Flooded Coach’s Bar & Grill hoping to reopen restaurant in old, empty Kansas City church

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- From stained glass and pews to music and brews -- a popular bar flooded out of its South KC location is hoping to reopen in an old church.

The original Coach's Bar & Grill near 103rd Street and Wornall Road flooded last July, and firefighters were forced to save owner Brian Darby because he was inside, trying to save what he could.

He said it was stupid, and now he's taking another risk.

Darby knows opening a restaurant isn't easy.

"My friends that know the restaurant business, they rightfully think I'm an idiot for doing it," he said.

And to make it even tougher, he wants to open a bar in an empty church building near 92nd Street and Wornall Road. He said the building has character -- way cooler than the strip mall where his last restaurant was located.

"We don't want to mess with it," Darby said. "We want the building to remain intact. The inside -- we love the ceiling, the floors. No, we don't want to do much improvements to it."

But the land needs to be rezoned, and for that to happen Darby needs to make sure neighbors don't mind.

That's why Darby wants to change Coach's hours. No more late nights and a new focus on families.

"I want them to have their family dinners here and celebrate Mother's day here," he said. "I don't want to be an aggravation to anybody."

The church is only about 2 miles north of his old location. Darby hopes to see some old regulars.

"It's an amazing compliment when people are always asking us, 'When are you going to open back up? Where are you going to go?'" Darby said. "They miss us."

And a lot of those Coach's fans packed an informational meeting Tuesday night to discuss the new location. The city will discuss rezoning at a meeting next week.