June 27, 2010

Landlord's foreclosure won't affect Raytown Roadhouse,
but reporter Mick Burke is persona non grata for now

When it came to newspapers, the old (pre-internet) adage stated: Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.

Well, that was then, this is now. There are lots of other ways to get the word out, as Pete Karas, owner of the Raytown Roadhouse, well knows.

So when Pete was angered earlier this week by a Journal Times headline that kinda, sorta implied the  Roadhouse, his country/western bar and restaurant on Sixth Street, was in foreclosure, and thus in danger of closing, Karas took to the internet, posting a rebuttal on Facebook.

Here's what the Journal Times headline said (it's still cached on Google):

Foreclosure hits Downtown properties, Raytown Roadhouse; property owner Spodick may save home

Friday's story, by business reporter Mick Burke, began: "Property owner Jim Spodick is about to lose several Downtown parcels to foreclosure including the Raytown Roadhouse country-western bar - formerly the former Historic Century Market." In fairness, the story did say, about a third of the way down, "The foreclosure should not affect Raytown Roadhouse or owner Pete Karas." But the damage was already done, in Karas' mind.

So Karas posted this to Facebook on Saturday:
We are NOT closing!

You may have read the Journal Times today where they make it appear that Raytown Roadhouse is closing. The building owner is in foreclosure, but Raytown Roadhouse, owned by Pete Karas, is staying open as is.

We're disappointed in the second-rate journalism of the Journal Times and reporter Mick Burke. We are looking into legal remedies and have cancelled all advertising with our local two-bit newspaper.

If you have an event booked at Raytown, rest assured we will be here for you!
 And then Pete posted a picture of the Roadhouse's outside sign:


On Sunday, the Journal Times printed a story atop its Local section front, (ironically, right next to Burke's moving "Daddy Talk" column about his daughter, a Special Olympics athlete) with a much-too-big headline proclaiming:

Raytown Roadhouse open and doing well, owner says

The unbylined story begins,  "Raytown Roadhouse is open as usual, contrary to what people may presume from the pending foreclosure of the property..."

The JT has even rewritten history, changing the headline on the web version of its Friday story to:

Foreclosure hits Downtown properties; Raytown Roadhouse to remain open

So maybe Mick is welcome once again at the Roadhouse. (Although if I were in his boots, I wouldn't try riding the mechanical bull just yet. I hear they hold a grudge for a long time.)