Hearne: The Twisted Tale of The Velvet Dog & Empire Room Closings

4911527.0A belated happy birthday to the Velvet Dog…

The Midtown watering hole turned 19 this past week. Unfortunately it – and sister club the Empire Room – closed mysteriously nearing a month ago. With no explanation other than a pair of “remodeling” signs in the front windows.

A check with the usual suspects – Regulated Industries (aka Liquor Control) and Kansas City’s Health Department – reveal no regulatory reasons for the closings. However local bar owner heads have been shaking. Businessmen who agree that closing two clubs for remodeling at the same time is highly unusual and very unlikely. Especially sans any outward evidence of remodeling work being done.

Which brings us to the question of whether something was amiss between Dog and Empire Room founder Chris Seferyn and partner Vince Rook. Neither have returned repeated calls and in Seferyn’s case, email requests for an interview or comment for upwards of three weeks.

Leaving the quest for reasons and understanding for the mysterious closures an investigative matter.

Now it can be told…
Here’s what behind-the-scenesters  are saying:

Longtime partners Seferyn and Rook reportedly had agreed to divvy up their business interests in the two clubs, selling a portion to a third party. That party’s intention was to remodel the clubs and operate them while paying the partners rent on the real estate.

chrisseferyn_thumb_262x400_thumb_262x400One thing lead to another and the third party allegedly had a cash flow situation resulting in Seferyn and Rook locking him out until further funding could be secured and the clubs reopened.

The remodeling was reportedly to have been completed by October 1st, according to a source, and may well still happen.

At this point though the betting money is the clubs probably will not reopen for another 30 to 60 days.

Meanwhile Seferyn, the  self-proclaimed “entrepreneur, world traveler, Producer in the Proper Application of the Word & Piercing Wit” – is holed up in LA and churning out bizarre Tweets like, “I like it when older gay men think I’m hot.”

Stay tuned…

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6 Responses to Hearne: The Twisted Tale of The Velvet Dog & Empire Room Closings

  1. Mysterious J says:

    This kind of story is where Hearne and this site shine.

    • the dude says:

      Get on this Hearne!! Get that FYI reporter cap and trenchcoat on and do some sluething!
      Bring on Hoopz for a little freelance for some extra bite if you need to!

  2. admin says:

    Why thank you, Mysterious.

    I’ll try and remember that next time you bag on me!

  3. mike t. says:

    and the latest on the defunct jardine’s site?

  4. balbonis moleskine says:

    They should reopen Raul’s Velvet room in OP so there is one crap club with the word Velvet in it.

    Or open a hipster bar in Westport that sells PBR and Mickey’s and call it Velvet Elvis?

    With Foundry/Mccoy’s being more awesome every year there is really little reason to drink anywhere else but Westport in KC proper.

    Although they do actually make good drinks and have a cook cook at the Shady Lady Lounge (don’t judge me)

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