What's Your KCQ?

What’s your Westport story? KCQ on district’s evolution sends readers down memory lane

Culinary Crossroads: Kansas City’s Westport area

JCCC professor Andrea Broomfield writes the first comprehensive culinary history of Kansas City. Kelly’s Westport Inn marks the birthplace of our food, beverage and hospitality industry. The Star’s Q&A outlines some of the most important food them
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JCCC professor Andrea Broomfield writes the first comprehensive culinary history of Kansas City. Kelly’s Westport Inn marks the birthplace of our food, beverage and hospitality industry. The Star’s Q&A outlines some of the most important food them

A recent KCQ explored Westport’s transformation from “sleepy neighborhood” to social hub. It also sent many readers down memory lane.

The focus of the article was pre-1980 and the early days with Kelly’s Westport Inn, but it generated a lot of reader recollections from the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Anybody who grew up in Kansas City has Westport stories. I saw my first French film at the Bijou Theater with my French class; played my first Pac-Man game at Torre’s Pizza.; got lost looking through the shelves of Whistler’s Books; and kicked back on summer evenings on the courtyard behind what is now Harpo’s. And for that special celebration? The Prospect of Westport.

What are your favorite Westport memories? Email them to jsmith@kcstar.com under the subject “Westport memories.”

Readers have already shared some of theirs. Many fondly remember Fuzzy’s Sports Bar & Grill, at 4113 Pennsylvania Ave. It first shows up in The Star’s archives in October 1982. One Westport business owner said it was the first time he ever heard the term “sports bar.”

A 1988 review mentioned Fuzzy’s surprising variations on the burger and frank categories, including a four-bagger burger topped with barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese, sauteed onions and mushrooms. A tender T-bone could be had for $9.95.

Steve Robinson of Overland Park said he remembers Fuzzy’s had a few TVs around the bar — all featuring sports.

“After work my friends and I would meet and spend time at Kelly’s, then across the street to the Harris House for a bit, then down to Fuzzy’s to catch a ball game,” he said.

Another spot readers remembered: Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Lynn Dickey — who was raised in Osawatamie, Kansas, and played football at Kansas State — operated the 8,000-square-foot namesake Lynn Dickey’s Sports Cafe at 535 Westport Road for nearly four years. It featured a whopping 18 televisions. World Market now operates on the site.

For live rock ‘n’ roll, readers recalled Lone Star, at 4117 Mill St. And Natural Wear was a beloved retailer that operated in Westport for nearly 30 years. It was founded in 1975, offering natural fiber clothing and Earth Shoes, and it was said to be the first store in Kansas City to offer Birkenstocks.

So tell me your Westport memories. Remember, email them to jsmith@kcstar.com.

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Joyce Smith has covered restaurant and retail news for The Star since 1989 under the brand Cityscape. She appreciates news tips.
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