Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Restaurateur Rod Anderson found guilty of Hereford House arson

The jury returns a guilty verdict in the Hereford House arson case.

Posted by on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Jurors believed the person in this video was, indeed, Mark Sorrentino and found him guilty today.
  • Jurors believed the person in this video was, indeed, Mark Sorrentino and found him guilty today.

Rod Anderson
  • Rod Anderson
The jury in the high-profile trial of restaurateur Rod Anderson — part-owner and very public face of Kansas City's Hereford House restaurants — found the 59-year-old businessman guilty today on four counts of arson, mail fraud, conspiracy, and using fire to commit a federal crime. Anderson's co-defendants in the federal case, Vincent Pisciotta and Mark Sorrentino, were also found guilty on charges of arson, conspiracy, and using fire to commit a federal crime. According to the courthouse story posted this afternoon by KSHB Channel 41, Anderson and his co-defendants face a maximum of 35 years in prison.

The verdict came as a shock to many in Kansas City's restaurant community. Anderson, who took over the operation of the original Hereford House restaurant in 1987 (and went on to open satellite venues around the metro over the last two decades), was a popular and respected businessman.

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  • The jury returns a guilty verdict in the Hereford House arson case.

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Madonna kept it real at the Sprint Center last night

After her latest Sprint Center show, it's clear Madonna isn't slowing down.

Posted by on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Better Than: Gwar and David Sedaris in the same room.

Gerrick D. Kennedy of the Los Angeles Times recently broke down Madonna’s MDNA tour by the numbers. Among his findings: 89 shows in 28 countries (18 — including the show in KC — are places where Madonna has never performed), 90 speakers hung on stage, 700 pieces of wardrobe required for all of the onstage performers, 374 tons of pure stage, and even 16 different kinds of salad dressing required by the crew from craft services. This is some high-maintenance shit.

Obviously, with high-maintenance shit come high-dollar tickets. And high-dollar tickets tend to bring out, shall we say, a more discerning crowd. In the case of Madonna’s show at the Sprint Center last night, the crowd skewed older. Not many spring chickens in the house. They flocked in early, then clogged up the booze lines and complained about the late set time (10:30 p.m.).

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  • After her latest Sprint Center show, it's clear Madonna isn't slowing down.

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Big Papi Taco is in the works in Westwood

Posted by on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 10:31 AM

The future site of Big Papi Tacos.
The odds that Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz will finish his career in Kansas City are slim, but the prospects look a whole lot better for another Big Papi headed to Westwood. Bread & Butter Concepts, the folks behind BRGR, Gram & Dun and Urban Table, intend to open Big Papi Taco at 500 County Line Road in Kansas City, Kansas, next March.

The new location, across Mission Road from Oklahoma Joe's, will serve street-style tacos with smoked and braised meats like barbacoa, cochinita pibili and birria. The taqueria will have a walk-up window for those who need a mobile taco fix (or perhaps something to pass the time while waiting in the parking lot at Oklahoma Joe's) and picnic- and patio-table seating outdoors. A rendering of the new space is after the jump.

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Former Jackson County Democratic boss Stephen Bough claims that Jacob Turk is violating election law

Stephen Bough claims that Jacob Turk is violating election law.

Posted by on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Jacob Turk says FEC complaints are unnecessary distractions.
  • Jacob Turk says FEC complaints are unnecessary distractions.
The former chairman of the Jackson County Democratic Committee Stephen Bough likes to document things. On a desk in his Westport law office sits a hefty, red three-ring binder filled with neatly organized complaints against Republican 5th District congressional candidate Jacob Turk.

In June, Bough sent a copy of the binder to the Federal Election Commission. He claims that its contents document a history of Turk’s violating election law in his current and his 2010 campaigns to unseat Emanuel Cleaver II.

“There can be no doubt that I am an enormous fan of Congressman Cleaver,” Bough tells The Pitch. So far, Bough has donated $3,000 to Cleaver’s 2012 campaign. “I’ve had events at my home. I’m often listed as one of his donors. Every time I make a donation, he has to list it,” he says. “And that’s my same gripe against Turk. For years, he just slanders a wonderful congressman, and he doesn’t play by the rules.”

Pointing to his binder, with its 28 exhibits, color photos and screen captures, Bough adds, “The reason I put this together is because the way Mr. Turk runs his campaigns is not the way we should do things.”

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  • Stephen Bough claims that Jacob Turk is violating election law.

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Where to treat yourself on Halloween

Posted by on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Itll be like a werewolf bar mitzvah at the Tap Room tonight: spooky and scary.
  • Facebook: Waldo Pizza
  • It'll be like a werewolf bar mitzvah at the Tap Room tonight: spooky and scary.
Halloween is perhaps more fun for adults. Discover why at the Waldo Pizza Tap Room (7433 Broadway) tonight. The Waldo pizza shop is hosting a Halloween party with a costume contest and Tallgrass Brewing Co.’s Buffalo Sweat Stout (which will be infused with pumpkin, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and vanilla bean at the party). The festivities begin at 7 p.m.

A few more Halloween-day deals after the jump.

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OFF is set to scare the fuck out of you tonight

Posted by on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 8:36 AM

OFF-Band-Press-Photo.jpg
Hammy comedian-actor Jack Black tears an organ of some kind (a heart? balls?) out of another man's body in OFF's recent video for "Wrong." It's a bloody scene and an appropriate prelude to the band's show here in Kansas City, which falls on Halloween. That's tonight! OFF is a group of middle-aged vets from old hardcore bands — Keith Morris (Circle Jerks, Black Flag), Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides), Steven Shane McDonald (Redd Kross) and Mario Rubalcaba (Rocket From the Crypt, Hot Snakes) — but sounds far more vital than some dime-store nostalgia act. Which is to say, they are still roaring loud and pissed as hell. OFF's self-titled debut, released back in the spring, has an almost perverse immediacy: It's 16 songs in 16 minutes. Some of the songs are only 45 seconds long.

OFF. Wednesday, October 31, at RecordBar.

Menufy introduces restaurants to their future

Menufy introduces restaurants to their future.

Posted by on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Rosatis online menu was created by Menufy.
  • Menufy
  • Rosati's online menu was created by Menufy.
In 1995, the idea that Sandra Bullock didn’t have to pick up a phone to get a large pizza with anchovies, garlic and extra cheese seemed revolutionary. Nearly two decades after The Net, Ashishh Desai and the team at Menufy are proving that Hollywood’s early vision of the Web was onto something: Ordering restaurant food online doesn’t have to be hard.

The KCK startup creates online menus, ordering systems and websites for restaurants. The 10-person business began as a conversation three years ago. Desai and Hoang Nguyen were sitting in the dining room of what would become Menufy’s first customer: Stix in the Legends. Nguyen, Stix’s general manager, had been tasked with developing and launching a website for the Asian-fusion restaurant.

“We started this thinking about Stix,” says Desai, who remained the restaurant’s senior manager until last year. “But we quickly realized we could think broader, and this template would work for other restaurants.”

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  • Menufy introduces restaurants to their future.

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The Pitch's Questionnaire with Normal Human co-owner Dan Mahaney

Normal Human's owner talks public transit, carpentry and antique malls.

Posted by on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Name: Dan Mahaney

Occupation: Co-owner of Normal Human

What is Normal Human? Normal Human is a retail shop, in downtown Mission, specializing in original, handmade screen prints on apparel and housewares.

Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri

Current neighborhood: Hanover Heights

Who or what is your sidekick? Not really a sidekick, but my business partner, Pat Egger, who started Normal Human with me.

What career would you choose in an alternate reality? Carpentry or some sort of skilled craftsman

What was the last local restaurant you patronized? The Art of Pizza. Fantastic gyros!

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  • Normal Human's owner talks public transit, carpentry and antique malls.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Hereford House arson case is in the jury's hands now

Posted by on Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Someone burned down the Hereford House restaurant four years ago -- who was it?
  • Someone burned down the Hereford House restaurant four years ago — who was it?

A man with short-cropped hair leaned over the back of the bench in the public seating section of courtroom 8-D of the Charles Evans Whittaker U.S. Courthouse and whispered to the man in the seat in front of him: "I can't help it. Every time I look at Rod Anderson, I think of Rodney Dangerfield."

Rod Anderson
  • Rod Anderson
Rod Anderson — on trial with co-defendants Vincent Pisciotta and Mark Sorrentino — would have cringed if he had heard this. This last week has probably been the least funny period in his 59 years. The former high-profile public face of the Hereford House restaurants, Anderson has gained weight and looks a decade older since he was first charged with felony fraud, conspiracy and arson. The prosecution alleges that Anderson, Pisciotta and Sorrentino planned and executed the arson that destroyed the original Hereford House restaurant, at 2 East 20th Street, in the early morning hours of October 20, 2008.

Today, the defense attorneys for Anderson, Pisciotta and Sorrentino presented their closing arguments to the jury, lambasting the case against their clients presented by the team of U.S. government attorneys, including Jess Michaelson and Paul Becker. Pettlon said the government's charges against Anderson, Pisciotta and Sorrentino was "a case about innuendo."

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Lexington Legends, new Royals' affiliate, have a mustache logo

Posted by on Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Somewhere, Selleck is smiling.
  • Lexington Legends
  • Somewhere, Selleck is smiling.
Forget Movember, the Lexington Legends are looking to honor the mustache year-round. The brand-new Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals revealed a new logo last Thursday: a mustache [h/t Big League Stew]. The mustache, a nod to the handlebar that dominates the face of the mascot "Big L," was one of three updated looks for the Legends. The team colors are now regal green, bluegrass blue (a mash-up of Kentucky and Royal blue) and classic cream.

Last month, the Royals and the Legends announced a new player development deal that will run through 2016. The Legends had been affiliated with the Houston Astros since their inaugural year in 2001. The Royals' previous Class A affiliate was the Kane County Cougars of the Midwest League. The Legends, based in Lexington, Kentucky, play in the South Atlantic League. Their 2013 season begins on Monday, April 8. So start growing those lip hairs, Royals fans.

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