If you haven't met Robert McCain and Joseph Fulgenzi yet — they're well-known local real-estate agents and entrepreneurs — you'll be hearing about them soon enough. McCain, who owns the Blo Salon & Studio in Westport, told Fat City today that he and longtime partner Fulgenzi have purchased the troubled Jardine's Restaurant & Jazz Club at 4536 Main from owner Beena Raja.
"It will remain a jazz club," McCain says, "and Beena will continue on for a period to guide us through the change in operations."
Jardine's has been bombarded with negative publicity since Raja allegedly fired her entire staff — there have been more public versions of the story than in Rashomon — and no one seems to know if the servers and musicians stiffed by Beena have been paid. (Waiter, author and blogger David Hayden, who has been following this story in his blog, told Fat City this evening that only one of the former staff members has been paid.)
The telephone number for Jardine's has been "temporarily disconnected," and the Jardine's website, under the "Special Events" tab, lists the following under the December 31 date:
"Come and celebrate with us!!! Its gonna be a party. Come say hello to Robert,Joseph, Armida, Antonio, Pat and the entire gang!!! Beena is fired. Lets toast 2012 with a bang.
McCain says New Year's Eve will mark their debut as the new owners of Jardine's.
Are the new owners concerned about the negative publicity that Jardine's has received lately?
"Not at all," Fulgenzi says. "Jardine's is an institution. When we came to Beena with an offer, we were the only bidder who wanted to keep it as it is: a great jazz club. One potential buyer wanted to turn it into a sushi bar."
The New Year's Eve celebration will begin at 7 p.m. with a $5 cover. The $35 prix fixe dinner (which does not include tax or gratuity) includes a choice of bruschetta or shrimp cocktail; soup or salad; a choice of Kansas City strip, salmon or rosemary chicken; and a choice of cheesecake or chocolate cake with raspberry sauce.
Because the Jardine's phone number is no longer working, Fulgenzi suggests that patrons call 816-223-5249 for reservations.