Glazer: Can Hell Bar Follow Johnny Dare’s Footsteps & Live to Tell Story?

I see that the old Stanford‘s and Johnny Dare’s is reopening this weekend as the Hell Bar.

I wish them luck, I really do. They’re gonna need it. Having done this with Dare seven years ago, I learned a lot about the biker bar biz.

First off, Westport’s a tough, tough nut right now.

We all know why. When Dare and I did the remake of Stanford’s in March of 2004, we were following an icon, Stanford and Sons. It was a nationally known spot that had huge success for decades. The reason for the change was simple; we were being kicked out of our adjoining comedy and dance club space owned by a separate real estate group. We were allowed to maintain our original area owned by the Langdon Family.

Unfortunately it turned out to be far too small a space for the Dare project.

Johnny Dare’s had bike parking in front along Westport Road. That was huge.

Everyone wanted to look at the bikes and hear them roar as they came and went. Johnny and I met with KC Police Chief Jim Corwin to get that done. The chief couldn’t have been nicer. Police are Johnny Dare fans – hey, who isn’t? So we had that going for us.

My family and I spent $450,000 to redo the place. A fourth of that was to add all the metal out front that gave it a Mad Max "Beyond Thunderdome" effect. We put in a new bar, and so on. We even made the upstairs a trailer park joint complete with Dare hats, T-shirts and other swag.

All of that worked…at first.

We turned the restaurant into a BBQ joint but it was too small to seat very many people. We also couldn’t do much food at night because when the bar got busy it overwhelmed the food area.

I also learned that people on motorcycles watch what they drink.

They don’t want to get boozed up and crash into somebody. So liquor sales were far less for that reason.

Overall those were fun days. We got tons of press, mostly positive, and Johnny helped by reminding listeners to go down to the bar. We had huge lines when we opened. Weekends stayed strong but weekdays fell off and our overhead was just too high.

Also, Stanford’s took in big time door money and we couldn’t do that at Dare’s. It was really just too small.

And rain was a big killer and cold weather. Bikers don’t like that, who does?

Something else we had at Dare’s was smoking hot waitresses.

We were the last ones standing in Westport on that one. When you think about it not that many bars today have many hotties working there. Sure, some restaurants have cute gals, but not so much in the cocktail areas. Why? The big money just is not there anymore.

Hooters is about the only place that keeps up on the smoking hot babes anymore.

We did have our share at Johnny Dare’s. And those Catholic school girl outfits didn’t hurt. 

Yeah, it was a blast.

Maybe if we’d done it out South it could have continued. Who knows? Others have gone the upscale "Biker Bar" route since, but none have really worked. The one out south in Overland Park, Fuel, started out a bit like us, but quickly became more of a sports/coyote ugly/dance club type place. Right now there are no big time biker bars around.

The good news for Westport is with Karma gone and America’s Pub likely to follow, at least this place won’t be a hip-hop club. That will help.

They’ll also have a great bartender in Big Eric. He’s the best.

Just meeting him may be worth the trip to Hell and back.

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27 Responses to Glazer: Can Hell Bar Follow Johnny Dare’s Footsteps & Live to Tell Story?

  1. John says:

    Interesting.
    Glazer seemed to make sence.

    And I have to admit it, but yeah, Westport would be better off if they got less Hip-Hop and more blue collar or even Biker.

  2. Orphan of the Road says:

    Hooters? Hooters?????
    There’s a friggin’ Hooters in Reading, PA. Nuff said on that subject.

    I guess you never heard of Knuckleheads. Pretty successful as a biker bar. Great acts, local and national, reasonably priced drinks, good bar food. Did I mention a ton of bikes?

    Johnny Dare attracts the bikes-on-a-trailer crowd. Bikers hit The Tool Shed or Frank’s or drink in the back of the local shop. Rain doesn’t stop a biker.

    Everybody watches what they drink these days.

    At least Dare was never Gail’s beech like Slacker.

    Hooters? Really????

  3. smartman says:

    Biker Redux
    Weather and drunk biking aren’t much of a problem for the 2%-ers. Hell, I saw a guy from the Mongols ride his bike naked at close to 100mph when it was below zero. Wind chill is for pussies.

    The Cold Club, 7th and Central, KCK, Dewey and Wino. THAT was a REAL Biker Bar. Watched a guy get the shit beat outta him, flat out cold on his back on the sidewalk. Dude that whipped him did have the class to roll him over on his stomach so he wouldn’t choke to death on his own blood. Antoinette’s up north is a pseudo biker bar. You can still get your balls ripped off if you look like you don’t belong. Knuckleheads WAS a biker bar before Frank SOLD-OUT. I miss those street parties.

    This is a pussy wanna be “98 percenter” biker bar. Might as well make it a Fiat Prima Bar

  4. chuck says:

    I am not knocking your Hooters chicks in the photo Glaze,
    But except for the girl on the right, those chicks look like they are 3 minutes away from “settleing”, havin 6 kids and a vag that looks like a swat team kicked it in during a drug bust at Tony and Manny’s crib.

  5. Matt says:

    Over/Under for a riot down there – 30 days
    Brothers vs ‘necks that’ll get it going any time.

  6. Biker Bob says:

    Loved Dares
    Went to Dare’s several times, coolest bar in KC, maybe ever. We all loved it, sorry its gone. See you at Rockfest.

  7. monkey man says:

    Blacks Hate Cycles
    We hate bikes and bkers. This place will not work in our neck of the world

  8. JayhawkTony says:

    Have You Ever Heard Of…
    No big time biker bars around? Are you kidding? You obviously haven’t heard of or been to Kobi’s in Bonner Springs. It’s a huge biker bar, but its a place where the locals are more than welcome. Just ask your buddy, Johnny Dare. He’s been there a number of times.

  9. milt says:

    Jesse James is The Best
    Watch Dares show, Full Throtle on TV. Enjoy it and Jesse James with jackyl. Hey put him at Rockfest Dare. Like the Hooties Girls photo.

  10. smartman says:

    @Matt
    My money’s on the brothers in that brawl. No REAL Bikers are gonna go there. Lot’s of cops in Westport. No Angels, Pagans or Mongols are gonna hang and do “business” with cops around.

    What would be piss your pants funny is if the club got taken over by a black motorcycle club. There are several of those in the metro. Nothin’ like an Ultra Glide with curb feelers.

  11. HARLEY says:

    werent there other investors in dares place?
    heard that outside investors lost money there too…is that true?

  12. Black Barbie says:

    Dare and Craig Just wanted Girls
    I bet those two johnny and craig opened that bar to screw all kinds of white girls with big titties. Thats what they did, um huh. It was just a sex place for those two and their friends. I seen the girls that worked there in them outfits, all ho’s. Sexy, but hose. Hey if you can do all that fine I guess. No blacks ever went there i can tell you that. I went once to see what was up. I saw, I left. Loud damn rock music and them big tits white bitches hanging on Craig and Johnny. You tell me it was almost a strip bar. Um huh. It was.

  13. chuck says:

    Black Barbie shoots and scores!!!
    Fuckin hilarious!

  14. Conklin says:

    No other investment people
    The Glazers were the only investors. I was a manager there. Craig did have a deal with Cordish Company to open in Virginia but when American Crome closed(originally Dares) it died. I think he had some people involved in that but not big money. I helped open the club and had worked at Stanfords before. Great times.

  15. tiffy says:

    Just Pave it over…
    Let’s just end this stupid discussion about Westport. Within the next 10 years it will just become part of St. Lukes anyway so who cares???

  16. newbaum turk says:

    bikers
    Most bikers are working-class guys that can’t see spending at least $3 a beer anywhere. It’s not going to fly.

  17. Jack Bat says:

    Went To Hell Bar Last Night
    Better than I expected. A few bikes out front. Couple cute waitresses, not in any type of sexy costume though, redid back of house, much better. Good music . Overall much better than it was, much from Karma. Decent size crowd, given Westport was slow, nowhere near what Dare’s was, but still I had some fun. Check it out.

  18. BarKeeper says:

    Posers and lotsa JoCo Hosers…
    This joint will be chock full of leather-clad wannabes who are way too bashful for places like the Toolshed….weekend warriors with a stack of credit cards, Rolex’s, and not a drop of true biker blood in the lot.
    But you gotta love these mega-posers who blow in from Johnson County to show off their store bought chrome and paint jobs while they toss back a few O’Douls….makes me vomit at the very thought.
    Most of ’em haven’t been riding for more than a year, and should be on Honda 125’s, Vespas, or mopeds!
    If a fight breaks out, it’ll be the women, not these ball-less jagg-me-offs!

  19. Packers Nation says:

    Stanfords and Dares Great
    Went by the Hell House, whatever, yeah there were a few people there, not real busy, but westport was slow, so it was ok. It’s like Dares after a fire and a sale took place though. Kinda barren.

  20. RAW says:

    A Few Photos
    I could say a lot about JD’s and Glazer and the rest but I see know point in bringing up the past. Regardless here are a few photos from 04 & 05 that might bring back some memories . Eric, The JD Girls, Tommy Chong, Pull, Billy Lane, Boobs Gone Wild and some regulars.

    http://www.rawmediastudios.com/p433811269

  21. RickM says:

    too funny
    this back’n’forth over what makes a ‘real’ biker is one of the most hilarious threads i’ve read here in a long while.

  22. Westport Patron says:

    Gives a Damn
    Who cares what makes a ‘real’ biker bar!!!!! Simply is it fun? Is it busy? I say not likely. Dare’s worked cause of Johnny,Craig,Stanfords thats why.

  23. kellys man says:

    Nigro Is Behind the Entire Mess
    Nigro owns this bar now, he is after the Kellys business. He wants to buy the Kellys building when he runs them off. Don’t let this happen Westport bar people. Nigro is evil, the Kellys are good Christians, he is not. I will do battle with him tonight at his dumb tailor court. Be there see me whoop on him.

  24. kellys man says:

    Nigro Ran Away
    Yes, he ran from me last night. Again. STep up Bill.

  25. smartman says:

    Bikerz Gone Wild
    Owning a motorcycle doesn’t make you a biker any more than owning a Stetson makes you a cowboy or having a tattoo makes you a hardass or owning a BMW makes you a douchebag.

    Calling Hell Bar or even Johnny Dare’s a Biker Bar is a stretch.

    Being a BIKER, is a lifestlye, an obsession, not a weekend, dress up, fantasy, hobby.

    To fully assimilate the lifestyle usually means joining a club. That could be the Mongols, BACCA, or Bikers for Jesus. Whatever the club most require active participation which includes going to “church” on a weekly basis and giving of your time, money or talents to help the club pursue its’ mission be it one for good or evil.

    REAL bikers don’t go to bars. They party at their clubhouses ’cause the things the OUTLAW and 2%-er groups do aren’t allowed in normal bars, like doin’ drugs, gettin’ blowjobs or other deviant sexual acts plus REAL bikers aren’t fond of 300% markups on booze and food.

    Most people in the Metro would shit their pants inside a real biker clubhouse and don’t have the balls to ride toe to toe and wheel to wheel in a group of 50 or more bikes at 90mph.

    Love ’em or hate ’em REAL BIKERS are a thread to our outlaw past. A continuation of The James Gang and Bonnie and Clyde. While some do the Lord’s work most do the devils. They are active participants in all sorts of illegal activity with ties to most US crime organizations and Mexican drug cartels.

    So ask yourself this question. You’re in a parking lot getting on your bike. Some guys pull up, point a gun in your face and give you a choice, your bike or your life. That experience and how you deal with it more than any other will determine whether or not you’re a REAL BIKER.

  26. Big Dave says:

    Just want to make some money
    Yes I agree this bar is just trying to get a crowd, any crowd other than black people. So calling it a biker bar is stupid, its a white rock type joint. Thats what they are trying to do. Hope it works.

  27. BarKeeper says:

    Biker Flash Mob
    Perhaps one warm summer evening they’ll get a flash mob of real bikers who will roll in and clean out the riff-raff that’s infested Westport for the last fifteen or twenty years. That might include a few business owners.

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