After facing nearly 60 noise complaints over the past four years, The Roxy is closing in Shawnee and looking for a new location.
The Roxy has operated as a bar, night club and live music venue at 13410 W. 62nd Terrace in the Millcreek Shopping Center since it opened there in August 2017. The club’s last night is set for Sunday, March 28.
Owner Jim Kilroy said Shawnee Police and city staff have periodically raised concerns about noise complaints from neighbors who live just north of the night club.
“I’m not really too happy about it,” Kilroy said. “I like this location, but I’m also kind of sick of dealing with these noise complaints, and I don’t really see any other kind of answer. At the same time, I have been weary of dealing with the situation through this pandemic.”
Nearly 60 noise complaints
Kilroy said he’s lost track of how many noise complaints have been made against his business. Sometimes, he finds out about the noise complaints weeks after they occur.
In an email to the Shawnee Mission Post, Doug Allmon, community development director with the city of Shawnee, said the Shawnee Police Department has responded to The Roxy a total of 59 times since 2017 for the noise complaints.
Allmon said police officers have heard loud music coming from The Roxy at various times of the night as it spills into the neighboring residential area to the north. He added that staff have contacted Kilroy on multiple occasions regarding noise, and met with him to discuss methods to mitigate it.
“This included soundproofing of the facility, altering/reducing the sound output of the music system and scaling back the hours of operation,” Allmon said. “None of these actions by the owner curtailed the noise issue, and the city continued to receive complaints about The Roxy.”
Kilroy said he has tried a few efforts to fix the problem, such as installing a drop ceiling above the stage to soundproof the music, simply turning the volume down or ending live shows early.
“There’s not like an actual decibel level, like [in] Overland Park and Lenexa, you’ve got to maintain … at the property,” Kilroy said. “So I don’t know. As long as somebody complains, I have a problem.”
Kilroy said he needs to keep the music going until at least 11 o’clock or midnight, or it will hurt business. The Roxy could continue to operate as a bar, night club and restaurant on West 62nd Terrace. However, it can only offer live music and entertainment because the city granted a special use permit.
“We’re pretty much just a music place; we do serve food, I’ve got games on TV, but people are coming here for music shows that we put on,” Kilroy said. “We wouldn’t make it. We don’t open unless we have something going on.”
In an email to Kilroy from Shawnee city staff that was provided to the Post, Allmon said the city received another noise complaint Jan. 29.
That turned out to be the final straw because the city had already warned Kilroy that one more complaint would start the process to revoke the special use permit for live entertainment.
Looking for a new home in northeast JoCo
Kilroy said business was starting to pick up again, despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, Kilroy has decided to call it quits at the Shawnee location.
“I could have fought it, but at the same time, I don’t have any other ideas of what to do,” Kilroy said. “I could go and spend $10,000 or something to soundproof the place, [but] like I said, we can’t stand out there with a decibel meter.”
City leaders were slated to consider revocation of The Roxy’s special use permit in recent weeks.
The night club’s history goes back to 1982 and its original location at 75th and Metcalf in Overland Park, when it was an 18-to-drink bar featuring MTV music videos.
With that history and name recognition, Kilroy plans to keep it going. He and his wife, Ginna Kilroy, are looking for a new place to open in northeast Johnson County.
“To an extent, I do get it,” Kilroy said. “I don’t really have any hard feelings. It’s part of the deal. We are not hurting.”
Kilroy said his landlord and property manager, Block Real Estate, is allowing him out of the lease early. That was after Block waived The Roxy’s rent for a few months at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the club was forced to close with the metro-wide shutdown.
“I’d really like to find another place that they manage,” he added. “They really worked well with me.”