|The Muehlebach's Le Bistro is gone...but the ghost never left|
But Jack Gage American Tavern has nothing on the restaurant in this week's Cafe review. The building at 931 Broadway that's home to the Majestic Restaurant was opened in the early 1900s as Fitzpatrick's Saloon, with a busy brothel on the second floor. There's something about former whorehouses attracting ghosts: The stone mansion at 3607 Pennsylvania, currently the home of The Writers Place, was a cathouse in the 1950s and '60s and reportedly has several resident ghosts, including one who reeks of cheap perfume. Some ghosts, you see, make their presence known by their signature aroma, like the ghost who haunts the bar at the new Succotash.
If you're not afraid of spirits, go ahead and make a reservation at one of these five restaurants:
One of the more famous haunted venues in town, the hotel opened in 1888
and the downstairs restaurant, the oldest dining room in Kansas City,
began serving steak and lobster fifteen years later. The best-known
ghost in the hotel is Betsy Ward, who reportedly still occupies Room 505
after dying in her bathtub more than a century ago. But former Savoy
Grill servers insist the dining rooms are notorious for strange sounds
after hours. Room service, anyone?
4. The Hotel Muehlebach: Once Kansas City's finest hotel, the
Muehlebach has had its ups and downs over the last few decades and is
no longer home to famous dining rooms -- Cafe Picardy, Cafe Trianon --
or the Le Bistro cocktail lounge, which promised "The gaiety of
Paris..." according to a 1960s postcard. There is still a restaurant in
the hotel, the forlorn Pam Pam Room (which should not be confused by
the excellent coffee shop of the same name at the old Alameda Plaza
Hotel) and there has been at least one ghost sighting there. So you might say that the hotel's best-known resident ghost, The Blue Lady, not only outlasted the hotel's upscale restaurants -- she may be wandering the halls and lobby, still looking for them.
3. Jack Gage American Tavern: There's a poltergeist residing there, but it hasn't ordered the chicken and waffles yet.
The new location of this popular bruncheonette, 2601 Holmes, was the
former Dutch Hill Bar & Grill for many decades. One of the regulars
was a man named Radar who smoked cigarellos. Owner Beth Barden says her
staff can smell those distinctive little cigars every so often, proving
that Radar is still around -- and possibly running up a tab.
According to the restaurant's new operator Fred Sebree, Jr. (his family
renovated the century-old building more than two decades ago) the
former Fitzpatrick's Saloon has no less than sixteen ghosts.
As to who has actually counted them or can tell one poltergeist from
another, that's another mystery completely. But that's Sebree's story
and he's sticking to it.