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Buzzard Beach owner vows to rebuild after fire at the venerable Westport bar

Frank Morris
Kansas City firefighter John Dice standing in front of Buzzard Beach after a fire caused extensive damage to the bar.

The bar has been a staple of the Westport entertainment district for decades.

A fire Tuesday morning at the popular Westport bar and music venue Buzzard Beach caused extensive damage to its main floor but didn’t touch other nearby businesses.

Buzzard Beach has been a staple of the Westport entertainment district for decades. For a while it looked like the bar, and possibly the buildings next door, might go up in flames.

Assistant Fire Chief Jimmy Walker said that when firefighters showed up around 10:30 a.m., smoke was billowing and flames were leaping out of the top of the bar.

“We were able to get in there quickly and control it, and check the exposure buildings to make sure it didn’t spread,” Walker said.

Walker said no one was injured in the fire, the cause of which is under investigation.

Bill Nigro, Buzzard Beach's owner, is pledging to reopen it.

I’ve been at KCUR almost 30 years, working partly for NPR and splitting my time between local and national reporting. I work to bring extra attention to people in the Midwest, my home state of Kansas and of course Kansas City. What I love about this job is having a license to talk to interesting people and then crafting radio stories around their voices. It’s a big responsibility to uphold the truth of those stories while condensing them for lots of other people listening to the radio, and I take it seriously. Email me at frank@kcur.org or find me on Twitter @FrankNewsman.
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