Family-run and owned, Kelly’s Westport Inn is a must see in Kansas City. With a diverse crowd, live music, a colorful history, weekday beer specials and always someone with a good story, Kelly’s is an Irish pub like no other.
In February 1947, Randal Kelly, a native of County Clare, Ireland, was hired as a bartender in the establishment then called Westport Inn. Randal’s warm welcomes and hearty personality quickly won him popularity, which had a very positive effect on the business. With Art Brock, the other partner, he ran the place until Art died in 1977. In September of that year, the bar was officially named Kelly’s Westport Inn. Randal has since passed and his two sons, Kyle and Pat Kelly, now run the bar.
The building that Kelly’s Westport Inn occupies is, in fact, the oldest in Kansas City. Built in 1850, it has housed a remarkable array of businesses. Most notably, in the 19th century the building was a grocery store operated by Albert Boone, a grandson of Daniel Boone.
In honor of its rich and colorful past, the building was designated a national historic landmark in 1959. Think about that. When you operate a public drinking establishment in a national landmark, you want to be careful about making too many changes. It is for this reason that the management requests that you smile when you call this landmark a dump.