The Majestic Restaurant: A Window into the Ghosts of Kansas City’s Past
Kansas City, Missouri is a city with a rich and fascinating history, and few places embody this history better than The Majestic Restaurant. This fine-dining establishment and jazz club is located in a building on the border of Quality Hill and the Library District, built from bricks as old as the names that still adorn its walls and doorsteps. With a reputation for both its delicious food and its haunted history, The Majestic is a must-visit for anyone interested in the past of Kansas City.
The Building’s Origins
The Majestic Restaurant got its start with the help of one of Kansas City’s most notorious figures, Tom Pendergast. The building was originally built in 1911 as a saloon by James Fitzpatrick, with the backing of Pendergast. The third floor of the building was where Fitzpatrick lived, while the second floor was a brothel. Today, the third floor is known as the Pendergast Club, while the second floor is used only for storage. The first floor, which was the original saloon, is now the main restaurant.
Prohibition and Beyond
During Prohibition, the saloon was forced to close its doors. However, the dirt cellar was transformed into a hidden speakeasy. According to legend, there was a tunnel that ran from the speakeasy to the opera house across the street, which has since been converted into lofts. Today, the only evidence of this tunnel can be found in the building’s boiler room, where different coloring on the walls indicates where the tunnel was filled in.
Over the years, the building changed hands several times. Nearly 30 years ago, restaurateur Doug Barnard bought the Majestic name from a 1930s steakhouse and moved into the Fitzpatrick building. The Fitzpatrick name is still emblazoned on the step outside of the front door, a reminder of the building’s rich history.
Ghosts of the Past
Despite its reputation as a fine-dining establishment and jazz club, The Majestic is also known for the ghostly stories that have been reported by those who have worked there. One former employee reported seeing a lady in red, who may have been a part of the old brothel, disappear before her eyes. Another server reported that an invisible hand tried to push her down the stairs. While these stories are certainly spooky, the owners of The Majestic today say that the building has been nothing but good to them, acting as a positive force for the community.
Celebrating the Past
Today, The Majestic Restaurant is a modern window into Kansas City’s past. With a mural dedicated to some of the city’s heroes and live jazz every night, it serves as a way to remember and celebrate a bygone era of high class, music, and important figures. Whether you’re interested in the history of Kansas City, or simply looking for a delicious meal and great music, The Majestic is a must-visit destination.
So if you’re in Kansas City, be sure to stop by The Majestic Restaurant and take a step back in time. Who knows, you may even catch a glimpse of one of the ghosts of the past.