Glazer: Life After America’s Pub for Westport

It’s finally going to happen…

At long last, Westport’s last black dance club is poised to bite the dust. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any urban crowds coming into the area, there just won’t be a "home" base for that group to rally around.

The $64 million question: How Much Will This Change Westport?

Unfortunately, in the short term, very little.

The damage has been done. Now Westport must do the little things to move forward and restore its tarnished image. With leadership from both Bill Nigro and the Kellys this could happen. Clearly those two factions must get on the same page. And I think they can. Nigro has been the voice of Westport for nearly a decade since I left the scene in 2003. And make no mistake, he wants only what’s best for the neighborhood. So do the Kellys. They just need to join firces and work together in a better way.

In the long run Westport needs to be redone. 

It needs lots of new news! New bars and restaurants, even a store or three. Some mid level hotels would be nice. It’s still a great location in midtown, it just needs some attention. I’ve said this before. In my opinion Nigro and the Kellys need to find a corporate partner to help redo the entertainment district. Like Red Development with Dan Lowe, or maybe Block & Company with David Block. To do this they’ll need to meet and find common ground on the "how to do it board."

Fortunately, the days of hip hop are drawing to an end.

Music is not the force in the club biz it’s been the last 60 years. Sad to say. There are no big time nightclubs in the city and really very few in America today. The bar biz is now more about restaurant bars, smaller neighborhood spots, even a well disguised sports bar or two.

I like what re Verse has become on the Plaza, that should work.

Westport needs more of this movement. James Westfall did a kickass job with McCoy‘s and his other two spots in Westport. Harry’s needs a face lift. Kelly’s added a deck, nice. And for the first time I hear their radio ads on 610 Sports, good move. I like that it’s their daughter who says it’s the 4th generation of Kellys. Something new and upbeat. It works.

Like Hearne said the other day, nobody in Westport ever planned a black dance club, they just happened.

Stanford’s opened its dance floor in 1993 for KU/MU students. At the time the hot hip-hop era was in full swing. And the hood people ran off the white guys and took the club over. That’s how that works. Same happened to other Westport spots like the Brew Pub and Harris House.

Shortly after comes the violence.

It’s a 100 % sure thing. Yes, older urban crowds behave very well. There just aren’t many of those spots around town. And rarely do you get a comfortable mix of blacks and whites, FireFly has that a bit now, with a cleancut white and urban crowd dancing to oldies. It works. But that sort of scene is rare and hard to maintain.

Westport is still a viable area if its leadership can help build it back.

With the general failure of Power & Light it can happen. Yes, P&L is a total failure.

Nothing new of importance will go in there and nobody lives downtown. It was all a bullcrap lie in the first place.

I know the arena at times does well, but time will not be kind to the Sprint Center. There is zero weeknight business and still no shops or stores to speak of. Not even a QuickTrip and that speaks volumes.

It’s still a grey, downbeat look except for the front and sides of P&L which is just a bar area on weekends. Nothing more.

There was no real redoing of downtown.

Zero shopping outside the grocery store, a Sprint store and men’s suits. And hardly anybody really moved down there. And stayed. If you think so, go see how much those "loft condos" are going for.  There are plenty to choose from. Yes, some of it was the economy, no doubt, but it never really got off the ground.

I hope Westport gets another shot at being a fun entertainment zone. If all those folks will work together and find a corporate partner it can still make a big comeback.

So yes, there is hope for a better life after America’s Pub.
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10 Responses to Glazer: Life After America’s Pub for Westport

  1. harley says:

    1. Power and light is not dead…watch for a comeback as the economy improves…
    2. The hottest new place in kansas city…manifesto at 19th and Grand…great idea..a place to get
    an incredible cocktail…with classy people…a quiet atmosphere….quality management and service
    but you need reservations to get in. Seat only about 50-60 people but its great….but its
    expensive at $11 a drink but i think well worth it.
    3. westport….needs a new ad campaign….needs more to bring people there…..if done right…
    and without a black dance club it might be able to make it. Build a fence around it and keep
    the thugs out at night. But the competition from other areas is killing it and with a new
    comedy club and very upscale bar coming to joco soon it will be hard to bring in joco
    money. Let’s be honest…better days are behind westport. I think the world of the kelly family
    and thier employees and they will still make great profits…maybe not like the past…but they
    will still do well.
    Joco money isn’t coming there….theres massive expanision coming to the kansas side…
    joco money people don’t want to drive to westport or downtown.
    And with an aging population the crowds in westport and other bar areas may be short.
    Pump the retail side up….bring in more art shows…events…weekend concerts….
    bring in more special acts……
    fact is that the bars are all off. People are drinking less…drinking at home…not driving
    with the dui patrols…and just decided tht unless its something special theres no reason
    to go to the missouri side and get a $5000 dui.
    Niche bars can make it….watch manifesto….a unique speakeasy type of bar that would
    do really well in joco…even with the cost people are wanting something different
    until the next new concept comes up……..

  2. downtown davey says:

    Glazer You Are Wrong, Harley is Right
    Glazer you think downtown is a failure? Not true, look at the Big Twelve Tournament and St. Pats Day which they have taken from Westport! How about RED FRIDAY moving down there? So its not a failure. I live downtown. No there are no quick trips, who wants one anyways. People will eventually move down here, you’ll see.

  3. Gordon Gecko says:

    Good Points Harley and Glazer
    Harley I like that you hit it on the dime, people just don’t go out much anymore. I am sixty and when I was thrity I went out five nights a week, now maybe twice a month. I sure don’t want a DUI. Glazer I do think Westport can come back, but never to the way it once was. When I was a young fellow, boy did I love Westport. Glad the Black trouble dance clubs are gone. Thank god.

  4. Tony Tubbs says:

    More Racist Crap from Glazer
    Man oh man. So you think dumping the blacks will save Westport? You are a real dog Glazer. And you dated a sister. Jerk.

  5. Black Barbie says:

    Black People Need a Club Too
    Craig we deserve a nice club or two. Every black person ain’t violent. I’m not. I know we cause some stuff that you whites don’t like, but we should have our fun like you guys. So leave us be. Craig I am listening to Dare, well not me cause I am sleeping late, but my Mom listnes every morning to see if you and Dare talk shit on me. So watch it. I am on to you and him downing me and we do not like that. So be good and stay off my ass. You here.

  6. Doormat says:

    Hey Barbie Shut The F Up
    I listen to Dare, they do not bad mouth you. In Fact Dare said you were smokin hot several times. I think you miss the Glazer babes. Hey hit on Dare, he likes the chocolate. So Do I.

  7. Toco Time says:

    Westport Needs Latino Clubs
    You guys need Latino clubs, we can act right.

  8. Hearne Christopher says:

    Thye’re not quite gone yet, Mr. Gecko. The word is America’s Pub’s lease will not be renewed later this year.

  9. Mostly agree says:

    I mostly agree with the things you said Harley, but Manifesto is not new. It’s been there ever since 1924 was there and under the same name. It is a great place.

  10. Frank says:

    Shakeout Time
    The only place to go for nightlife downtown for decades was what Italian Gardens?

    We are over saturated and overbuilt with entertainment choices now.

    Going to be tough to overcome that reality regardless.

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