Hearne: The News Drip Torture That is Jardine’s Rambles On

When it comes to first class messes, it doesn’t get much better than Jardine’s….

The iconic Plaza area jazz club has been down for the count since late last November when things spiraled out of control after owner Beena Raja busted a handful of staffers for drinking on the company dime after hours Thanksgiving Day morning. She then accused others at the club of unethical practices, resulting in a spate of resignations, firings followed by a state of complete confusion and tabloid style local TV news coverage.

Among the misdeeds that ensued, rogue former staffers changed the password on Jardine’s Facebook page and refused Raja access, rendering her unable to get her side of the story out at a critical time early into the revolt and chaos.

Then on New Year’s Eve eve, the

Pitch reported that locals Robert McCain


Joseph Fulgenzi

had purchased Jardine’s and Raja was o-u-t. That however proved premature as all parties involved have since stated a deal has yet to be struck and the club remains closed to the public.

Next on January 25th McCain told KC Confidential they were getting close and hoped to reopen Jardine’s within two weeks. Well, the two weeks are up, the club remains closed and multiple sources say a deal has yet to be finalized.

"It’s just a mess," Raja said yesterday. "It’s just almost hilarious to me. They say they’re going to buy it but I haven’t seen any money yet."

Ditto, adds Jardine’s founder Greg Halstead, who is a party to the negotiations because he’s still owed money in connection with the sale of the club to Raja several years back.

"My understanding is everything is done and Beena finally signed off," Halstead says having heard earlier this week from McCain. "They have to check with the rest of their investors and American Century (the landlord) has to check them out before they okay the deal. As long as their investors pass muster, they’ll be okay."

McCain did not return a call for this column.

Meanwhile back at the proverbial alter, interested party Paul Wilson says if push comes to shove, he’d still like to buy the club and reopen it.

"But from our end, the longer it stays closed, the more difficult the purchase becomes," Wilson says. "The back rent is approaching $30,000, so it gets more difficult to turn around and more difficult to walk in the front door every 30 days that goes by."

Hate to say it again, but stay tuned…

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14 Responses to Hearne: The News Drip Torture That is Jardine’s Rambles On

  1. Orphan of the Road says:

    Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
    Musicians have moved on and whatever goodwill once with the Jardine’s brand is gone. From this moment on the only story worthy of Jardine’s is the reopening lineup.

    Of course Skip Sleyster wrote for awhile about traffic lights on freeways.

    And Ahab his great, white whale.

    And when I woke up on a British Man O’ War
    I made a vow to the moon and stars
    I would go to sea no more

  2. Super Dave says:

    About to tune out
    Hate to say it but when I hear the word Jardines my mind thinks; Sweet, crazy conversations full of half sentences, daydreams and misunderstandings more thrilling than understanding could ever be.

  3. Mary says:

    So Sad
    It just makes me sick to see what has become of Jardine’s. I loved that place so much! I really hope somebody buys it soon. I would hate to see a permanent demise to one of the best jazz clubs in the world.

  4. Racey says:

    why didnt you tell us about this?
    Jardines is closed? When did that happen? Are they going to reopen? What is going on?

  5. Hearne says:

    Dear Orphan
    You may share orphan status with Jardine’s owner, but no anonymous pronouncement by a disinterested party can accurately declare this story dead. And likening a two-month old, ongoing train wreck to a decades old lost war fought by a dead dude works against whatever passes for your argument.

    This story will officially die, I suppose, only when and if American Century changes the locks and puts a “For Lease” sign in the window.

    Meanwhile, the gay dudes are still hard at it, the crucified, exiled owner is yet trapped in limbo – the keys to her kingdom intact – the former owner is paid through February 25th and waiting with bated breath and another interested buyer stands breathlessly on the sidelines.

    Lay down your arms of dated verse and await what the (immediate) future may hold, oh Orphan

  6. Hearne says:

    This just in…
    Mr. McCain has just texted me tonight and said the following:

    “No updates yet , when we are ready I will let you know. Still on process but almost there”

    There you have it. More evidence that this ain’t 71 Highway ten years after the fact!

  7. emik says:

    what amazes me
    I’m surprised that dozens of people are not lining up to buy it. That place has been a gold mine the last few months and the break even point would be so low with it so healthy financially. Also, where else could you aquire a business with so few paperwork headaches. With Beena making this process so troublefree and leaving it in such good shape, it would be a steal! The only thing that would be a better investment would be the lottery!

  8. paulwilsonkc says:

    I think the 7 responses here….
    are the baramoeter of the I DONT CARE factor that Jardines has left in its path, and thats coming from the guy who was most interested in buying it. Too much time has passed…..

    Julia coming to down end of the month to two already sold out shows at Nica’s 320.
    Mark with a new gig at Czar weekly.
    Jazz or modified jazz popping up at venues that didnt entertian it before.
    More groups advertising more spots no one ever heard of, Buddah at Zona Rosa? Everyone is getting in on the game.

    Good luck to Robert and Joseph, but word up, boys. This isnt the same as being in real estate, its not the same as running a salon. And, it can’t be the Trio Annex. There’s a whole lot to running a club that involves music, food and drink. Margins you understand dont apply, rules are different, theres just no place to start a comparison. I was going to to it with 30 LESS investors that you and that would have been a hand full.

    Keep your eyes open. If, at this point, it totally defaults, I would have more concern than ever about just walking in and taking it over, owing no one but American Century. Thats going to be $40K of the BLUEST blue sky dollars ever spent. Its downhill from there.

  9. Orphan of the Road says:

    “And likening a two-month old, ongoing train wreck to a decades old lost war fought by a dead dude works against whatever passes for your argument.”

    Sleyster had his highway, Ahab his great, white whale and you have Jardine’s. It’s called obsession.

    Until someone opens the doors the story is dead.

    Ahab walked out that deck
    And he said unto his men
    ‘Til we spot that great white whale
    We will not sail home again
    And he took out a gold coin
    And he nailed it to the tree
    Says this coin belongs to the man
    Who spots the whale that took my leg from me

  10. Hearne says:

    If it’s so dead, why keep reading & writing about it?
    This is an ongoing news story about KC’s top jazz club which is still unfolding. You may not get or care that there’s a behind the scenes soap opera going down that may or may not result in Jardine’s reopening, but I have a suggestion.

    Stick Melville and reminiscing about Skip Sleyster maybe. I like the classics as much as the next guy, but geez

  11. Jordan says:

    Personally (only speaking on behalf of myself), the issue of past wages is a lost cause which would only serve to complicate my taxes. Speaking of. . . Could someone hook me up with a W-2 so I can get on those?

  12. David Hayden says:

    Not to try to send Hearne more traffic
    Something tells me that the next update is going to be the craziest one yet. Does anyone else hear sirens?

  13. mike says:

    possible next update
    I don’t know about the sirens (do you know something you’re not telling us?), but a for lease sign on the front door wouldn’t surprise me.

  14. KCJAZZKEYS says:

    Loss of income
    All I know is that having a nearly weekly gig at Jardine’s with a popular KC jazz figure there has left me with a sizable void in my income.

    It was one of my favorite places to work as the crowds were (usually) respectful and the vibe was great.

    I just hope somehow Jardine’s can be reborn, but who knows.

Comments are closed.