Like the Lone Ranger, should Stanford & Sons ride to the rescue of Westport?
A cloud of dust then – poof! – Stanford’s returns to Westport. With America’s Pub likely to go when its lease is up at year’s end, Stanford’s could come home.
America’s Pub’s space is almost too big, but we could make it work. When we did Johnny Dare’s we didn’t have a big enough space for comedy. Now there are plenty of empty spots. And the Pub very much makes sense.
It’s right next to where we were for 31 years. It’s on the corner, has a nice open space inside with already built bars. It needs a clean up, new tables and chairs, a better stage and lights. Throw in some wall decor and a few outdoor fixes and – walla! – Stanford & Sons Westport is back in play.
While there’s no doubt it would be great for Westport – there’s no comedy club in the Power & Light District and there are rumors a certain other local comedy club is about to go bye-bye – there are a couple issues.
Does Westport want us back? Remember, it was this very landlord who chose to not renew our lease in 2003.
And that was while Johnny Dare’s was big hit with a white bread audience only.
They didn’t renew our lease for two reasons. They had a radio station expanding that had first dibs. Wilkes Broadcasting is a bigger player than Stanford’s and a safer bet to get timely rent payments from in the long run. And so on. Wilkes did a very nice job of converting the old comedy club space into radio station offices.
The current landlord also was pissed about Stanford’s former dance club.
But we could put in the lease NO DANCING, NO REAL NIGHT CLUB, COMEDY ONLY WITH BAR AND FOOD.
With a cancel clause if we did want to ever have a dance club. P.S. we don’t.
OP and Village West both have done well with no dance club or late night bar. Comedy and light food only – that’s who we are now.
So does Westport want us?
Uh, they should. With 1500 to 2000 early evening guests – and we do not do urban comedy anymore, that scene is dying – comedy is now mostly younger players from TV/Chelsea and so on. Which totally fits who Westport is trying to attract.
Yeah, it would be a boon to the area. Even Kelly’s likely can see that.
They would stand to get half those people hanging out before and/or after our shows. Like they used too. The restaurants in Westport would have at least a 20% plus revenue bump. The good ones even more – the new Westport Cafe and McCoy’s.
It would be a win win for everyone. Maybe even kinda fun….
But heres the big kicker: DO WE WANT TO GO BACK THERE?
Legends has been great to us; we love them. We get along great and are entering our 5th season here. We believe Legends is KC’s future for entertainment! We aren’t leaving. We need their permission to have a second spot within 50 miles. They may say OK. We think and hope they would.
But I’ve always wanted a Plaza location. And there’s a possible opening for a Stanford’s at the Board of Trade Building just off the main Plaza. We’ve looked at the space already and there’d be less headaches.
With the likelihood of the Improv closing, I like the idea of KC having two big time comedy clubs.
I actually hope the Improv stays, but the word is no. That they’ll close in a couple months. So again, as has often been the case, we will be KC’s only major comedy club.
Lastly, do we want to be back in Westport? We were treated poorly by many there, except Bill Nigro who I dearly love. There were some other good guys there like James Westphal of McCoy’s. We could mend fences with the Kellys. it’s the Hatfields and McCoys with both of us, but deep down, they ain’t so bad. We could let by gones be by gones.
My main problem is will Westport come back?
Will someone invest in the area so it can contend again? Us coming back and America’s Pub leaving would be huge. But unto itself, not quite enough. Just like Johnny Dare’s smash opening wasn’t enough.
it takes others like the Westport Cafe – more new spots.
In the meantime, we’re giving it serious consideration!