the Zoglemans were thrilled because the City Council was meeting to approve vacating the alley, a long-awaited development which will allow the owners to extend their Cor-Ten fence all the way to the building.

Battle of the brackets at Brick + Mortar

For the NCAA event lineup, which the Zoglemans are calling Battle of the Brackets at Brick + Mortar, they’re selling all-inclusive VIP sponsorship packages, including a reserved booth, T-shirts, advertising, unlimited food and drink, and entry to all the concerts and entertainment scheduled before and after the games.

The Brick + Mortar interior venue will be devoted to private parties, but the tent will be open to the public, possibly with advance ticket sales. Watch for ranks of LED video walls and lots of TVs.

“We’re just really creating a basketball experience like nothing else,” Brandy says.

The party tips off at noon on Wednesday with a DJ spinning in between basketball practices — which are free and open to the public — and the action runs all the way to Sunday. Thursday and Saturday nights will feature former Miss Kansas, Emily Strom, who’s bringing her dueling piano act to Brick + Mortar.

Friday night will highlight one or two country acts, and for Saturday — St. Patrick’s Day — the Zoglemans are cooking up festive family activities including a pancake feed, face painting, local Irish acts, bagpipe players and Irish dancers.

“With 15,000 people coming in for the games,” Brandy says, “we definitely want to create an experience so our local community can enjoy the atmosphere downtown.”

Brick + Mortar
229 S. Emporia St.
Wichita, KS 67202

Contact Brandy Zogleman for more information about purchasing VIP sponsorships.

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