Hearne: ID Check & No Booze Rule Halves Westport Kid Crowds

6a00e54f9bc55f883401539154a299970b-320wiJust as things were starting to look sunny side up…

As reported here in April, the handwriting’s been on the wall for this summer in Westport. Pressure had been brought to bear by merchants and bar owners against the Gusto Bar & Lounge in an effort to get the club dial back its dance music to something less urban. Because the late night crowds were already starting to look a bit Country Club Plaza like.

And the midtown entertainment was bracing for the worst with dress codes posted at Gusto and Kelly’s advising patrons not to bear arms (after all, it’s not Kansas) and cautioning against exposing their underwear or wearing baggy clothing and “jewelry that poses safety risks.”

So no big surprise that for several weeks Westport has had more than its share of urban outfitters from the wrong side of the tracks.

Ah, but Westport was ready.

“We’ve been blocking the street for a month,” says a businessman who asked not to be named. “But we just started ID-ing this past weekend and it eliminated half the crowd trying to get in. There’s no cover, but drinks are not allowed to be brought in. People were walking in with white styrofoam cups with the beverage of their choice.”

Alcoholic beverages.

“Let’s just say that a whole lot of them refused to give up their drinks to come in,” says the source. “I mean, if all you had to do was give up your 79 cent soda, wouldn’t you just come in?”

Welcome to Gusto No packing, please

Welcome to Gusto
No packing, please

On the bright side, “There’s also a lot of extra security to escort women to their cars,” says the source. “The barricades don’t go up until around midnight Fridays and Saturdays after the other bars in town close and they stay up until 3 a.m.”

Naturally there’s been some sniggering among insiders about the timing of Kansas City Star business columnist Joyce Smith‘s front page puff piece earlier in the week about bars “giving new life” to the entrainment district.

It could be far worse, the source stresses.

“It’s really mostly just from 1:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. and we’re only turning away around 500 to 800 people. The city needs to come up with something fun, safe and peaceful for kids and keep it open until 3 a.m. Why not? Or else they can keep chasing them around from place it place. It’s not rocket science.”

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16 Responses to Hearne: ID Check & No Booze Rule Halves Westport Kid Crowds

  1. balbonis moleskine says:

    lol, only 800 people turned away for being underage.

  2. “It’s really mostly just from 1:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. and we’re only turning away around 500 to 800 people. The city needs to come up with something fun, safe and peaceful for kids and keep it open until 3 a.m. Why not? Or else they can keep chasing them around from place it place. It’s not rocket science.”

    Yep, I totally agree. When is the city going to do something about this mess? It is a disgrace that my scholar has to search endlessly at 3AM for something to do in this racist town.

    • the dude says:

      When Slie gets his 1000 room hotel at taxpayers expense.
      And when I say that I mean hopefully never.

  3. John Altevogt says:

    We understand that if you go to a fine restaurant we don’t wear sneakers and jeans and expect to party with the boys. Why is that conept so difficult elsewhere? Draw some lines on a map and just tell these people that here are the behavior standards for this zone, break them and you can expect a cop, or bouncer to break your skull in return. Those standards can vary from zone to zone, what might be appropriate for Westport might not be appropriate for The Plaza.

    One thing is clear, pandering does not work, but I’m betting billy clubs just might.

    • Uhra says:

      yeah! beat them senseless!

      is that the right’s answer to everything?

      • rkcal says:

        Unless you’re a CEO. Then you get a bail out.

      • John Altevogt says:

        During the late 60’s and early 70’s when riots were common in the inner cities, the minority community in Chicago claimed that they were willing to die for their freedom. Mayor Daly gave them that opportunity and gave the PD orders to use lethal force against anyone rioting. No one took him up on it.

  4. Joey Gallo says:

    Where can I get a soda for 79 cents?

  5. mark smith says:

    It isn’t the citys responsibility to “come up ” with something for kids to do between midnight and 3 a m . For starters the majority of the riff raff invading Westport, the plaza, or PnL are not going to attend late night hoops or dances. If they do, then there will be fights and shootings at those events. It isn’t an “URBAN” problem. We don’t get nightly reports of Urban Hispanics ,Caucasians, or the elusive Caucasian Hispanics, roaming the streets with ill intent. Plenty of Whites and Mexicans live in the Urban core of the city, so the problem cant be painted with the broad Urban brush. It’s Black or African American (pick your terminology) youth and young men who are the problem the overwhelming majority of the time. So lets all grow a pair and call it what it is. Calling the trouble makers anything other than that is politically correct horse $hit. Stating facts doesn’t make one an insensitive racist, although you will be called one. The solution to the Juvie problem is simple. Arrest them when they break the law, haul them to jail, cite the parents of these young scholars for child neglect, endangerment, or any other offense that fits. It’s important to note that Worlds of Fun after 4pm, when the price drops to 25 a head, is starting to have some serious problems with feral young urban scholars or as I like to refer to them, Black youth.. The rabble is spreading as unchecked rabble tends to do.

  6. Snappietom says:

    What this Mark Smith is saying…… is exactly the truth. I seen this first hand at WOF

  7. CG says:

    Westport has come a long way the last two years. People Like Bill Nigro and James Westphal have provided some great leadership as well as the Kellys. The city needs to do all it can THIS TIME, to eliminate the late night weekend gatherings of young urban folks who are there just to stand around and wait for trouble so they can bitch. I understand that group spends next to nothing in bars, on food or anything else. They need to NOT BE THERE. Not new news. The folks in Westport need city help. GIVE IT TO THEM. They work their butts off to provide our number ONE entertainment area in KCMO. They have earned it. Those street dwellers need to go somewhere else to hang out…find that spot and send them there.

  8. Libertarian says:

    Again, there’s no disputing the common denomnator.

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