‘It’s going to leave a giant hole’: Owners of Fred P. Ott’s face eviction, patrons pay tribute to memories

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Loyal customers are waiting to learn what's next for their beloved bar and grill on the Country Club Plaza. Fred P. Ott's may soon be closing its doors due to financial issues.

"Probably do some 'I've had the time of my life' and cry," Fred P. Ott's Manager Allison Korn said.

After more than four decades of karaoke, laughter, and familiar chatter, Fred P. Ott's could sit silent.

The Plaza filed an eviction lawsuit against the bar and grill. Court records show the owners owe nearly $70,000 in back rent.

"I think everyone's pretty miffed at the current owners for first of all, not telling us that they were behind, and we had to find out on Facebook," Korn said.

There's a petition to stop the Plaza from closing the longtime bar's doors. The petition has more than 1,100 signatures.

Korn said it's not to bail out the current owners, but to encourage a new buyer to preserve the Fred P. Ott's they know and love.

"It wasn't just for regulars," Korn said. "Anybody who walked in could be come a regular in about five minutes."

Korn has worked at the bar for five years, met her husband there, had a baby and has made lifelong friends. She's not the only one.

"It's the only bar in Kansas City that I've walked in to and you have that family vibe, everyone's your sibling, everyone's your brother," regular customer Sarah Miller said.

"The last few days I've seen a lot of people crying and it's like losing a family member," longtime customer John Story said. "The people that have been coming here are like family to each other and it's going to leave a giant hole."

Milestones were reached inside these walls.

"I've seen breakups. I've seen marriages," Korn said. "I've seen fallouts, I've seen beautiful friendships."

Now, she's feeling heartache of her own at the thought of losing a place she calls home.

"I think we added a really authentic and emotional aspect and historic aspect to the Plaza," Korn said. "I think it'll be a really sad loss for the community and for the Plaza."

The general manager said Fred P. Ott's will be open Monday, while owners, Plaza executives and potential buys work out the details.

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