One of Kansas City’s biggest entertainment days was a bust…
Ugly as it usually gets, this year’s St. Patrick’s Day in Kansas City was a huge letdown for the bars and restaurants that normally cash in big time on the sea of wasted-beyond-belief revelers that causes cooler heads to stay home.
When I ran the Pitch in Westport for example, it was practically standard operational procedure for many Westport merchants to close that day and for employees to call in sick.
Face it, St. Patrick’s Day in Wesport for all but the most hedonistic is almost without fail the ugliest day of the year.
Which was not so much the case this year.
“It wasn’t as dead as a doornail but I’d say the crowd was about half of what it was last year,” says Dark Horse Tavern main man Bill Nigro. “And the crowd at the parade was about half of what it was last year because of the cold and the rain.”
“It rained all afternoon so the inside of the bars were packed like sardines because everybody wanted to get out of the rain,” Nigro continues. “There was a big crowd at the start of things, but by the time that the rain came down it thinned out.”
By some estimates the crowd at the parade, in Westport and at the Power & Light District was maybe a third tops of last year. Worse yet, the crowds that usually continue well into the night, left most of the entertainment districts a ghost town by the early evening, says Stanford’s party boy Craig Glazer.
“Kansas City just doesn’t like to go out on weeknights,” Glazer says. “I remember from being in Westport all those years that every year St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Sunday or Monday it wasn’t very good. It was tough because you still have that stigma of it being a weekday.
“I drove by Westport and my brother Jeff drove by there and it was a disaster. The Big 12 basketball tournament helped everybody on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but by Sunday – the fourth day – most people from out of town had left. Last year you couldn’t even get near Westport on St. Patrick’s Day.”
Ditto for the Power & Light District, Nigro and Glazer agree.
“I didn’t go down there but Westport still gets most of the crowds on St. Patrick’s Day,” Nigro says.
“Jeff said it was pretty bad,” Glazer adds. “And they’re even worse off because of the parking. I think cold, nasty, gray weather hurts anything. And the only thing that battles that is an NFL playoff game.”