KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A longtime Westport mainstay suffered extensive fire damage on Tuesday. Patrons of Buzzard Beach say they are heartbroken to hear of yet another bar in Westport closing down.
Kailyn Ash, who is a regular at the bar, says the venue was a special meeting place for many in the area. So much so that she tied the knot with her then-partner on March 21, 2018.
“Buzzard Beach was just kind of the place where everybody always went. That’s where we met,” Ash said.
Standing before the two head bartenders, the happy couple was officiated by one of their best friends. It was a last-minute effort to make it official before her soon-to-be husband left town for work.
“We were like, 'Where are we gonna get married?' And of course, we’re gonna get married at Buzzard Beach,” Ash said. “It was just a very Buzzard Beach occasion if you can imagine. We toasted with PBR."
Ash says Buzzard Beach is where people who had nowhere else to go came. The news of the fire hit home for too many in her circle.
“It was kind of heartbreaking for all of us. It’s like where do we go now?” Ash said.
No injuries were reported, but the cause of the fire is still unknown. Investigators say a lightning strike or an electrical problem cannot be ruled out.
According to the bar’s Facebook page, it will be closed until further notice due to extensive damage.
“You know there’s not a whole lot of places left like it — after we lost Riot Room and Westport Saloon,” Ash said. “Every time we lose one, it’s a little bit more heartbreaking. Just watching Westport change and the crowd change, it’s like once again, where do we go now?”
A GoFundMe page has been set up in the meantime to help bartenders stay afloat.