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Neighbors concerned after Coach's Bar & Grill finds potential new home

Posted at 7:55 PM, Feb 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-27 21:27:01-05

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A metro bar devastated twice by flooding over the past year is trying to reopen on a familiar Kansas City street.

Coach's Bar & Grill wants to reopen at 92nd and Wornall, a mile and a half from its previous home of 35 years.

The catch is — until 2013 the building was occupied by All Saints Episcopal Church, and not everyone is on board with the move.

There was a community meeting 7 p.m. Tuesday at Trailside Center where Coach's owner Brian Darby hoped to win over naysayers.

"We would say 90 percent positive, 10 percent negative," said Darby, describing the feedback.

Some neighbors worry noise, LED lighting, traffic, falling home values and irresponsible drinking will be issues.



The bar would be a fresh start for the Darby family after a tough year.

The original Coach's was owned by Mike Darby, Brian's father. He was murdered in 2017 along the Indian Creek Trail.

This past summer, historic flooding put the bar and whole shopping center at 102nd and Wornall underwater, twice.

Darby and his business partner were trapped in the kitchen overnight and had to be rescued.

But Darby never wanted to close the bar that employed about 50 people and helped him keep his father's memory alive.

"I want to continue his legacy, and I want to adapt it in this neighborhood. I'm willing to do that," said Darby.

Darby said the new space is bigger and he could employ about 75 people.

There is a Facebook group called Stop Coach's but there are only seven members.

Flyers opposing the move were also left on people's doors. One thing it says is that the bar is open until 3 a.m.

However, Darby said they would close early, around midnight. He said it is semantics, but they want to be a neighborhood restaurant.

The building still has to be approved for rezoning from residential to office or retail space. That meeting is with the city on March 6.

"We've talked with Coach's. They plan to make this a family restaurant. It's not going to be a honky tonk or dancing on bars," said Mike Crist, who owns the old building.

Crist said it is part of the building agreement to give certain elements like the stained glass windows back to the Archdiocese.

That may help the building transform from church to bar and help the Darby family move forward.

"It's been an emotional rollercoaster. The other is a happy experience and my family and I need the happy," said Darby.