The Riot Room shutters after 13 years in Westport
Another blow has been struck in the heart of Westport, with rumors of The Riot Room’s abrupt shutdown surfacing on Reddit and Facebook threads Oct. 1 and gathering steam throughout the weekend. By Monday, Riot Room owner Tim Gutschenritter confirmed the news with KCUR.
Despite raising $15,000 through a GoFundMe campaign, the venue—which Gutschenritter says had lost about 90% of its operating revenue in 2020—was forced to shutter its doors after management had failed to receive federal aid money from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.
Among the rumor mill swirling online was that The Tin Roof, a Nashville-based music venue chain, was going to become the new occupant in The Riot Room’s stead. A Sept. 14 permit for a project titled, “Tin Roof Bar at Westport,” which can be found on the CompassKC site, has added fuel to that speculation—though the document lists 424 Westport Rd, formerly The Foundry, as the official address. Gutschenritter said he was unable to comment on who the new occupant would be.
The Riot Room still had a small crop of bands and events booked through March of next year. A Nov. 16 show is still allowing for ticket purchases while the following Dec. 5 booking of The Joy Formidable has locked out ticket buyers with a ‘postponed’ designation. Gutschenritter says that these acts could be moved to other venues.