The ducks are lined up, but nobody’s home…
Just last week Robert McCain and Joseph Fulgenzi appeared poised to take a brief victory lap and step back into the limelight as the saviors of the jazz club known as Jardine’s.
The club has been closed since late last year after a staff and musician revolt against owner Beena Raja.
Then on New Year’s Eve eve the two dudes announced in the pages of the Pitch and on Fox 4 News they’d bought the club from Raja and were the proud new owners.
Just one problem; contrary to that reporting, McCain and Fulgenzi had not purchased Jardine’s.
Ever since though, they’ve been negotiating with Raja, Jardine’s founder Greg Halstead and landlord American Century to make their dream of reopening Jardine’s a reality. The latest being that they’d been approved to take over the lease once they’d settled with Raja and Halstead.
However at this stage of the game, it appears that all bets are now off!
"I don’t know what’s happening," says prospective club manager Pat Hanrahan. "Beena’s ready to sign the deal. The buyers said they wanted some revisions. Beena agreed…"
Meanwhile, Raja defaulted Monday on the monthly payment owed Halstead re the purchase of the club several years back. McCain and Fulgenzi had made the January payment but opted not to make the February payment.
And both Halstead and Raja don’t understand why the buyers haven’t gone to Raja’s lawyer’s to complete the paperwork necessary to buy the club.
The latest: Halstead says American Century took possession of the club today, March 1st.
As for McCain and Fulgenzi, "What they’re doing is gently fluttering down to another planet," Halstead cracks. "They don’t return calls. They were supposed to close today but they haven’t. American Century has taken it over and changed the locks and it is now the property of American Century."
McCain did not return a call requesting comment or clarification.
And while a deal still might yet be struck, things appear to be getting dicey.
"Robert and Joseph have 20 investors and American Century checked ever fucking investor out," Halstead says, "ran background checks on them . That’s nuts."
In Halstead’s mind, the chances of saving Jardine’s grow slimmer by the day.
"I don’t think it’s fair to the people of Kansas City who love Jardine’s and what came out of that place," he says. "And I’m sad and I’m disappointed and I’m pissed off."
Halstead gives the dudes credit for trying but after more than two months…
"What it sounds like is they don’t have the money," Halstead says. "If it looks like a skunk and smells like a skunk, it must be a skunk."
What Halstead thinks might happen?
"At 5:20 p.m. on March the first, what do I think’s gonna happen?" he says. "I don’t think the deal’s gonna get done. I’m a pessimist and I think we’ve seen the last of Jardine’s. It’s disappointing. I’m hoping these guys can get something done, but I’m looking at the dark side…
"What my lawyer has told me is to close the books and go away, you’ve been (screwed)."