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Kansas City barber optimistic ahead of potential new Country Club Plaza ownership

Benny Cardello cuts a clients hair.
Posted at 5:38 PM, Apr 24, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Country Club Plaza may be getting a new owner, and while it's not confirmed, businesses are preparing for change.

KSHB 41 learned about the potential acquisition last fall.

In December, KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas visited Dallas to meet with the businessmen associated with the project.

Since then, there have been no updates.

Benny Cardello has watched the Plaza changed through the windows of his shop, Plaza Hair Designs.

He started his own shop in 1981, but started his career at a shop on the Plaza in 1962.

"We used to have five barber shops down here; we’re the last of five barber shops," Cardello said.

Benny Cardello, owner of Plaza Hair Designs.

He said nothing can run him out, despite multiple owners, turnovers and crime.

"It’s not a measure of what we do down here," Cardello said. "The Plaza’s always gonna be high profile, and things like that are going to happen from time to time."

Plaza Hair Designs was hit by the pandemic, much like other businesses.

However, Cardello said he's seen a steady flow of customers over the years thanks to word of mouth and foot traffic.

Cardello is thankful his business hasn't suffered.

"There’s always change, and sometimes some things just doesn’t work out," he said.

With rumors of a potential new owner, Cardello said he's optimisitc.

"When I first came here, it was just almost totally locally owned, and I think that’s the biggest change that I’ve seen," Cardello said. "You have the right stores, you’ll bring the people, and I’m confident this new groups gonna do a good job."

Cardello calls himself an "Ambassador of the Plaza." He'll keep clipping hair and giving out recommendations, because he just wants to see it suceed.

"I think it’ll come back stronger than ever, I really do," Cardello said. "I think people want it to and I think they’ll support it."

KSHB reached out to the Mayor's office asking for updates on a deal. A spokesperson said:

"The Country Club Plaza is an important part of Kansas City’s past, present, and future and Mayor Lucas is committed to ensuring it continues to grow and improve. The City continues to have weekly discussions with the potential new owners about how to revive the Plaza and remains hopeful positive change is on the horizon."