Blame Mother Nature, Mayor Funkhouser’s incompetence or just plain, old bad luck but there’s no denying that this most recent cowtown freeze out has left the local bar, club and restaurant scene with a cold chill running up what’s left of their spines.
Word around town is that icy streets and arctic temperatures have provided a one-two punch to the wallet of local venues unlike anything owners and managers have ever seen. Allow me to relay a couple of examples:
On the low-end side of things that I’m more familiar with, all of my waitstaff and bartender buddies tell me that tips are way down because people didn’t come out over the holiday. This was exceptionally bad news since the post X-mas season is typically a time when Kansas Citians avoid the company of their relatives by either retreating to local bars or maybe just taking the family along to provide a change of scenery.
At the upper echelon of local nightlife club owners and friends of club owners are complaining that receipts are down up to 20% and that’s from last year when The Great Recession was first striking fear into the hearts of KC scenesters. There’s just no getting around it: The ice, snow and cold killed profits for the entertainment industry all over KC.
Now, there’s a bit more hope that the coming thaw will translate into increased dollars for badly hurting clubs. Already I’m hearing that shows later in the week will have decent attendance and Valentine’s Day weekend might provide an ample opportunity for residents to show some love to their favorite hangouts. Unfortunately, as of this writing, it’s still freezing and I’m guessing that the warmup won’t be so significant as to melt some of those huge snowdrifts hanging around town that will serve to remind us of the beginning of a season in which we were all forced to chill at home.