Hearne: Westport “Kid” Problem Pulls Disappearing Act

do-not-enterYou got ’em, you card ’em, you don’t got ’em… 

It’s looking like Westport’s effort to nip its “urban” issues in the bud may be working. As reported first on KCC this past April, the youthful crowds of African American youth that have plagued the Country Club Plaza in recent years were beginning to find their way back to Westport earlier this spring.

Enough so that bars like the Gusto Bar & Lounge (and even white bread, midtown party capital, Kelly’s) were posting signs outside their businesses cautioning patrons not to pack firearms or wear “excessively baggy clothing” or “sunglasses at night.”

And sone Westport businessmen encouraged Gusto to modify its music mix to something with a less ethnic appeal.

But by the time school was out and summer continued to approach, the crowds continued to grow until in mid June Westport merchants began cordoning off Westport Road. And in mid July they began ID-ing everyone wanting to come into the party zone late on weekend nights and required that they be 21.

nigro“That eliminated three quarters of them,” says a source. “And the ones that couldn’t get in got back to their cars and looked for someplace else to go, I guess.”

The bottom line this past weekend:

“We didn’t have any problems,” says the source. “Matter of fact our crowds are diminishing to more or less nothing. Not our regular customers, our business is actually up there. But most of the problem people have gone away.”

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12 Responses to Hearne: Westport “Kid” Problem Pulls Disappearing Act

  1. Greedo says:

    There was never a “kid” problem. These were adults.

    And the problem has continued despite the ID checkpoints.

    Your “reporting” on this is substandard and really just based on a conversation with Bill Nigro. I’ve seen far better reports that include more detail, images and interviews. Such a shame that your advertisers pay for this junk. There is so much content that’s better than this tripe. You didn’t first report anything, many reporters have been following this story for a long time.

    • the dude says:

      Greedo, you have no idea how difficult it is for hearny to report on issues in Westport from his fortified bunker complex in Lawrence. Have some empathy on his poor little soul.

    • Kyle Rohde says:

      Links to all that other content?

      • jimmy says:

        I’m guessing it’s Tony’s Kansas City. Almost everyday there is a headline that goes like this: “WESTPORT RENAISSANCE IS A MYTH!!! TKC KICKASS TIPSTERS HAVE REAL SCOOP!!!” Honestly, I would trust Bill Nigro over whoever the hell it is TKC gets his information from.

      • admin says:

        Links to all my previous content? Next time, Kyle

    • admin says:

      Gee Greedo, you sound a little thin skinned on this one.

      My reporting – which was the first to lay out that Westport was experiencing difficulties earlier in the spring, had cautioned Gusto about its music selection and were already posting signs aimed at warding off African Americans – was updated here to note that the ID checking recently implemented, along with not allowing people to carry drinks past the barricades, seems to be working.

      We’ll see.

      Perhaps you missed that point.

      As for the “kid” problem, that’s a fair point. Up to a point.

      Many of the “kids” are big kids, young adults as well who are not 21 and or who do not have the dough or want to pay to get in.

      So it’s a mix. But being an adult at 18 and under the legal drinking age blurs the line.

  2. harley says:

    sorry hearne….this problem will not disappear. the demographics of the coming
    tsunami are just starting to come upon America.
    don’t think carding a few black kids will change whats coming.
    you are wrong again….

  3. Libertarian says:


  4. A less ethnic appeal at Gusto might’ve involved more Corey Hart, but that’s a non-starter given the sunglasses policy. However, I don’t think Adele would have any issue with it, nor with the admonition against packin’ heat.

  5. Harry Balczak says:

    This blog seems to be obsessed with “urban youth” and how they are destroying the KC nightlife scene. Any coincidence in the fact these stories are constantly showing up lately and in how hard this site is trying to pimp the new opening of its well known douchebag correspondent in Overland Park? Naahh that couldn’t be could it?

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