When it comes to tangled webs, it doesn’t get much more convoluted than Jardine’s…
At least for now, the confusion and uncertain future of Kansas City’s top jazz club has been stemmed. things came to a head yesterday when Chartwell Realty main man Joseph Fulgenzi and his partner Robert McCain walked into the offices of the Pitch to buy advertising, identifying themselves as the new owners of Jardine’s.
Think perfect storm.
Perfect in the sense that Chartwell is Jardine’s nextdoor neighbor and a respected tenant of the American Century-owned building that houses Jardine’s. And perfect also because former Jardine’s co-owner Pat Hanrahan has agreed to return to the club and oversee its operations and the booking of local jazz bands.
Hanrahan’s return is key because of the musician boycott that errupted in the wake of the last month’s confusion that left the club mostly dark.
The exact behind-the-scenes on these developments may never be known to the public. But most importantly, the club will reopen tonight, as reported here a few days ago, and going forward Jardine’s plans to return to its longtime mission of showcasing Kansas City’s leading jazz artists.
Owner Beena Raja‘s exact role in any and all of the above remains murky, but at this point Raja says she hopes to remain in Kansas City and seek employment elsewhere.
This much I can tell you; the new chandeliers and sconces are in and Jardine’s has never looked better.
I spoke briefly with a delighted Hanrahan and McCain while I was traveling yesterday and hopes are high.
As for exiled former Jardine’s staffers, the jury is still out.
A new staff has been hired, McCain says, and while former employees are free to re-apply, it’s a safe bet that many will have a snowball’s chance in hell of making it back into Jardine’s fold. And they know who they are.
However, knowing what I at least think I know, there are a number of first class staffers who got caught up in the confusion who I suspect would be welcomed back should they desire to return.
My advice to local live jazz music afficionados: knock on wood.