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The Riot Room closes after more than a decade of live music

The Riot Room
Posted at 6:24 PM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-09 17:11:56-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — The Kansas City music community is saying goodbye to a beloved venue.

The Riot Room in Westport closed its doors after 13 years of hosting live music.

Brandon Mickey said he has attended hundreds of shows at the venue over the years and played many of his own.

"You literally had everything that the city is underneath one roof, and that was the beautiful thing about it I thought," Mickey said.

Mickey said the business has become his favorite music establishment in Kansas City.

"It’s definitely a bummer, and unfortunately that’s just kind of where we are at right now, a lot of these beloved places, they just didn’t make it through this thing, and it’s unfortunate," Mickey said.

Owners and brothers Tim and Dallas Gutschenritter said multiple factors went into shutting their doors, the COVID-19 pandemic being one of them.

"That definitely threw a wrench in the live music industry, particularly for people like us who do a lot of touring artists. So with all those canceling, it kind of just leaves an open calendar," Dallas Gutschenritter said.

The brothers applied for funding through the Save our Stages Act. The bill authorizes the Small Business Administration to make grants eligible to live music venues.

SBA does not comment on individual applicants due to agency policy — the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant requirements can be found here.

However, the brothers didn't receive the money before having to close.

"We are kind of in the dark about a lot of that, so we are not too sure when or if that would happen, but as of the doors shutting, we have not received anything yet," Dallas Gutschenritter said.

He said the venue would likely still be open had the brothers received the funding.

"It’s a bummer. The Riot Room is definitely a place in Kansas City that is a platform for a lot of people to not only perform and express their art but community space where a lot of people get together," Dallas Gutschenritter said.

While the brothers are sad to see the doors closed, they hope to open a similar venue in another location.

They're grateful to their customers and performers over the years who say the same thing about them.

"It was always just a really great time, they took care of everyone, and not only do I speak for myself but all of Kansas City when we say thank you, and we are definitely going to miss you," Mickey said.