Hearne: Westport Takes Preemptive Measures to Ward Off Kids

ClubKC-webIt may seem like such a small detail…

Yet in the wide world of discouraging the kind of urban youth problems the Country Club Plaza is now embroiled in, every chess moves counts. And in the case of Westport – which doesn’t have to worry about teenagers flocking to Jerry Harrington’s art house cinema the Tivoli – it comes down to music.

That’s right, music.

In past years Kansas City’s original entertainment district has battled large groups of inner city kids in search of the late night good times afforded by stoking on hotties outside largely black dance clubs like America’s Pub,  Karma, Club 504 and the Harris House. That and the occasional urban shows at the Beaumont Club.

No mas.

Those clubs are all long gone and last summer was one of peace and love in Westport, sans the police checkpoints and cover charges to enter the district aimed at discouraging the youthful throngs in year’s past.

Until recently, when the Gusto Bar & Lounge reportedly went with a dance music theme that caused both it and business neighbor Kelly’s – Westport’s longtime magnet for cleancut, whitebread party types – to post restrictive dress codes specifically aimed at warding off gangbangers and the hip-hop crowd.

Restrictions warning customers not to don apparel such as “exposed underwear,” “wave caps,” “jewelry which poses safety risks,” “tank tops,” “baggy clothing,” “jumpsuits” and the like.

IMG_3843-1However with the temperatures rising and bar owners bracing for the worst, came word that Gusto might be cleaning up its act and modifying its music.

The latest?

“It’s getting better,” says a source. “The crowds outside Gusto have really slimmed down. They’ve changed their music quite a bit. There’s still some dance stuff, but more techno – and no hip hop – that’s what I hear from their help. And the line outside is not like it was a month ago…It seems like the problem has dissipated.”

The $64 million question: where will the kids wander off to after KC Mayor Sly James’ kid programs Club KC and Mayors Nights let out every night?

The first Club KC hoedown kicked off last Friday at 7 p.m.

Former Club 504 main man and Westport bar owner Craig Glazer’s take on what’s in store for midtown this summer:

“That’s a tough one,” Glazer says. “I think Westport has done an incredible job with doing live events and opening restaurants that will appeal to an upper middle class clientele, but the jury’s still out.”

There’s more to the equation though than just “kids,” Glazer stresses.

“The black kids really aren’t just kids,” he adds. “Some of them are kids, but most of them are adults – angry, young people – and with them, you’ll have a problem. One mistake the Kansas City Police Department makes is trying to be politically correct. They put up with it too much.”

KCK Police LogoGlazer’s advice for cops on the Plaza and Westport:

“They need to do what Kansas City, Kansas has done and just kick them out – make them leave the area or take them to jail,” he says. “Because they’re not there for any good purpose. That’s what KCK did at The Legends and The Legends doesn’t have any problems anymore – very few. Because they dropped the hammer about three years ago. Why pull punches?

“The cops would pull over anyone, any young black people or Latinos – only the assholes – and it’s pretty easy to tell who they are. The police know who’s who and what’s what 99 percent of the time.”

That may not be a problem this summer for Westport if things continue as they are.

The Plaza? Whole nother story. 

Summer is blockbuster movie season and it’s highly unlikely that Club KC or any other city sponsored distraction will attract enough kids to keep the throngs away from Kansas City’s shopping and fine dining crown jewel.

Stay tuned…


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11 Responses to Hearne: Westport Takes Preemptive Measures to Ward Off Kids

  1. the dude says:

    But, would they harass and kick out the black kid that looks like Obummer’s son?

  2. admin says:


  3. hot harley says:

    hearne…sorry…this is old news.

    So here’s the facts…I read where Kansas city is now 30% black…10%
    Hisanic and those numbers are growing fast as the younger minorities
    become of age. You can’t stop these numbers. It’s a tsunami that will shape
    the nation long after all of us are gone.
    Make no mistake…the city has more problems on their hands right now.
    Massive money grabs by developers and companies wanting to do stupid
    crap!!!! toy train…changing kci (I was on a flight last week…kci is the
    most incredible airport in the world and every person who comes here
    says this airport needs nothing…its easy/fast and well planned).
    We will have to take into consideration the growth of minorities in American
    society because they will be running America in another 10 years.
    So this is the final money grab for the corps/politicians as they see their
    gravy train leaving the station.
    Glaze doesn’t get it. The areas around p and l /Westport/even encroaching
    on the plaza area are being taken by minorities. Look at northeast and the
    influx of Hispanics.
    Glaze doesn’t understand the demographics because he thinks you can strong
    arm these people to keep them from coming to an establishment.
    Wrong again buddy.
    We will have to deal with the increase in minorities in every aspect of life…
    its not something that the police can “attempt to contain” in the future.
    We’re past that and heading in another direction.

    So hearne…get in your fiat and go see what’s happening in the world.
    Your old sources are so out of the loop its hardly even worth reading.
    And besides…we can get all the racist vile language we want at
    the other site.
    This is not going to stop. It’s just the “new” America that is now coming
    to our fair winded city.
    get used to it…accept it…work with it….the police can’t control it for too
    much longer…its getting too vast and too spread out for people like glaze
    and chuckles to think that we can contain the minority population
    and keep them east of troost. Won’t work!!!!!!!!!

    • admin says:

      Glazer is not the source, H Man…

      I’m talking to business owners in Westport and this is the latest.

      If you want to read about imaginary “flash mobs” – which sounds sexy and sensationalistic but doesn’t apply – I think you know where to go.

  4. hot harley says:

    glaze said this:
    “The cops would pull over anyone, any young black people or Latinos – only the assholes – and it’s pretty easy to tell who they are. The police know who’s who and what’s what 99 percent of the time.”

    right…kck cops….they’re a great example !!!!
    only problem glaze is that’s illegal…and eventually they will be
    having to stop every car/van into thearea…
    where do you get this stuff from. Are you reading those crime books
    again. Think this is Russia? Just wait glaze…the world is changing ad
    you better get on the train…or maybe you missed it altogether.
    your friend

  5. hot harley says:

    first of all who owns gusto…why are they trying to attract a hip hop
    crowd (which today is heavily white!!!!)….
    why do the Kelly boys put up with this…?????????
    and the owners of gusto…why would they ruin the area?
    are they thinking this is the only way to make a buck?
    and if they do maybe it’s time to shift the wind so to speak.

    • admin says:

      Usually when a club changes its theme and/or it’s music, it’s because business has slowed and they’re trying to pick things up.

      There’s definitely an urban crowd to be lured, but the other bar owners in Westport don’t want that

      • hot harley says:

        its gotten to one bad apple in Westport who can
        ignite a freaking riot or cause the other business
        owners to lose millions.
        who owns gusto?…maybe they need to be sat down
        by the other owners and learn what a mess they might
        be creating

  6. rock n roll mcdonalds says:

    did they kick all the coke dealers out of the new Gusto?

  7. Adele Dazeem says:

    Harley/JoJo’s comments are insanely talented.

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