Hearne: Local Buyers Circle Plaza Jazz Club in Hopes of bringing Back Jardine’s


So many rumors, so few facts….

With Kansas City’s top jazz club stuck in limbo, it’s time again to saddle up and see where  – if anywhere – things have progressed. As the world turns.

For two long jazzless months Jardine’s has remained mostly closed, following a fallout between owner Beena Raja and a pair of senior staffers that snowballed into a musician boycott and local tabloid TV beatdown.

Net result;  Raja got trapped off base and the club’s been mostly dark since Thanksgiving.

From the get-go a number of suitors  emerged to buy the club. However the longer it remained closed, the tighter buyer’s wallets grew, and to date a final sale remains up in the air with three or more groups vying to make a deal.

First came the friends of Barclay Martin group. Followed by former Sprint bigwig Paul Wilson. Then a pair of gay dudes who convinced the Pitch and Fox 4 it was a done deal.

At this stage of the game though, anything could happen, and the players are still playing.

"You know, a lot of people are playing and I’m sitting tight," Raja says. "Everybody can play, it’s my club. You know, everybody is talking and I’m still waiting and I’m okay. I’m not a genius but everybody else seems to be, so let them."

For now, it looks like a horse race between the gay dudes and Wilson and three other central figures in the game.

The three being, former Jardine’s owner and founder Greg Halstead, landlord American Century and of course, Raja.

May the best men and/or women win!

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18 Responses to Hearne: Local Buyers Circle Plaza Jazz Club in Hopes of bringing Back Jardine’s

  1. smartman says:

    Things Go Better With Coke
    Sounds like Beena is still coked up, you know? My offer still stands to pay for a one way ticket back to India. I here they’re casting for Slumdog Flat Ass Broke.

  2. harley says:

    hearne…your article is funny…but dumb…
    how does these suitors sexual orientation have anything to do with this article…
    you must hate the “gay dudes” tremedously. You mentioned “gay dudes” twice. I don’t think thats
    quite in the journalism code…you knew their names but you must really want to back stab these
    dudes because you keep mentioning them and their preferences.
    Just write theirvnames…you’ve done it before…it’s really amatuer that if you hate these
    guys to use those names.
    I hope wilson? gets it. the longer it’s closed the worst it is. However..how cool would it be to
    get a jazz club in westport. Ready to go…no parking problems..would fint in great…cheap er
    to start (I guess) and there’s build in traffic there as oppsoed to on the hill on main.
    Wilson? should say screw jardines…get the old americas pub….move in quick…sign up
    all the good talent…and actually if the pub is layed out the way it was years ago…it can
    be a better club than beenies.
    And he could get cheap rent. Was in westport recently and theres lot of traffic during the
    and how cool for wilson/ to lead the charge of rebuilding westport. Put a guy outside playing the
    trumpet…get some cool talent…offer some drink prices…food isn’t so important…and rev
    it up. I’m guessing wilson could get in there within weeks and open up on st. pats day with a
    forget main…glaze predicts westport is going to be #1 again…with the right promotion
    and concept…..wilson and his crew would have a big success on his hands…
    but he’s got to move fast and get the good talent locked in quickly and before
    the “gay dudes” actually buy jardines…
    come on hearne…you can do better…

  3. paulwilsonkc says:

    Harley, Hearne’s “gay dudes”
    is your “Wilson?”. Everyone plays with names. Even you.
    Otherwise, good points. The longer it’s closed the more the value declines.

  4. smartman says:

    In The Shadows of London’s
    Harley’s right. Americas Pub would be a great location for a jazz club. When London’s originally opened in that space they had, at the time, a state of the art kitchen. Depending on one’s desire and risk tolerance you could offer weekday lunch and a weekend Jazz Brunch.

    Interesting and encouraging to see entrepreneurs willing to invest during these shitty times, although I still maintain that Jardine’s in the right hands is a cash cow. However if someone made a move to put a jazz club at America’s Pub it would crush the current value of Jardines.

    Time to look in the vertical mirror Beena.

  5. Hearne Christopher says:

    Relax, dude. They’re prominent, married, local gay gentlemen.

  6. mike says:

    Is the landlord getting paid? If not, how long are they going to be patient? Her trying to see how much she can milk out of this financailly could end up with her getting nothing. It’s almost seems like a game of chicken. Of course, if the landlord is somehow still getting paid, then my point is moot. This is interesting to watch.

  7. Hearne Christopher says:

    It’s waaaaay too big for a jazz joint and the location would be off putting.

    Now a blues club, that would be a whole nother matter

  8. Gerald Bostock says:

    Kansas City likes to think of itself as a jazz haven, but it’s all just empty chamber of commerce inspired talk. More fountains than Rome , more boulevards than Paris, more jazz than New Orleans. Most people don’t appreciate jazz and are unlikely to go to a club and listen. I hope Jardine’s is saved because like the bumper sticker says, Live Music Are Better, but I think the reason nobody has rushed forth to get the club back open is that there really isn’t much demand for it.

  9. balbonis moleskine says:

    on clubs in KC
    Americas Pub is too large, not to mention it is set up currently in dance club style (sunken dance floor with raised portions surrounding it) so it would not work well with a stage setup as it sits.

    Even when I lived in NOLA, the city that care forgot there was really only one dedicated Jazz club, most were hybrid/crossovers. You could go to the Maple Leaf or Tipitinas or many others and see blues, jazz or rock–they intermingled. The Spotted Cat on frenchman’s was really the only dedicated jazz bar in the city.

    I miss the Grand Emporium when it was live blues. That was a neat KC club. My guess is KC can support one dedicated jazz club long term with a few hybrid blues/jazz bars.

  10. Smartman says:

    Frank Lloyd Wright Says
    Au contraire, America’s Pub offers lots of flexibility in how you could configure the room to be small and intimate when necessary or to open it up for a Max Weinberg. The sunken dance floor is a non-issue. It can easily be raised.

    Knuckleheads has the blues roadhouse market cornered. You’d need some big brass balls and lot’s of cash to take them out of the market and you’d probably need Roger Naber to come out of semi-retirement.

    If I could get the doctor out of retirement I’d do jazz at America’s Pub in a heartbeat.

  11. paulwilsonkc says:

    Jardines vs America’s vs Emporium
    Smartman, Hearne is right and partly wrong. America’s is way too big. There’s a school of thought that says Jardines is just right, or a little small. I think its a little small, but a proven formula, so who am I to judge? Another 30 seats and it would be perfect, but its land locked. It is what it is ever going to be. And, Mike, you’re correct, with each days its closed the wallets get tighter.

    As for America’s being just right for blues, my opinion is, Knuckleheads has that pretty well wrapped up. Knuckleheads was ushered into that by the collapse of the Grand Emporium. They have picked up the slack with an outstanding line up and a great little business. My hat’s off to them. I think a blues venue would be a hard nut to crack now.

    My though on Jardines has always been…. it could stand a little hybrid activity and that would be my intention, but with big names coming in for those nights.

    Balbonis, I miss the Emporium too! One of my favorite things is the door gig poster, signed by Kelly Hunt, when we had my birthday party there. It was a truely classic venue. Proof that amazing rooms REALLY CAN leave us with only the sign above the door as what USED to be.

    It’s 11:59 and the clock is ticking. I’m open to any valid input or interest. You all know where to find me! For the sake of Harley, this is Wilson? speaking.

  12. harley says:

    wilson? didnot know if that was your real name
    now i guess i know.
    and now we can refer to hearne as : “straight divorced non prominent gentleman”
    glaze becomes: straight divorced prominent pussy hound partyman (toungue twister)


  13. paulwilsonkc says:

    Harley JoJo et al?
    Its really me. Whens lunch?

  14. Hot Carl says:

    Gay Dudes
    I’m surprised some of you guys are offended by Hearne’s use of the term “gay dudes.” As a gay dude himself, I think it’s perfectly fine for Hearne to throw the term around. Kind of like the same way black fellas can use the “n” word.

  15. paulwilsonkc says:

    I love it….. only a “gay dude”
    would say “black fellas”!!
    We’re gonna cover ALLLL the bases today!!
    All we need now is Harley? Cup Cake to weigh in. Again.

  16. Hearne Christopher says:

    I’m flattered

  17. David Hayden says:

    Mike is asking the right question
    “Is the landlord getting paid? If not, how long are they going to be patient? Her trying to see how much she can milk out of this financailly could end up with her getting nothing.” -Mike

    BINGO. That is the issue at hand. Whoever buys it inherits a stack of bills. Not just rent, but any other bills owed. The longer she leaves the club closed the more money it will cost the new owners. At some point it stops making financial sense for anyone to buy it, she declares bankruptcy, and takes smartman up on his plane ticket. Hearne can try an spin this all he wants. If Jardines dies, it is becoming more apparent by the day that she will be the one responsible. People are fighting to buy it from her, but she is more concerned with taking vacations and playing power games. At this point she is just racking up bills on other people’s tab.

  18. Hot Carl says:

    Apparently, Hearne is NOT Gay
    Sorry, Hearne…I guess between the Fiat, the gossip column in the Star for so many years and a glimpse of your picture I just assumed you were. My apologies. You really should get a different ride.

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