Customers say Californos still owes them money, even after Westport restaurant closes

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Another Westport business has closed its doors.

Fellow business owners in Westport confirm that Californos is no longer open. A number of people from the metro, some of whom placed deposits with the venue, complain they want their money back.

A sign reading, “closed for the holiday,” has been on Californos front door since before Memorial Day and the restaurant phone was disconnected.

Patrons of the popular restaurant and venue for special occasions, some of whom had spent $1,200 apiece in deposit cash to reserve space for parties and receptions, complain that Californos owes them money.

FOX4 spoke with two metro families, both of whom said that’s money they can’t recover. One family member said she’s working with Californos on a refund. However, the other person who reached out to FOX4 said her calls to the business’ former owners haven’t been returned.

The venue hosted hundreds of wedding receptions over the years. Many brides purchased commemorative bricks on the sidewalk outside, which commemorate the bride and grooms’ names and their wedding dates.

“My brick is right here, and we always visit it every year on our anniversary,” Amanda Scott said.

Scott and her husband, Bradley, welcomed close to 200 guests to their reception in 2009. Scott said she’d like to have her brick back as a keepsake.

“I’m sure it’s not going to be free for them to take it out, so I would pay to take it out. I paid to put it in and I would pay to take it out. I would hope we’d be given the opportunity. I’m not even sure they’ve thought about it yet, but I don’t want the opportunity to pass me by,” Scott said on Tuesday.

The restaurant had also seen its troubled times. In August 2017, two people were shot at Californos, including Lee’s Summit Police Officer Thomas Orr III, who later died from his injuries. Eight months later, Californos was shut down by the Kansas City Health Department for two weeks after it failed an inspection.

Californos had been in business since 1988. FOX4’s calls and messages to Californos haven’t been returned. However, Terry Burns, Californos owner, told the Kansas City Star he was losing money, and he hopes the restaurant isn’t remembered for how it ended.

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