The Westport Neighborhood in Kansas City is one of the city's oldest neighborhoods. Originally its own town, known as Westport Landing, it was founded by Isaac McCoy and his family, who are considered to be the founders of Kansas City. Annexed into Kansas City proper in 1897, the area soon assumed its current position as a nightlife and entertainment district.
As the oldest part of the city, the Westport Neighborhood is full of stories. Many involve Kelly's, a popular Irish Pub now but formerly many other things. It was a stable, a warehouse, grocers, a possible stop on the Underground Railroad and final a series of bars. The current iteration is also a popular stop on the trail . . . the St. Patrick's Day trail.
Merry makers tend to descend on the Westport area during "festival'' holidays. St. Patrick's Day, Mardi Gras, Oktoberfest, and any three day weekend mean big crowds. The many restaurants and music venues in the area along with the pubs save the scene from becoming totally debauched, but teetotalers should be forewarned before heading out for the weekend.
TV fans, on the other hand, are probably armed for the weekend. The Westport Neighborhood served as the set for Malcolm & Eddie, a comedy starring Eddie Griffin and Malcolm Jamal-Warner. It ran for four seasons on UPN between 1996 - 2000 and locals will proudly point out key scene areas.
Aside from TV culture and nightlife, the area also features several historical statues and commemorative plaques. With the waterfront close by, there are many historical happenings that almost accidentally fell into the neighborhood. Civil War skirmishes between travelling soldiers, goods smuggling, gambling, and bootlegging are just a few of the items noted throughout the neighborhood. It's a good place for visitors to come to get a sense of the old, real Kansas City life.
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