Once upon a time there was but a single pizza joint in Westport…
That was then.
Now there’s a gillion of em, says Midtown mainstay Bill Nigro.
“There’s pizza on the menu of practically every restaurant in Kansas City,” Nigro says.
That said, Nigro is bucking the odds by bringing back Torre’s Pizza at The Dark Horse Tavern, which is newly under his management.
“I had a management team running it and I didn’t like the way it was being run, so I’m running it again,” Nigro says.
He’s also running the Firefly next door until the former Dark Horse operators – who are now running the nearby Gamble’s can get a new liquor license – and assume control of it.
The Star‘s Joyce Smith recently reported incorrectly that the owners of Gamble’s own and operate the Firefly.
“That’s incorrect, they don’t,” Nigro says. “They lease the space out to me.”
But the big news at the Dark Horse – aside from that Nigro is back on the party plan – is that the place is getting a major makeover, as well is serving the legendary Torre’s Pizza after a 10 year hiatus.
“I’m fixing the place back up and the first thing I’m doing is redoing the girl’s bathroom,” Nigro says. “I mean, you can’t have a nice club without a nice girl’s restroom.”
How bad was it?
“Well, it was maybe not have been the worst restroom in Westport, but it wasn’t far from it,” Nigro says. “And we’re right by the trolly stop so I’m big on having a nice place.”
The Dark Horse closed for two days recently because what Nigro grouses is “the city’s door knob rule.”
“That was two days after I took it over,” Nigro says. “But of course the other guys I had managing it were the ones who missed the doorknob.”
The name of The Dark Horse’s new game plan:
“Just a fun, neighborhood sports bar,” Nigro says.”We’re open from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. seven days a week.”
In addition to upgrading the entire place, Nigro promises an attitude adjustment at the new Dark Horse.
“The most important thing is when you come in the place, the help will be smiling,” Nigro promises. “I think some managers fall short on making sure a place is a fun place to be, right down to the doormen. First and last impressions are big and smiling staffers go a long way.”
Including a smiling Nigro?