For decades Kelly‘s in Westport managed to dodge the "bad news" bullets…
Not so of late. Last Thursday Q104 morning host Mike Kennedy brought his radio crew and recording star J. T. Hodges to Kelly’s for a night of KC fun. Hodges is on Toby Keth’s label and Mike wanted to impress the out of towners with a few beers.
He even bought a bunch of memorabilia from Kelly’s – T-shirts and so forth – for the recording folks.
So things started off pleasantly enough…
Mike’s wife, Nycki Pace of the Jack FM morning show, had came with the group. Pace had been up since 5 AM because her show starts at 6, so she was tired by 9:30 PM when they all got to Kelly’s. Mike – who is also a Vice President of Wilkes Broadcasting and offices in Westport – told me "Kelly’s was quiet with maybe a handfull of others in the place. My group was more than half the crowd."
Poor Nycki was so beat she put her head down on the bar to take a bit of a nap while her husband and his guests visited at the bar. Mike said everything was cool, with longtime Kelly’s bartender "Red" waiting on the group. That is until Red left and a couple new bartenders came on the scene.
One of the new bartenders shook Pace and said, "Hey, wake up and get out. You can’t sleep in here."
Mike saw this and came over to the bartender and explained who he was and that she was just sleepy from being up all day and night. Mike said he was sorry she put her head down and before he could finish the bartender yelled back, "Hey I don’t give a fuck who you are, get the fuck out!"
Now Kennedy was upset and looked at the other bartender and said, "Look guys, we’ve spent a few hundred bucks here. You really don’t want to act this way to us because we do morning radio and will be forced to bring up your ugly behavior on the shows and…"
Before Kennedy could finish, both bartenders repeated in unison, "We don’t care who you are or what you spent, get the FUCK OUT."
Kennedy, now very pissed, gave back the Kelly’s T-Shirts and told them he didn’t want a refund – that he wouldn’t ever wear them and would never be back. Again, he was told to fuck off.
Mike retold the tale on the air. Not a happy camper.
Kennedy told me, "You know I don’t get it. Kelly’s was so empty, we were the entire crowd. It was like already near 11 PM on Thursday and nobody was in there but us. Why would you want to act that way to your only customers? Nobody was drunk. My wife just put her head down. I don’t see what the big deal was! Hey, if Kelly’s wants people to know how they may be treated, I will only be too happy to let my 50,000 plus audience know."
So Kennedy did just that.
Mike said he’s done talking about it and isn’t going to bring it up on air anymore. He also said he will never step inside Kelly’s again, nor will his wife and pals. And the record label people were shocked by the weird behavior on Kelly’s part.