I think the first time I was in Kelly's was in the mid-70's and it's a treat to go back in and have a beer when I get a chance. During our trip to Kansas City this past summer we were walking around the Westport area taking a look at some of the small shops in the area.
It was getting to be late morning and we were walking near Kelly's and I mentioned to Cindy that the place was one of my favorite places to have a beer. She - to my surprise - suggested we go in and have a beer. Wow! Sure, dear!
Kelly's Westport Inn has been around for nearly 60 years. It is truly an institution in Kansas City. The building that houses Kelly's dates back to the mid-19th century. I've heard it's the oldest building still standing in Kansas City. And I understand it was once a grocery store that was owned and run by Albert Boone, the grandson of Daniel Boone.
The grocery store eventually evolved into a high-end grocery store - Wiedenmann's (left) -by the turn of the 20th century. With the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, the grocery store was turned into a tavern - The Wrestlers Inn. After World War II, Art Brock and two partners bought the bar and renamed it The Westport Inn. Brock eventually bought out his partners to become sole owner.
An Irish immigrant by the name of Randal Kelly came to Kansas City and became the head bartender at The Westport Inn (right). Kelly eventually became partners with Brock and took over the operation as sole owner. It soon became Kelly's Westport Inn.
Randal Kelly, who was ultimately associated with the establishment for over 40 years, turned over the reins to his son Randy. Randy eventually moved to the Ozarks and opened up Kelly's Port, a popular marina on the Lake of the Ozarks. Randy, in turn, handed over the operation to his two younger brothers, Pat and Kyle. They continue to run the bar to this day.
Kelly's doesn't serve food, per se, but they do have a pizza place in the back - Joe's Pizza. They serve full pizzas, pizza by the slice and sandwiches. Since we were in there around noon time, we noticed a lot of people grabbing a couple slices of pizza and having a beer with them.
The daytime usually sees more of an older, eclectic crowd at Kelly's; while at night it gets younger and more crowded. St. Patrick's Day at Kelly's can get a little crazy as evidenced by this picture (right). In fact, at one point, Randall Kelly used to close Kelly's on St. Patrick's Day because he was worried the place would get TOO full.
Kelly's is a great place to get a beer. If you like history, beer and a good time - Kelly's Westport Inn is the place in Kansas City.