Welcome to the Tiki Central 2.0 Beta. Read the announcement
Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

Pages: 1 18 replies

8T

Name:Trader Vic's Kansas City, Missouri
Type:restaurant
Street:1 East Pershing Road
City:Kansas City
State:MO
Zip:64108
country:USA
Phone:(816)474-4894
Status:defunct

Description:
Located inside the Crown Center Hotel, this TV location opened in 1973.
Date of closing is as yet unknown. The hotel is still in operation and is part of the Westin Hotels & Resorts Corporation. According to an employee who remembers the Trader Vic's when it was there, the space where the restaurant was is now divided up into meeting and banquet spaces.

[ Edited by: 8FT Tiki 2011-07-28 16:45 ]

[ Edited by: 8FT Tiki 2011-07-28 17:26 ]

8T

My good buddy Silverline and I visited this site last year and he took several photos of the location as it looks today. We will add them here later. For now, here is a postcard and a lovely little box of wooden matches issued to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the KC Vic's in 1978. First one of these I've seen.

8T

Another matchbook:

As with many Tiki locations that have since closed while the building remains, you'd have a hard time picturing the grandeur of the Trader Vic's Crown Center location as it looks today.

This was the main entrance from the outside. You could also enter from inside the hotel/shopping area.

Once you're through the doors there's not much to go on as to where anything was located or how it was decorated.

The only thing that gives any clue as to what was once here is the carpeting, which may or may not date to the closing of this location.

The only things that remain the same are the decor outside the restaurant and still inside the Westin Crown Center. It's not at all hard to picture a few Tikis hiding behind the foliage! 8-FT and I looked, but found none.



Classic Silver Line Boats

[ Edited by: SilverLine 2014-03-24 18:12 ]

W

Here are a few scant pictures I found on the internet at http://tikiarchitecture.blogspot.com

Also an interesting newspaper article about the windows.

My memory is pretty dim of the Trader in KC but I thought there was a smaller entrance door that was wood and ornate.






8T

Found a different matchbook recently that is from the hotel but mentions the Vic'c inside.

Wow, what an example of modernity equalling generic, non-committal design!

As someone who grew up around there, but was too young to know what Trader Vics even was (I was 11 and we didn't make it to that part of KC very often)
What effect, if any, did the Crown Center Skywalk collapse in 1981 have on TV's? I know there was a lot of investigating and reconstruction afterwards obviously.

Just curious.

Ever since I was a kid the first thing to pop up in my mind when Crown Center came up was the news flash that came up on the TV moments after it happened. It was pretty wild, though obviously my memory was cloudy on it because I always remembered it happening on New Years Eve, but the online articles said it happened in July.

B

That postcard of the lobby is great. Those are Warren Platner lounge chairs with a Mies van der Rohe settee in the foreground and Thonet chairs in the background with the chrome cantilevered frames.

Modern design. The perfect counterpoint to the Tiki in Trader Vic's.

-Duke

8T

On 2012-01-03 11:30, TravnerRavenweird wrote:
What effect, if any, did the Crown Center Skywalk collapse in 1981 have on TV's? I know there was a lot of investigating and reconstruction afterwards obviously.

Just curious.

There really was no measureable effect on the Crown Center Hotel.
The collapse of the skywalks was at the Hyatt Regency; a different hotel which is located about 2 blocks Northeast of the Crown Ctr. Hotel/Trader Vics. The 2 were not connected in 1981.
Ironically, today they are "connected" by a glass skywalk that allows pedestrians to walk in climate controlled comfort many feet above street level. This also reduces cross walk congestion in the area. The walkways also connect to the historic Union Station Railroad depot. Silverline and I used this walkway to view and shoot photos on the day we visited the old Vics location. Here's an aerial view and an interior one.


On 2012-01-03 16:40, 8FT Tiki wrote:
There really was no measureable effect on the Crown Center Hotel.
The collapse of the skywalks was at the Hyatt Regency; a different hotel which is located about 2 blocks Northeast of the Crown Ctr. Hotel/Trader Vics. The 2 were not connected in 1981.
Ironically, today they are "connected" by a glass skywalk that allows pedestrians to walk in climate controlled comfort many feet above street level. This also reduces cross walk congestion in the area. The walkways also connect to the historic Union Station Railroad depot. Silverline and I used this walkway to view and shoot photos on the day we visited the old Vics location. Here's an aerial view and an interior one.


Ok, that would make sense then. Like I said as a kid we never went over there. Why I don't know actually, we went to the Country Club Plaza often enough. I think I was 35 the first time I went to Crown Center after not living in the region for 15 years. I guess my 11 year old brain combined the two since I had no point of reference.

So the mystery continues on when TV's closed then...

[ Edited by: TravnerRavenweird 2012-01-04 09:10 ]

W

This guy wrote in 2003 that the KC Vic's was "unceremoniously ripped out" in 1996. Still trying to verify exactly.

I'm going to send an email to the author seeking any other information or pictures.

http://www.pitch.com/kansascity/island-fever/Content?oid=2168018

Chris

[ Edited by: WestADad 2012-01-05 13:04 ]

[ Edited by: WestADad 2012-01-05 13:13 ]

Would love to see more photos of this undocumented Vic's.

A quick google search indicates it closed in April 1996. Here is a synopsis of the pay article you can buy from the KC Star.

Kansas City Star - Apr 25, 1996

Last call For aficionados of the until-now venerable Trader Vic's restaurant, the end is near. That's when the once-trendy Asian eatery just off the Westin Crown Center hotel lobby closes

DC

[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2012-01-05 13:26 ]

W

Thanks DC, your Google must work better than mine or I missed that when I searched. I did find that Washington State University Libraries has a small amount of Trader Vic information contained in a Westin Hotels records archive.

I couldn't get into it online however.

Chris

8T

Here's a vintage ad I found recently. It measures 4" x 8 3/4"

8T

Another ad. This one is a full page from a K.C. Chiefs game day program from 1975:
I wish I could find that little tiki someday.

Hey 8ft,

I purchased another magazine ad for the Crown Center that had a photo of the Trader Vic's interior!

DC

awesome!!!

I think that high-rise is still there, part of a major hotel chain, and that I stayed there a few years ago when in KC on business. Had I known at the time that there was previously a Trader Vic's there I would have tried to ask some questions, do some exploring, and take some photos of what the old space looks like today.

Pages: 1 18 replies