Hearne: No Fooling, Ex Pitch/Pennylane Owner Hal Brody Steps to the Plate, Part 1 of 3

It’s been a rocking 11 years for the man who brought Kansas City Pennylane Records & The Pitch

After cashing in big time on the Pitch in 1999, Hal Brody moved to California and until recently ran Oakland’s East Bay Express alternative news weekly. He’s been through lawsuits, business turnarounds and temperatures the likes of which have convinced him never to move back to the lowly Cowtown.

But Brody still owns the building that until January housed Pennylane successor Streetside Records.

Let’s start with a deal that fell through to lease or sell the building to Vinyl Renaissance, the Shawnee wax works and audiophile electronics seller. Earlier this year, staffers at both Streetside and VR confirmed Vinyl Renaissance’s hope to pick up where Streetside left off in Westport with a second prime location there.

"Yeah, I still got it," Brody says of the Westport landmark. "And I’ll go either way – sale or lease. I did talk to (VR owner) Dan Phillips. We had an agreement. He was actually storing some stuff there and paying me for that while he was (negotiating with) an investor to go in there."

Were the sky-high Westport CID taxes part of the reason VR opted for a smaller space on 39th Street?

"The CID was a factor, but I think he decided to go the cheaper route and 39th Street is smaller and cheaper," Brody says. "I think his investors ended up falling through and he decided to go to a cheaper place."

As for the rumors among Streetside staffers that VR might bring back the Pennylane name for it’s hoped-for Westport digs, "He talked to me about that," Brody says. "But I actually sold the name to Jack Brozman at Streetside."

Part of VR’s problem in convincing investors to bite off as bold a venture as opening a new Pennylane in Westport was:

"The record biz is a little like going into the newspaper business nowdays," Brody muses. "It’s just not there."

Parties interested in Brody’s building should contact Hilary Murray @ Copaken Brooks

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11 Responses to Hearne: No Fooling, Ex Pitch/Pennylane Owner Hal Brody Steps to the Plate, Part 1 of 3

  1. bschloz says:

    Westport…
    was hopping today..if its so dead how come I couldn’t find a parking space?
    Hearne I’m surprsed you didn’t have some kind of Aprils Fools joke on the site today ala Tom Leathers
    The Star had a great one this week”Google Picks KCK for high speed network”

  2. mrbrown@yahoo.com says:

    just give the pulitzer now
    Earlier this year, staffers at both Streetside and VR confirmed Vinyl Renaissance’s hope to pick up where Streetside left off in Westport with a second prime location there

    Hearne: hey are you opening another store
    random dude on phone: uh, yeah…

  3. Hearne Christopher says:

    Nice fantasy.

    The Express Is Moving to Oakland
    Business / Media Robert Gammon

  4. chuck says:

    Gotta admit Herne, that is a
    hilarious comment from mrbrown.

    Random dude on phone, pulitzer…lmao

  5. Peter Parker says:

    That location has the worst parking situation I have seen. A good retail loaction must have PARKING PARKING PARKING. How many times was anyone almost killed by fast movers on Broadway? It was not worth it.

  6. bschloz says:

    2 and 3
    Sitting on the edge of my seat.

  7. Tracy Thomas says:

    Yeah, Chuck, I though Mr. Brown was your new persona
    The back-and-forth conversation–the dude is stealing one of your most winning strategies, Chuck!
    I love those dialogues that you do. You are the best, but of course it is flattering to be emulated by MrBrown.

    Now try to have a tame Saturday today, Chuck. No mean posts about Hearne.
    You know, like for Lent.
    Maybe it will help if you cheer for VCU…

  8. Hearne Christopher says:

    Well, I’m sure he thinks so. However that, uh, wasn’t quite how it went down. As evidenced by the fact that they did in fact have a deal that fell through.

  9. Hearne Christopher says:

    To do any serious business, you’re right. But over the years I pretty much always found a spot out front or a litttle to the south on Broadway or across the street,

  10. MrBrown says:

    heeee
    Mr Brown stands alone…though Mr. Brown is not on the pulitzer committee..

  11. chuck says:

    Got hammered last night.
    Given my liver a night off. 🙂

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