There have been rumors swirling around the restaurant community for weeks about The Beacon: A Kansas City Tavern at 5301 Main. The 14-month-old restaurant had reportedly seen business partners depart (including Whitten Pell, who was the managing partner, proprietor and the public face of the venue when it first opened, and who left last year) and employees quit since the spring. What was the story? Was it going to close? Why did the hours keep changing?
There was an answer, sort of, this week. A handwritten sign, dated June 26, 2012, is taped to the front door: "Temporarily Closed."
That was news, apparently, to members of the Georgetown Club, who arrived at the restaurant tonight without knowing it was closed. Two name labels are now also pasted to the door, dated June 27. One has a note: "This is news to us!" followed by a second missive advising other members of the club to meet the rest of the party up the street...at Minsky's Pizza.
The Beacon replaced an ill-fated restaurant, Jack Gage, that closed in June 2011.
Whitten Pell told Fast Pitch tonight: "The principals that took over the restaurant did not follow through on the committment they made to the board. We were going to close the Beacon last October to avoid all of the issues that happened to Jack Gage and now appear to be happening to the Beacon."
Pell said several of the Beacon employees walked out on Tuesday.
A source close to the restaurant said the venue is also currently without a liquor license.