Hearne on the Street: Blayney’s of Westport Bites the Dust

Four decades and out…

One of Kansas City’s premier nightclubs Blayney’s of Westport has closed. The legendary basement blues club quietly closed a couple weeks back. Another victim of the tough times and changing landscape of KC nightlife. It may be gone, but it’s definitely not forgotten.

Owner Dick Schulte declined to comment, but word on the street is he’s looking at other nightclub options.

“I hope he still makes a deal with his landlord and reopens,” says Westport businessman Bill Nigro. “He’s been a Westport institution since before I got here in 1977.”

Thirty-five years, to be exact…

KC Confidential entertainment writer Brian McTavish was stunned to learn of Blayney’s demise.

“How tall were the ceilings in that place?” the six-foot, seven inch tall McTavish muses. “I always had to duck down there, but I never held that against it. It was like a cellar, but it was our cellar, man.”

Blayney’s demise is bad news for the local music biz, McTavish notes.

“Itell you this, it’s one less place for local bands to ply their trade which is too bad,” McTavish says. “Blayney’s was a bread-and-butter gig for tons of Kansas City bands over the years. You know who used to play there who I loved? The 4 Sknns with Guido Toledo. I loved the 4 Sknns. I mean, they were the closest thing we had to the Fab Four and they played that little grunge hole and made you feel you were listening to their stuff in a palace. They were Kansas City’s best pop-rock, Beatles-wannabe band ever.”

Another signature Blayney’s trademark: its rep as a last chance saloon.

“It’s only fair to lament its passing as one of Kansas City’s premier pickup joints,” McTavish says. “Not that I ever picked anybody up there. For me it was sort of like reading Playboy for the content – I was there for the music. It was a rock n roll place – you went there to hear rock n roll.”

In recent years Blayney’s brandished its live music chops primarily on blues bands. Or as it’s Web site still says, ” Live Blues 6 Nights a Week.”

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6 Responses to Hearne on the Street: Blayney’s of Westport Bites the Dust

  1. Anonymous says:

    Burman Dinstow
    If it’s been closed for two weeks and you guys are just finding out about it, that’s a pretty good indication that Blayney’s was no longer a place of importance in KC nightlife. Is it an indication of wider Westport problems brought about by Power&Light cannibalization? Does the Star have anybody covering nightlife anymore?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I heard the landlord is a real cocksucker. Literally and figuratively.

  3. Anonymous says:

    craig glazer
    Dick was always a team player…Westport will miss him and his club, if it weren’t for Bill Nigro Westport would be completely gone…it has life because of Nigro and James Westfall(Macoys)…not much else of course the kelly’s never gave a crap about anyone but themselves..whoops did I say that…..YES….hate to say it, I had great times in Westport and tons of memories(no not just the girls and dope)…I drive through there alot…love Bill,but sadly I just don’t much miss Westport…too many issues..too many headaches and some mean people….but Dick was a good one..all the best Dick….

  4. Anonymous says:

    Blayney’s will be missed. I have heard the landlord is a serious ass whipe, why else would half the businesses in that building be empty?

    There is no question that the neighborhood is doomed because it can’t get past greedy squabbles. Kelly’s obviously doesn’t give a damn, and Karma and America’s Pub are ruining the place.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wow, it’s nice to find out about this unfortunate end 4 days before the show we were going to play there. That’s sad! So much for the American underground juke joint. We may find them all going belly-up, soon. 🙁

  6. Michael Powers says:

    The Demise of Blayneys
    I have nothing but fond memories of Blayneys-I was was the lead guitar player for The Bidets in the late nineties up until about 2001. We played Blaymeys more often than I played anywhere else-seems like we were the Thursday night band for much of two or three years. It was a great venue-but anyone that played there knows the old sound board hanging by chains next to the stage was a sound engineers nightmare, and everytime we showed up we would have to completely re-tweak the board (I got very good at it). The stage lights were so close that sweat would run before the first song and if you played a single coil guitar you had to adjust for insaine pickup noise. Dick is a nice guy but tighter than bark on a tree. Does anyone remember his match books? “I work for Dick” that was very telling. We always had a great time, and yes the cast of characters was someting to behold. Shelly or Nathan behind the bar and of course Dick floating in and out. It’s a shame that such a cornerstone of the KC Blues tradition had to come to an end. Maybe someday people will come to realize that some institutions need to be kept alive.

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