By Courtney Klaus, Editor-In-Chief
Club Rodeo, a country-western themed club and popular hangout for Newman students, has been bought by new owners and will be going under some renovations over the next couple months.
The nightclub, soon to be renamed “Midnight Rodeo,” switched hands last week, and one of the new owners is already one of the partners in Fever Night Life, another nightclub in Wichita.
Austin Henry, who manages Fever and works with one of the new owners, says they are looking to make a lot of improvements to the old Club Rodeo venue before opening it back up again.
“The current Rodeo building was definitely kind of run down… We definitely plan on upscaling it, upgrading it. Very similar to what Fever is like… We’re going to ‘pimp it out,’ or ‘bougie it out,’ if you will,” he said.
The building, Henry said, has been gutted to make room for a new dancefloor, a stage for live music, all new lights with moving heads and a new sound system.
“It’s just going to be nice, it’s going to be fresh, it’s going to be new. We aren’t buying a bunch of stuff that’s used. We’re going to do this right. Everything will be new or custom made,” Henry said.
Henry said although the interior will look very different, the club will still have country themed decor and will retain its country feel. He also said the new owners plan on keeping the popular mechanical bull riding available.
Junior Jon Coufal said the new nightclub sounds like it will be a fun place to hang out, but that the old Club Rodeo will always hold a special place in his heart.
“Club Rodeo was life. Rest in peace, Club Rodeo,” Coufal said. “It was the end of an era really, but I’m excited to see what the new place has to offer when it opens.”
Henry said right now the projected goal for Midnight Rodeo to open is sometime in April. In the meantime, students will have to find another place to have a hoedown.
Henry invites students 21-and-over to mosey down ‘yonder to Fever Night Life at 116 N. Mead in Old Town, where they have recently instituted “Country Fridays,” and will play country music to fill the hole temporarily left by Rodeo.
But Rodeo’s former patrons under the age of 18 may just have to hang tight for their next hootenanny. Although, like its predecessor, Midnight Rodeo will continue to cater to an 18-and-over crowd, no other night clubs in Wichita are open to anyone under 21.
PHOTO: Katie Smith, A&E Editor