The building formerly occupied by Dollar General in Arkansas City could soon become a bar and nightclub.
After sitting vacant since May 2020, the space at 2411 N. Summit St., is being completely renovated.
Jose Ayala said he still needs to get a liquor license, but he plans to open a gathering spot that would be a regular bar during the week and club with music on the weekends. He might try food service in the future.
It will be called Bar El Columpio, named after a popular Mexican song.
“We’re going to do something nice,” he said.
Ayala, of Winfield, said he is the former owner of La Fiesta and owns a restaurant in Wichita called Mexico Viejo at 21st Street and Ridge Road.
City Planner Josh White said he had spoken with someone about the plans and confirmed that the current zoning is compatible.
“It’s planned to be sort of a party gathering place where there may be a bar, as well,” White said. “Essentially, it’s a private club.”
White said the store had been stripped bare and will need a lot of equipment in order to be used for anything.
According to county records, the property is owned by the Cornerstone Charitable Foundation in Beloit. The organization’s website states that the group acquires, manages and develops real estate to strengthen Catholic communities.
“I believe they wanted to put retail in there, but haven’t had any more luck than the previous owners, so this use was acceptable to them,” White said.
Attempts to reach officials at Cornerstone for comment were not successful.
Ayala said he hopes to have the place open by March 1.