Kelly's Westport Inn
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Kelly's Westport Inn
Kelly's and the adjoining Chouteau Store are considered to be the oldest buildings still standing in Kansas City.
|Location||500–504 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO|
|NRHP Reference #||72000718|
|Added to NRHP||September 7, 1972|
The grandson of Daniel Boone, Albert Gallatin Boone , operated a grocery there for a time. While some people believe that for a time, a tunnel running south connecting to a stable was part of the Underground Railroad helping slaves escape to the North (primarily Kansas, which is only one mile west), and that the tunnel still exists, running under the street to the stable, which is now also a drinking establishment called the Westport Saloon, Kyle Kelly (one of the Kelly brothers who own the establishment) himself says, "There are many tales of our old building and this is one of the more common ones. I do not believe that there ever was a tunnel from Kelly's to any neighbor, but there certainly could have been. Our basement is 'interesting' and may cause someone to believe it was a former tunnel because the basement under the front part of the building resembles a tunnel."
Sometime around 1900, the Wiedenmann family operated a grocery there, which catered to Kansas City's elite. With the repeal of Prohibition, Phil Taggart rented the building and opened a saloon named the Wrestlers Inn. A few years later, Randal Kelly, born in County Clare, Ireland, became a bartender. He soon became a partner. The bar became a popular attraction, particularly during Saint Patrick's Day, and continues to be a well loved destination.
In 1959 the building was designated a national historic landmark.
Update, The 1969 paper work on Kelly's Inn for registering as a historic building. The tunnel only connects two basements and there was no underground rail road association <page 22> 1969 Historic Landmark paperwork of Kelly's Inn with Photos