Today: The Jardine’s Saga is Over… For Now

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.

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14 Responses to Today: The Jardine’s Saga is Over… For Now

  1. David "Super Dave" Larson says:

    Great Start To A New Year
    At last it appears that a as close to first class as one can expect in this issue team is about to save Jardine’s

    Now I have a reason to want to give Jardine’s a try again and to be honest I hope I like it. There are some styles of jazz I like and some I don’t just as there are some types of rap I like and some I don’t.

    Good luck Mr.Fulgenzi, Mr. McCain and Mr. Hanrahan in this reviving of Jardine’s and a heart felt good luck to you.

  2. smartman says:

    Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead!
    Congrats and good luck indeed! Jardines has wound up in very capable hands. And they all lived happily ever after.

    Now if we could only move the eradication machine down to City Hall.

  3. paulwilsonkc says:

    Maybe its over, maybe its not….
    As many know, we have spent the better part of 4 weeks trying to negotiate the purchase of this great icon of the KC music scene. Not for the sake of a pay check, as we have that, but to see it saved and returned to what it once was, all the way back to Greg Halsteads founding and dream.

    If this is the final word and it saves the place, an honest and sincere congratulations to all who pullled it off. It is, however, a head scratcher to say the least.

    I dont know if its enough to convince all the musicians to come back as it seems it really is still Beena behind the scenes, involved, and the boycott laid there. But maybe what ever this ball started by rolling down the hill will see it eventually cleaned up.

    Pat, good luck. Let us know if you’d like to talk. I thought Chelle and I all but had it done at 11am yesterday morning. In the words of that great American philosopher, Jerry Garcia, what a looooong strange trip its been.

  4. balbonis moleskine says:

    The most likely scenario is that Beena’s stake has been partially but not fully bought out. That accounts for all the dishonesty and double talk regarding her status.

    So your money will continue to go, partially, to her. OTOH, there is no greater personal hell than being a minority shareholder in a closely held corporation.

  5. Hearne Christopher says:

    My money, huh? Dream on

  6. KCMonarch says:

    Trouble looms
    Sounds like they’ve successfully rearranged the deck chairs on the Titanic.

  7. Mary says:

    Happy New Year!!!!!
    This is the best news I could ever hope to hear!!!! Pat did a great job when he was running Jardine’s. This was a very wise choice. I am ecstatic, to say the least!!!

  8. hmmmm says:

    you’ve made it very obvious that you don’t care, but I know landlord would really like some rent money that I’ve been behind on because of that psycho,truly traumatizing woman. She didn’t fire anyone for “drinking on the job”. I am one of the people she said was involved and I have my ENTIRE FIRING On video. Nothing was mentioned about drinking after hours. She fired me because I said I didn’t want to be screamed at anymore. The day that everyone was fired was December 1st. Dave Stephens show before Thanksgiving was November 23rd,8 days apart. Who fires someone for doing something wrong 8 days after they did it? If these guys are giving her money,could you please ask your friend if she could pay us? She owes me $400 plus dollars and I didn’t work for two weeks before I could find something. I didn’t have money for Christmas presents for my family. You’ve spoken very negatively about me but you’ve NEVER made an attempt to contact me in any way. I truly believe that Beena is the most awful, purely disrespectful human being I have ever met and honestly, didn’t realize that someone like that could exist. I can’t even imagine her going to a store and not screaming at anyone that looks at her… If she is still involved in ANY TINY, MINUTE, MINISCULE WAY, then don’t you worry, I can positively guarantee you that NO ONE of the 15 fired will ever step foot in that door again.

  9. glenn says:

    Where’s the dough?
    Is there not a class action suit against Beena by the 15, Stephens, May, whoever else (and I am convinced she ripped off others) et. al..for back wages? Why not? It’s clear you can ‘put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a….you know the rest…..

    The metaphor refers to Jardines, BTW, not Beena. No matter who owns/manages/co-runs/LLC’s Jardines, it won’t change the fact that many people are owed money from there. In fact, are the new owner liable for unpaid wages?

  10. Hearne Christopher says:

    I have no idea, but my thought is it depends on any number of things about how whatever transaction took place was structured

  11. Hearne Christopher says:

    Well, if you’re anxious to go on the record, how about using your real name here for starters. or contacting me at The servers that were drinking were never named and to my knowledge there has been no reporting on that being the reason for the quote/unquote “firings.”

    It has been reported and confirmed that the cook / general manager resigned both posts. And that at least one server was only told by a third party that he’d been fired. So maybe people should stop referring incorrectly to the “Jardine’s 15.”

    Your guarantee rings a bit hollow since from what I’ve been told many of them would not be welcome, even by new management. And the one, would have no problem going back.

  12. Lance the Intern says:

    = SCOOPED by the Jardine’s Event Calendar.

  13. Hearne Christopher says:

    Well, if the club chooses to make an announcement, that’s its choice

  14. Hearne Christopher says:

    But if you continue reading here in a few, you’ll soon be rethinking what you term here a “scoop”

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