Even I was shoveling dirt on Westport just two years back…
However things have changed. Westport had its best summer in a decade, Bill Nigro tells me. And I believe him because I drive through it every week. I do radio there on Friday mornings and live just over the state line in Kansas, so I’m in and around Westport a lot.
How did Westport pull off the best summer in years in this economy?
Well, some of it’s hot new spots are doing great. The Union, which replaced Blayney’s is on fire. They play alternative rock nightly and are packed on weekends. And Aaron Confessori’s trendy Westport Cafe has also been busy. That and some oldies but goodies like McCoy’s, along with its new joint across the street, the Beer Kitchen, which is jammed weekend nights.
"Crime is way, way down," Nigro says. "And Kelly’s deck took off huge this summer and fall with the record warm temperatures. Kelly’s third generation granddaughter, barmaid and beauty queen, Colleen Kelly has taken charge. She’s brought the college kids back and does radio spots now for Kelly’s. She is the new star of Westport."
Bill thinks Westport has the best trained security in KC. They’ve been down there for years, know all the people and know the job. Which makes them outstanding. I agree, things are much calmer and more fun today compared to just a few years back.
And at long last, the urban hip-hop crowds are nearly gone except for America’s Pub.
"When they go, it will all get even better," said one Westport staffer to me last Friday. "They bring 99% of the trouble – get them out of here."
Another factor in Westport’s comeback: the novelty of the cookie cutter Power & Light District has begun to wear thin.
Speaking of fun, this weekend will be like St. Patricks Day. Saturday is the Crawl For Cancer in Westport, more than 3,500 young people will invade party zone at 2 PM. Most are single hot females. Should be wild.