Hearne: Bar Owner Glad to See KC Restaurant & Bar Industry Overlords Take a Hike

Bill SaintThey’re dropping like flies…

And Westport bar and restaurant owner Bill Nigro couldn’t be more pleased. That on the heels of word that two of Nigro’s worst nightmares have or are poised to move on. Kansas City Health department honcho Bert Malone and Liquor Control head Gary Majors.

“I heard that this is Majors last week,” Nigro says. “And Bert Malone just moved on, so the two guys who were most involved in regulating the restaurant and bar industry will have moved on in the past two months.”

On a scale of one to ten, how happy is Nigro?

“Um, about a nine on Majors – Gary did do a few things that were OK,” Nigro says. “And about an 81/2 on Bert Malone. Especially after I almost got arrested by the Health Department last St. Patrick’s Day.”

billyWhat? Wild Bill almost did some slam time?

“The Health Department came down to Westport and tried to arrest me for not having a permit to serve food in a private tent in front of Buzzard Beach,” Nigro says. “It was 10 a.m. and they went over and picked up six policemen from the parade route and they asked me why I wasn’t cooperating with the Health Department. So I said, ‘Show me the ordinance where I’m breaking the law.’ I wasn’t selling anything, we were just giving food away.”

So Nigro’s that badass that it took six cops to bust his butt?

“I don’t know, but that’s who they sent over,” he says. “They made me email my guest list to the Health Department by the next Monday to prove it was a private event. So in really big magic marker letters I wrote, ‘GUEST LIST’ and then below it I wrote, ‘John Doe.’ Then I faxed it in on the same complaint list the city made on me. I got called into Bert Malone’s office on that one and he told me that in the future I had to get a permit even if I was giving it away. And I said, ‘You don’t do that at Chiefs games.’

23ISBS_MOISTS___23_1374249e“I was giving away peanuts, crackers, goldfish, animal crackers – I even offered some animal crackers to theĀ  police when they came. I was just trying to make everybody laugh. I even said, ‘See that girl over there? I can invite her to over to my tent for some chips and dip and I don’t have to have a permit to do that and they all smiled.

“Here’s the thing that the Health department inspector asked me when they first came up. She said, ‘What’s this over there? This tent?’ And I said, ‘That’s for a private party.’ And she looked at me and said, ‘Well, how do I know that?’ And I said, ‘Because I just told you. Do I look like a liar?’ And she said, ‘Well, you’ll have to tear it down.’ I said, ‘There’s no such rule about having to have a guest list, you’re making that up.’ But that’s what the Health department does, they make up the rules as they go along.”

As for Majors, “I hear he’s taking a position in the Kansas City school system,” Nigro says. “Personally I’m glad he’s retiring or moving on to another job or whatever he’s doing. But these are the two guys who had the most restaurant and bar industry involvement and I’m glad to see them both go.”

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6 Responses to Hearne: Bar Owner Glad to See KC Restaurant & Bar Industry Overlords Take a Hike

  1. chuck says:

    Not being a smartazz, but why would city officials be so draconian with small business owners?

    I get that there are rules to followed that relate to the health of citizens, but that sounded personal.

  2. Markus Aurelius says:

    Interesting inside scoop.

    This seems about par for the course for City of KC bureaucrats. I used to experience the same type of unthinking small-man (and woman), power-wielding by KC housing code inspectors whose first priority was not the tenants or landlords, or even the housing code, but rather themselves and their unquenchable desire to recklessly wield whatever shred of power they had been given.

  3. balbonis moleskine says:

    I know he doesn’t like the following the law but these are the facts:

    1) He was allowed to bend the rules with the liquor board and given a single license to operate two clubs. This saved him tens of thousands of dollars.

    2) The one condition on him having that license was that he had to keep a door open to keep the legal fallacy going that this is “one club”.

    3) He was unhappy that they checked that he was in compliance with liquor cards. He wasn’t.

    4) He was unhappy that they checked that he had his door open, the only requirement to keep that joke of a free license. He didn’t.

    Now he has used his political power to get the pencil pushers fired who were simply legally enforcing KCMO liquor code.

    5) Serving food outside without a license is a health code violation. Sorry you don’t like the law.

    I have seen how this goes with this guy and his clubs. Basically the rule is that he does whatever he wants, whenever he wants. That means watering down the drinks, swapping bottles, underpouring (lol $2 buzzard wells), having a nonworking toilet for nearly a decade (upper shitter, the buzzard) these are all ‘regulations’ by ‘the man’ trying to keep us down.

    Here’s the news, pal: We don’t live in a libertarian utopia and you have chosen to work in a highly regulated industry. That means you have to have licenses and permits and have to keep a minimum standard of health and safety. If you don’t like this you are free to take the millions of dollars you have made in westport and put it in a less regulated industry.

    As a consumer I’m happy that I have regulations of businesses. I don’t like intestinal parasites from unhealthy tent food. I like to have properly operating plumbing. I like bathrooms that someone who is in a wheelchair can use.

    Yeah, I’m a commie liberal.

  4. SID says:

    a tall slender afro american and what i found out later was gary majors came to a bar door on westport rd. around 1993 or 94. as an innocent bystander i really couldnt hear exactley what was being said. it was very hectic around that door. the next thing i saw was gary majors up in the air being thrown off a porch over the stairs and on to the sidewalk running next to westport rd. it looked like it wounded his pride. im suprised he stayed around as long as he did.

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