Hearne: America’s Pub Takes a Bullet – Last Black Club in Westport is No More

It was bound to happen…

The track record’s clear; Westport does not look favorably on black nightclubs or large assemblages of black people.

Then again, what mainstream shopping and/or entertainment district in KC does?

Certainly not the Power & Light District, infamous for its exclusionary admittance policies. And not the Plaza, that made its intentions known long before KC mayor Sly James did a faceplant last summer to avoid whizzing bullets.

And now America’s Pub, the midtown entertainment district’s last black dance club, is no more.

"It’s not very mysterious, the landlord didn’t want America’s Pub as a tenant anymore and you cannot make someone lease space to you," says the club’s attorney Harris Wilder. "It’s that simple. It closed New Year’s weekend – the last night was New Year’s Eve."

It’s no secret many Westporters felt America’s Pub was an urban youth magnet and wanted it gone. Just like prior Westport clubs that catered to a black clientele, Club 504 and Karma.

Remember when a massively inebriated Brian Euston went down for the count outside America’s Pub two years back?

Not that America’s Pub went down without a fight.

"Well, since the liquor laws in Kansas City, Missouri are so byzantine – so difficult – we did investigate moving into the Chili’s space on the other side of the parking lot," Wilder says. "But even though it’s only 50 feet away, it would have required applying for a new liquor license. And the reality is unless you’re in the 20 square block area downtown, the exempt zone, you are subject to getting consents from neighboring landowners and the density requirement, which has to do with how many taverns are allowed to exist in that area. And there will never, ever be another 3 a.m. liquor license in Westport unless they change the law."

So why not move to another part of town?

"Well, first they had a very good, long run in Kansas City," Wilder says. "Remember they’ve been America’s Pub at that location for 18 years. And it’s no secret that the ownership group in St. Louis is very disappointed with how they were treated in Kansas City. And they’re in the process of regrouping and deciding what if anything they will do in the Kansas City market. They wanted to move (but) they wanted to stay in Westport."

Let’s put all of the cards on the table; did America’s Pub get the boot because of blatant racism?

"We were never given a reason," Wilder says. "There was no explanation – just, ‘We’re not renewing your lease.’ and ‘We’re not willing to pay for your liquor license.’ "

Aside from the issue of America’s Pub running a black club in a white entertainment district, there was a human toll, Wilder says.

"You’re talking about 30 people’s jobs," Wilder says. "This is not just, ‘Great, we got rid of the black club.’ And if you read the comments section there are people who think that’s the best thing in the world. But what about the people that are unemployed now? And that they (were) employed on the whim of the landlord. Where was the social message about those people’s employment?"

Which brings us back to the question of racism.

"As I said, it’s very hard to get inside other people’s heads," Wilder says. "Let’s put it this way. I think the facts speak for themselves. The negotiation process was the least professional I have ever seen from a landlord. And I would add that America’s Pub’s owners made numerous, repeated, sincere efforts to communicate with the landlord and all they got was a no."

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36 Responses to Hearne: America’s Pub Takes a Bullet – Last Black Club in Westport is No More

  1. Maxwell says:

    Did you have a point?
    What was your point here hearne? Do you have a solution?
    Did you frequent America’s Pub, or anyplace like it? Did you lose something here?

    Listening/reading to people cry R A C I S M ! ! ! really gets old.
    The Star loves to do it, and I guess you do too… guess it makes good press/gossip

  2. chuck says:

    Are those racist cards on the table?
    “‘Lets put all of the cards on the table; did America’s Pub get the boot because of blatant racism?”

    That question is as loaded as a Suge Knight and a shotgun, leaving the theater after “Amistad, smokin Sherm with Huey Newton. Any answer is a bad answer, unless it is a good answer from an African American.

    When did America quit beating its wife? I don’t know about that, but I do know that America sure as hell beats it’s Whitey.

    At this point, the question itself, if answered and enlarged incorrectly in the wrong company, will get you fired from your company (In England a lady went to jail over Christmas for expressing unpopular racial opinion. I shit you not.) and a scarlet “R” letter branded on your forehead.

    PC African American identity politics, which govern the American conversation, feed the culture of complaint, and casterate those tongues foolish enough to broach an unpopular idea in the presence of those self annointed PC apparatchiks who have aquired status by way of melanin as opposed to mental acuity rule the day, week, month and last 35 years.

    Here is your answer Hearne.

    Who cares? America’s Pub is gone, and anyone with room temperature IQ, knows that Westport is safer.

    The premise is, I suppose, that American citizens, fully aware of specious, ridiculous, outdated transgenerational claims for money, blood and treasure, based on the color of skin and not the content of character, should countanace rape, murder, theft and bereavement all for the cause of misguided, social engineering laws and the results of same, which now destroy this country and its citizens.

    Singin Kumbaya as we exsanguinate into the gutter, we go to a better place filled with the joy and contentment that is awarded to those martyrs who drink Malt Liquor from the Civil Rights Holy Grail.

    Mr Wilder’s quote, “”You’re talking about 30 people’s jobs,” Wilder says.” just kills me (For now, metaphorically.).

    No one needs to put the paddles on John Maynard Keynes to extrapolate an increase in revenues for Westport, once people stop getting their asses kicked in the street.

    America’s Pub, like so many other Hip/Hop/Holocaust clubs, brought violence, intimidation and lawlessness to the area where it did business. Those 30 people will now be 60 people getting jobs in safer establishments, in a safer Westport. No longer will walking to your car after work, be like a firefight in the Hindu Kush.

    Mr. Wilder is no dumbass, but he is disengenuous.

    Those folks who constantly apologise for the violence that this culture provides, are those that supply the universal lubricant to the social engineering laws that are killing the whole civilized world.

    In spite of one small, contested victory, the American Suicide continues.

  3. harley says:

    not about race..not about color…
    it’s about personal responsibility. No..I totally disagree with newt and wanting inner city kids to work as janitors..
    yes…i believe in individual rights..
    but america’s pub brought in a bad crowd…plain and simple.
    Would anyone in ther right mind invite that crowd to their homes? probably not.
    Did they behave as adults…not from what was written and heard.
    So americas pub if they want to attract an urban crowd there are thousands of spaces
    that will be more convenient for their customers that they can move to. Move to 18th and vine
    a nd you’ll have no problems with rent…no problems with customers getting there and being
    convenient…no problems with discrimination…UH…WRONG…i’m sure that area will turn americas
    pub down too…they don’t want that crowd there either.
    That hip hop/urban/african american crowd needs to clean their act up. Simple. Change the
    mentality of your people. Change the way of life. Clean up your own community first.
    The crime..murders…drugs…clean them up. And don’t wait for someone to do whatyou need to do
    yourself. It’s your neighborhood. Personal responsibility to clean up your own lives.
    The americas pub people knew they had a powder keg. So they had a choice….change their
    business plan or face eviction from the area.
    NO gripes from this liberal left winger…i’ve been waiting for those individuals to change their
    community. NOTHING! Clean up your lives and those around you. I and many other people have heard
    enough excuses…and we’re tired of the same lame lines of crap.
    Good riddance america’s pub. Now go see if any upstanding developement or area will welcome you
    with open arms.
    Sure 30 jobs wrer lost…very sad…but pick yourself up and go help yourself.

  4. chuck says:

    IMO Your wrong Harley
    I worked as a janitor at two different aprtment complexes all the way thru college.

    Khalil Gibran is right, all work is noble.

    Newt was dead on the money, and he kicked Jaun William’s ass clear outta the stadium.

    By the way, it was a great job, perfect timing and I would not have been able to get thru school without it.

    If I can do it for 4 years then so can anybody.

    Fuckin anybody!

  5. Smartman says:

    White On The Money
    Last time I was at America’s Pub was 5 years ago. It seemed like a pretty decent mix of ages and races. There was a “mind if we dance wif yo dates” atmosphere that you could tell was making the white women a little uncomfortable. In one instance when a white girl politely told a black guy she didn’t want to dance with him, he continued to badger her, finally ending with the statement, what you don’t dance with niggas? Shortly after that she and her group of friends left.

    Another young women probably in her mid 20’s told me that she didn’t have a problem dancing with black guys , but that most read her willingness as a sign that she wanted to bang them and pay their bills.

    Monkey see, monkey do. These kids can only emulate what they grow up seeing. When you come from a culture that doesn’t enforce personal responsibility and self esteem is fueled by how many chicks you’re nailing or the size of your penis and rims the end result isn’t going to be very promising.

    The Voodoo Lounge seems to get the “right” crowd. It’s a good mix of races and ages where everybody gets along just like Rodney King wanted. Alot of that is the expectation of the venue itself. After some issues a few years back they clamped down on that gang banger shit muy pronto. The prices for entry and drinks are also higher than America’s Pub . I don’t know if that keeps out the riff raff anymore or not.

    America’s Pub was a powder keg. The ownership and management had to know that, yet they chose to do nothing about it. Ultimately, it was their choice to let the inmates run the prison. They have no one to blame but themselves.

    We can cite chapter and verse on this ranging from the anthropological to the socio-economic to the zoological. In the end we are all as individuals and organizations responsible for policing our own lives and operations. Animals can figure out how to enforce behavior and social structure in their kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species but humans can’t.

  6. Craig Glazer says:

    What We Have Learned
    The Rap/Hip-Hop clubs have been a major problem for three decades nationwide…it never works, always violence, always. More than just fights, shootings, stabbings etc…and it breeds trouble outside the club,we saw this at ours in the 90’s….club 504. Most of the people of color do behave, but the few that don’t cause serious issues. It is a 100% “will happen” issue…so to save the area, it had to be done. With them gone and Karma, Westport is already doing much better. Whites are afraid of the Rap/hip hop crowds and stay away….simple as that, i.e. the Plaza problem, Power and Light problem….its a fact for now, so the answer is NO HIP HOP, NO RAP….no problems…end of story…good move on Westports owners to do this….in time Westport will take back the Entermainment District Title…

  7. harley says:

    neWt said kids in the inner cities…what about white kids in the trailers…white kids in johnson county..white kids
    in wyandotte…no he said inner city…
    they have no guidance…ever seen the kids doing heroin/coke in the suburbs at blue valley? Happens every
    day….let them grab a mop and broom…they need the money too.
    No neWt said kids 8/9/10 year olds…there are laws against that …there are no laws in china and we see how
    well thats working.
    You were 18 working asa janitor…different than a 8 year…and newt wants to put the kids in the inner city who
    have no mentors (where did he get that idea)…they’re all not bad..
    And any man who leaves his wife while she’s fighting cancer doesn’t deserve one ounce of respect from me…
    you may love him..he’s your kind of ROLE MODEL… low life scum lying cheating conniving hateful disgusting piece of crap human
    being…and lets not forget what his friends have said about him…he’s your kind of guy.. aND THEY CLAPPED AND CHEERED
    FOR HIM AT THE DEBATE….what kind of disgusting people were there? What’s next…slave labor camps for 6 year olds…

  8. paulwilsonkc says:

    Why is this, Skybox, or the Plaza… RACIST??
    Im sorry, this is so long people are going to thnk its Harley! This is such a tired old argument that I can’t believe I’m going to chime in. You know what? If I own a retail establishment of any kind and I come to find out, through clear, rational thinking, that when I have 18-25 year old blonde females come in the door, I get things stolen….. I

  9. paulwilsonkc says:

    one other thought….
    …this will have a hard time ending as long as the race baiters make a living from keeping it alive! Rev Al, Jesse, notable locals we all know, I just won’t name names. They can’t afford for it to end. they don’t want it to end, It

  10. chuck says:

    Lets try to stay on one subject and message at a time Harley
    Here is the clip of the exchange between Jaun Williams and Newt Gingrich.


    How you get from that exchange, concerning a rhetorical, philisophical point of view, in a 5 minute exchange, to this—

    “And any man who leaves his wife while she’s fighting cancer doesn’t deserve one ounce of respect from me…
    you may love him..he’s your kind of ROLE MODEL… low life scum lying cheating conniving hateful disgusting piece of crap human
    being…and lets not forget what his friends have said about him…he’s your kind of guy…”

    actually illustrates my previous point.

    An accusation, based on a lie, in a PC culture, carrys the weight of guilt, and that negative must be proven false, to any accuser, and that accuser’s supporters, no matter how weak, ridiculous (See Harley’s rant above.) and hyperbolically off the charts that same accusation is.

    In fact, I think (Not that you would know Harley, in spite of your accusations and damnation by supposed philisophical association.) that Newt’s treatment of his dying wife was deplorable.

    That in no way, negates the excellent point that he made, and it still stands in the face of your non sequiters, red herrings and obfuscation regarding same.

    Harley, I crown you “King of the Begged Question and Interlocutor of Idiocy”.

    Thanks for your input and explanation.

  11. balbonis moleskine says:

    What’s the best and safest non-white thing in Westport now?

    The Jerusalem Cafe food truck.

    Smashing job Chet and Muffy on running out those public schooled hoodlums, we shall imbibe highballs or perhaps a craft beer and the Foundry post-haste! Tally-ho Red Raiders!

  12. paulwilsonkc says:

    Arick calls them Scholars, Balbonis
    ….not hoodlums.

  13. Orphan of the Road says:

    White Dopes On Punk
    Never got the white suburban kid thing with rap. Or with Dennis Rodman and his followers.

    The I began to listen to what they were saying and doing compared to what our elected officials and our community leaders were saying and doing.

    Why did the French help the Nazi? When the Germans invaded France the radios broadcast these great victories of the French army. Meanwhile the peasants and villages saw what was really going on. The German army broadcast what was happening and how they would crush the French. The French people saw the lies of their government, their leaders and embraced the Nazi’ truth.

    And while history doesn’t always repeat itself, it sure rhymes often. The leaders show them their words and deeds are lies. Iraq? Citadel Project? Green Zone? P&L District will save the city.

    Compare it to the message of take what you want because that’s what The Man does.

    Barbarians are at the gate and we are concerned if we will hurt someone’s feelings.

    The Roof! The Roof! The Roof’s On Fire! We Don’t Need No Water Let the M-Fer Burn…

  14. HARLEY says:

    newt is dead…nto on the money
    even his own party threw him out…his own party threw him out of power…his own party fined him…his own party said he
    was a disgrace…people who served with him said he was disgusting…that wasn’t my qoute…that was all his
    friends and co horts in the lies and thievery he undertook. He cheated on his wife…thats a fact…not once but twice.
    The mannequin he’s married to now had an affair with him while he was married…he’s your role model..he’s dead
    on…he’s dead…and that makes that whore a whore…just filling in a position that was untended.
    He’s not my her0…you saide he’s dead on…dead on con man with all his scam books and videos.
    Left his sick wife…oh boy…great role model. He says kids in the inner city need role models…but it better not
    be newt…he’s a role model for liars and cheats.
    The accusations are true…left his wife…had affiar…is that your idea of a person who is “dead on”? Yea he’s dead on
    …to hell.
    Do you like newt…he’s “dead on” …he’s dead…not on….
    If he’s not your idol then tell us so. Why jump on me when you made the statement…”he’s dead on”…sure he’s
    right…to every disgusting low life in america. He lies…cheats and steals..not my words..those are from his friends!!!!!
    Imagine what his enemies say!!!!!!!!
    So next time your applaud a guy make sure the guy is worthy of you worshippoing him. Make usre the guy is strong
    and has integrity. I don’t know about the guy but from the words of his buddies who lived sand worked with him
    he is the “scum of the earth”.
    Now…get that mop and broom and get to work. lol

  15. harley says:

    chucky…i crown you the head
    of ..well nothing! Okay…you’re the headof the blind cool aide drinking republicans who have ruined this nation..yo u should
    get along great with newt. You’re both of hte same ilk…the same cloth….the same background…
    now go read more about your hero newt…he’s going down very very very fast.

  16. Hearne Christopher says:

    The point here – somewhat obviously – is the an 18 year Westport institution was kicked out of the entertainment district with a number of unanswered questions.

    What part of that do you not get?

  17. paulwilsonkc says:

    harely, I dont have a dog in this fight
    but what I liked MOST about Newt, other than his name, is him on the floor of the Senate, railing against Clinton during the impeachment hearings for MonicaGate, then going back to his OWN office and doing the horizontal lobby effort WITH HIS OWN INTERN!!

    Sure, he may have cheated on some of his wives and left at least one on her death bed, but come on! Can it get any lower than him taking a 5 minute break from his own intern “relationship” to race to the floor and testify in an attempt to oust Clinton for his dirty deeds?

    And lets not forget his Family Values movement…… I won’t even go there.

    You just can’t make that crap up, no one would believe it!

  18. RickM says:

    “Monkey see, monkey do.”

    Though it’s only mid-January, that has to rank as the most tasteless, inappropriate comment of the year given the context.

    I repeat…really?

  19. expat says:

    here’s the thing
    The problem isn’t rap or hip hop or clubs or culture it’s DNA: social pathologies common amongst American blacks are identical to the ones displayed by blacks in Africa. Whereas white crime rates, IQ, etc., cluster around the same numbers as their European cousins. There is no bit of social engineering that can ‘fix’ this — the bottom line is that many blacks equals high crime, period.

  20. paulwilsonkc says:

    RickM, cant telll who youre referring to….
    help a brotha out.

    “Though it’s only mid-January, that has to rank as the most tasteless, inappropriate comment of the year given the context. “

  21. Maxwell says:

    Reply From: Hearne Christopher
    05:01:49 PM – Wed. Jan 18. 2012

    The point here – somewhat obviously – is the an 18 year Westport institution was kicked out of the entertainment district with a number of unanswered questions.

    What part of that do you not get?

    Maybe if you did some investigating and question asking TO THE CORRECT PEOPLE, as opposed to writing with a predetermined opinion, then some of your questions would be answered…….

    What part of that dont YOU get?

    BUT as we know, site traffic and comments is what you are gpoing for…so congrats on shooting the fish in a barrel by crying RACISM!!! THEY MUST BE RACIST!!! THIS HAS TO BE ABOUT RACISM!!!!

    Sensationalism…… lol… you got it.

  22. Maxwell says:

    BESIDES… your headline is racist itself.

    “America’s Pub Takes a Bullet – Last Black Club in Westport is No More”

    How dare you label an establishment a “BLACK CLUB”?

    When would you, have you, ever labeled an establishment a “WHITE CLUB”?


  23. Hearne Christopher says:

    Last time I checked, this was an interview.

    Why don’t you weigh in with your theory since you’re so highly excitable today?

  24. Hearne Christopher says:

    I’ve got one word for you, wild man: meds

  25. balbonis moleskine says:

    Maxwell does make a good point, it is a mixed club really–not a black club.

    A black club would be like the Epicurean or G’s Jamaican, both on Troost.

    For all us whiteys, G’s is good fun and most likely wont get you murdered.

  26. Maxwell says:

    come on man
    SOOOoooooo if you…..
    Question glazer.. .you get the “HATER” come back….
    Question hearne…you get the “MEDS” come back….. come on guys, dont be so predictable.

    Please try harder,
    At least buy a new book of “snappy comeback words”…. “Meds” and “Hater” are sooooo 2008.

    I still love ya hearne, but……

    come on man, the racist thing is so played out….. are you going to say the same racist crap when obama losses the election?

  27. harley says:

    maxwell…you’re wrong again…
    my man obama isn’t going to lose. If they nominate romney this guy will get 9 months of the most intensive
    scrutiny ever laid on any candidate in history. The media will uncover that willard has more skeletons in his
    closet…offshore bank accounts (already reported by ABC) of which he pays no taxes!
    His working on single mothers (a church leader)…his 15% tax rates…his soon to be announced “fling”…
    his bain problem (which is still hanging around but which when uncovered will find some of the most
    explosive charges)….his children and their businessdealing….the ponzi schemes he was involved with..
    please come back and read this article..i will be proved right again.
    Obama has taken more negative crap than any other prsedident in history. For over 3 years the right wng
    has called him every racial slur in the world..gone after his wife and kids…hammered him on certificates
    and grades.
    Heres the main problem…republican governors who screwed their people in their state are pissed and ready
    to get out vote…see wisoconsin and 1 million sig for recall…
    And most importantly willard romne will get no black or hispanic votes…watch it…the demographics of america
    have changed even more since 2008…
    my prediction…obama by a landslide in 2012….atv least as big as 2008 if not bigger margin.
    And don’t forget..obama will have a billion dollars to spend in essentially 13-14 states and will
    make mincemeat out of the very unlikeable willard.
    Read it…remember it…and write it down…or whatever glaze says!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. RickM says:

    To Paul Wilson
    Smartman’s comment, first line, 3rd graph.

  29. Merle Tagladucci says:

    America’s Pub will be missed about as much as the last wart smartman had burned off his ding dong.

  30. Maxwell says:

    Sheeesh…. harley makes glazer look like a genius, STFU harley you fkn retard. Quit breathing my air scumbag.

    Obama is a complete failure……. he needs to go. now. period. NEXT! ! !

    I was disgusted with Bush.. I am equally disgusted with Obama…
    both are disgraceful, money grubbing, bought and paid for scum….
    and harley calls obama “his man”?… so pathetic… so unsurprising.

  31. kcfred says:

    Hate to say it…
    …but Harley’s right. Obama will do to Romney what Bush/Cheney/Rove did to Kerry. They will paint him as an elitist, out of touch New England snob with way too much money and they will cut his balls off and serve them to him. Obama wins. All bets are off if Uncle Paul does the third party thing. If that happens, Obama wins in a torrential landslide.

  32. Maxwell says:

    So you are saying lets admit that the United States is ruined. We are so completley broken that there is no turning this piece of shit around? There is no stopping the spending which WILL result in ANOTHER credit drop to “A” ..form “AA” down from “AAA”…. that the gloabla elite are so happy to destroy the middle class of this country, and have a world of kings and serfs…. where there are billionaires illumati flashing their diamonds …and there are minimum wage eaners… and no one in between…where nieghborhoods are trashed, houses looted for copper….. shall I go on? …because that is the path we are on….. and Obama is not willing/able to stop it.

  33. kcfred says:

    This was Obama’s doing? Damn, I thought the financial collapse happed on GWB’s term. Silly me. And Romney would fix this how?

  34. Maxwell says:


    I didnt/dont point fingers… That is for bought and paid for political shills.

    Where the fuck did I say Romney?


    This whole 2 party rigged system is broke as fuck…IT NEEDS FIXED…YESTERDAY!! GET PISSED!!

  35. BarKeeper says:

    Hip Hop-Flip Flop
    It’s a stone miracle this hole lasted as long as it did. I worked a few shifts in that biz not too long ago. Two thirds of the “customers” only had enough money to get in, and spent the entire night loitering, bumming drinks, and finishing off drinks left at tables when somebody went to dance, which caused more complaints about “disappearing drinks”.

    The more sophisticated “customers” sneaked in their own bottles and nipped under the tables. At closing, we’d pick up dozens of empty bottles from the outside. Waitresses lasted about two weeks after enduring endless hits, insults, and virtually no tips. No plumber in the yellow pages was willing to sort out the things that were done to the toilets and fixtures in the restrooms.

    If this idiot wants to continue in his chosen field, he should investigate the Jazz district or rent the closed down Gordman’s at 87th and Blue Ridge. Both are on the bus lines and close to law enforcement saturation, which of course, will be mandatory.

  36. Wendy says:

    So sad
    It’s really sad that America’s Pub is gone. And to claim they brought in a “bad element” makes one sound as though they never went in there. I’m not a big fan of hip hop myself, but it was a fun place with a lot of good people.

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