Glazer: Westport Claws Its Way Back from the Dead, Just in Time for Halloween

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.

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13 Responses to Glazer: Westport Claws Its Way Back from the Dead, Just in Time for Halloween

  1. mularkey says:


  2. Robertoe says:

    Let me throw in my 2 cents on Westport favorites.
    1) That Cancer Crawl deal is indeed a wild ride spectator sport. I’m not a daytime drinker but I do like showing up for that early evening just to watch the inebriation, drunken cuties and puke. Yeah St Pats would be the best analogy. Youngster funny and fun!
    2) You missed the Foundry. Its hopping. Yes it is kind of an extension of McCoys.
    3) Californos has one of the better hidden gems backdecks. Kick ass Alacartoona show there last Sat. Californos has been going strong since 1988 with the same Burns family ownership. Terry figured out how to really tap into the wedding and private party game. He was one of the first to do so. That building is the old historic trolley barn +110 years old. It was even the horse barn b4 the trolleys were electric. And yes I’m partial because its kinda my home base.
    4) John McClure (owns and chefs at Harry Starkers) is opening a new trendy Mexican place at 41 Penn this Fall. Mark my words. The food and venue will be happening. Hes had taco nights at Union and Twin Cities lately. Killer! Opps! I prob shouldn’t use this term for Westport!
    5) Agreed on Aaron’s Westport Cafe!
    6) and don’t forget the dive bars that aren’t trendy and new but understand that if you don’t spend lots of money and retain the dive bar ambiance you are better off not jacking up your overhead. Buzzard Beach, Kennys Newsroom, Flea Market & Daveys Stagecoach.
    7) Fuck corporate outa town money Power and Light!

  3. smartman says:

    Mony Money?
    Craig: I’ve heard that traffic is indeed up but per caps are down as well as tips. You know anything about that?

  4. Westport Lover says:

    Westport On Way Up
    Thanks Craig for letting people know the truth. I live in the Westport area and its much safer and busier in a good way than the last couple of years. I feel safe even late on weekend nights, far less urban youth and police do a nice job. Better looking crowds. More clean cut. Thank God.

  5. adog1010 says:

    What No More Gunfire!
    Oh no, things are too quiet for the neighborhood. Its safer, no doubt. Yes get rid of that damn old American Pub. Put a clothing store in, anything, they stink up the neighborhood. Almost everytime I see cops and lights, its there. Good ridence, go away.

  6. Kellys Man says:

    Don’t Need You Or Nigro To Help Kellys
    Kellys is doing great. We don’t want or need your help. No thank you.

  7. Hot Rod says:

    Kellys Man ESAD
    Why are you even commenting negatively about a positive piece about our neighborhood with a great plug about your favorite spot? Don’t you have some cans to collect, mufflers to steal, or whatever it is you do when not at the downtown library surfing the internet on our dime? By the way, there’s an apostrophe between the “y” and the “s” dumbass. surprised you can do the math to post this crap. If you don’t know what ESAD means you know where to find me. I will explain it to you in my own special way.

  8. Kellys Man says:

    Hot Rod You Are A Pussy
    I know who you are, Nigro punk. I will kick your ass Saturday in front of the old Torres, don’t want blood near Kellys. I know you loud mouth liar. I know you, I’m gonna get you Saturday if you show up, say 3 PM. Liar.

  9. Dog says:

    Is That Kyle’s Daughter?
    She is nice looking.

  10. Robertoe says:

    is that Colleen Kelly?
    Come on Dog. Just read the picture caption! Oh that’s right! There aren’t any! Picture captions are just to techy for KCC! Just guess!

  11. Hearne Christopher says:


  12. Orphan of the Road says:

    We were the next to last band to play Blaney’s. Glad the new place is doing fine. I’m guessing they got the smell out after all the years of the roof leaking.

    There has always been a good crowd at The Record Bar since they opened six-years ago. SW Traffic Way Isolates them somewhat but The Westsider seems to have picked up too.

    Glad to see grassroots entertainment and local owners prospering.

  13. brian says:

    Heard on Johhny Dare
    that there is a little peoples convention at the Q also this weekend. They are having a pub crawl one night. Could be an interesting combo with the Cancer Crawl.

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