On Wednesday, WSU Tech announced plans to open the National Institute for Culinary and Hospitality Education (NICHE) in the historic Henry’s building located in downtown Wichita.
The property will be renovated to feature state-of-the-art commercial kitchens, classrooms, demonstration kitchen, an open-to-the-public food hall, student-ran café, and rooftop event center. Envision, a nonprofit who promotes advocacy and independence for those who are blind or low vision, also announced a partnership with WSU Tech to create a first-of-its-kind innovation kitchen and culinary education opportunity designed to help meet the career goals of people who are blind or visually impaired.
“WSU Tech is proud to bring this new educational opportunity to downtown Wichita,” said Dr. Sheree Utash, President of WSU Tech. “NICHE will further build upon the momentum generated in recent years in our community and will create a synergy between our students and applied learning opportunities. Many of the spaces will be open to the public, and it is our hope that NICHE will become one of the top food destinations in the Wichita region.”
During the presentation, WSU Tech also revealed the new logo for NICHE. The logo was created by Wichita’s very own Gardner Design, who specialize in creating world-class brand identities.
Bringing New Life To Downtown
The historic, 90-year-old building located at 124 S. Broadway previously housed the Henry’s department store and has been vacant for over twenty years. The building will be home to WSU Tech’s new culinary arts and hospitality and events management programs, with construction expected to be complete for an August 2022 opening. Included in the renovation of the property is a food hall that will be open to the public with plans to showcase items prepared by WSU Tech culinary students. The rooftop is planned to serve as an event space available for rent and catered by the students in the WSU Tech culinary program with event support from the college’s hospitality and events management program.
This development is one of four historic projects currently underway by the Douglas Market Development LLC. All projects are located along the William Street corridor and will bring new energy directly south of Douglas Avenue.