Chow Town

Waldo’s Swagger loses lawsuit, shuts down

Updated: 2014-01-20T20:56:18Z

By JOYCE SMITH

The Kansas City Star

Swagger — a Waldo favorite that has been featured on the Food Network's “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” — closed Sunday night.

Earlier this month, owner Derek Boone lost a rent and possession lawsuit for the restaurant and bar at 8431 Wornall Road, as well as for his Irezumi Body Art business at 8441 Wornall.

He owes his landlord more than $20,000 and owes more than $50,000 in back taxes.

However, Boone is meeting today with local investors who may want to reopen Swagger.

Boone traces his financial troubles to an Irezumi Body Art shop he planned to open in the Power & Light District.

District officials said he walked out on his lease before the tattoo shop even opened and they filed suit for breach of contract in mid-2011.

Boone claimed the district decided they didn’t want a tattoo shop and “kicked him out.”

But Boone lost the lawsuit in late October 2013 with a judgment against him for nearly a million dollars.

Paragraph 2602 in the lease requires: “payment of liquidated damages in the amount three times the rent due each month when tenant fails to conduct business operations during minimum store hours for more than three consecutive business days ....... it does measurable damage to the district when a storefront goes dark.”

The nearly $1 million judgment includes liquidated damages of $580,619, unpaid rent of $195,661, late fees of $185,233, and interest of $30,619.

Officials with the Cordish Cos., developers of the Power & Light District, couldn’t be reached for comment this morning.

Boone said he built his businesses without ever taking out a loan.

“I'm a simple man, a simple man. I'm 42 years old and everything I have worked for is gone, including my son's college fund and my wife's wedding ring,” he said. “I spent so much money fighting the Cordish Cos. It finally caught up with me.”

The Kansas City Health Department temporarily closed Swagger on Sept. 11, 2013 for “excessive roach activity.” It was reinspected and quickly reopened.

It had no critical violations during its most recent inspection on Dec. 23, 2013.

To reach Joyce Smith, call 816-234-4692 or send email to jsmith@kcstar.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at JoyceKC

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