KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Concerns are being raised after an altercation in the West Bottoms went viral.
Neighbors say anything involving Rockstar Burgers is scaring customers away instead of bringing them in.
The burger joint sits on the corner of W. 16th and Genessee streets. KCPD said the business has had a number of violations and troubling calls.
It’s always open — especially for a late night bite to eat. However, neighbors said there’s nothing cool about Rockstar Burgers.
“It used to just be motorcycle gangs, and people peeling out, and loud noises, and people firing shots off to now we’re seeing women getting beat and really sketchy wrong things happening,” one neighbor said.
That neighbor and many others didn’t want to be identified for fear or retaliation but said it keeps getting worse.
KCPD said just this year the business received calls for assaults, liquor license violations and a warrant arrest. They said cases involving the restaurant have been sent to both the city and county prosecutor.
“There have been cases submitted to the prosecutor’s office for consideration of charges,” Sgt. Jake Becchina said. “I don’t believe any of them have been charged at this time.”
Neighbors want to know what it will take to get something done.
“It just seems to keep escalating,” he said. “Every month it it seems something else happens that is directly related to this one place.”
Like a violent incident that happened Sunday night.
Hannah Harris said she went with friends to the restaurant for the first time after the Chiefs game. Harris admits she was intoxicated, but didn’t have a good feeling about her surroundings.
“It was just a really weird environment,” Harris said. “Super bad vibes. I was uncomfortable.”
Harris said she said something that upset a patron, and a girl followed her outside and attacked her.
In a video on Facebook you can see the girl on the ground hitting Harris while someone is filming the incident for social media — and not intervening. Harris then gets up and confronts the girl and pushes her. Harris asks if she felt good about hitting her.
“I just felt sick about it and sad,” Harris said.
She said since she posted her story on Facebook she continues to get messages from people about their experiences and comments.
“It’s been overwhelming,” Harris said. “Just through social media, being bombarded constantly, so I just turned off all my notifications.”
She’s filed a police report, which KCPD said is the best thing you can do so they can look deeper into what’s going on.
“File a police report so that we can complete a proper investigation and get a better idea of the criminal element that may be underway in any establishment,” Becchina said. “If we don’t have a report, we don’t have a good feel of anything that’s going on in any location.”
John Baccala, a spokesperson for Kansas City’s Neighborhoods and Housing Services, said the restaurant’s liquor license lapsed at the end of July. They would have until the beginning of November to reinstate it. They have 120 days to reapply for the license.
In 2019, Baccala said the restaurant had three failures in addition to their failure to renew their license.
He said their license was violated in January for not having an employee liquor permit and not having a license posted in the their business, in March for not having an employee liquor permit, and in August for not having an employee liquor permit and a violation of the their cease of sales list.
Baccala said getting a liquor license is an extensive process with several steps needing Regulated Industries approval.
“Once a liquor license expires, it stays in place for one year after expiration and any new ownership could apply using the existing license without going through the consent process,” he said.
Baccala said after one year,neighbors and eligible consenters would need to sign the consent affidavit for them to get their license back.
Surrounding businesses said it’s become a waiting game to see if things improve.
“We feel like it might get worse before it gets better,” one neighbor said. “I’m really afraid of the day that there is a raid or something that happens down here.”
FOX4 reached out to the owner of Rockstar Burgers, Brian Smith, for comment on this story. He has not returned our call at the time of this report.