By Kevin Collison
The historic Abernathy building in the West Bottoms has witnessed many activities in its 140-year history including making furniture and caskets, and in recent years, selling baskets wholesale.
A year from now, a decidedly different and more fun activity should be sliding into the main floor of the building at 1525 W. Ninth St…people sipping drinks, eating food and playing full-court shuffleboard.
“You have to believe in the power of shuffleboard,” said Jim Miketo, the owner of what will be called Crown Town Shuffle.
“It’s a great social game and outing for friends, families, classmates and a wide range of other groups. The barriers to entry are small and you can pick it up quickly.”
Miketo owns a similar venture, Forest City Shuffleboard Arena and Bar in Cleveland.
That’s where he got to know Melissa “Missy” Ferchill who’s MCM Company has redeveloped several old warehouses into the West Bottoms Flats residential project.
She’s already opened the 265-unit first phase of the project and recently began the second phase. That’s where the shuffleboard comes in.
MCM is renovating the upper floors of the remainder of the Abernathy building into another 90 apartments. The building dates to 1880 with additions in 1890, 1900 and 1905.
“The buildings are beautiful, and filled with history and soul,” Mikito said. “They’d be impossible to replicate and we want to highlight the original beauty.”
Crown Town will occupy 14,000 square-feet on the first level. Miketo is planning six indoor shuffleboard courts, four outdoor courts, two shuffleboard tables, a patio, and a full-service bar and restaurant.
His original Forest City venue opened in an outlying neighborhood of Cleveland that was in need of some activity to rejuvenate the surrounding area. Since its opening five years ago, its attracted additional investment to the area.
“Our big drivers are events and leagues,” Miketo said. “We have three nights of leagues per week.”
Crown Town is not the first venue to recognize the power of shuffleboard. The Boulevard Beer Hall converted its top floor as the Rec Deck three years ago which features four shuffleboard courts.
Miketo anticipated his West Bottoms venture won’t open until spring 2023, citing ongoing supply line issues. Hours are expected to be Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., and closed Monday.
“When I came to Kansas City with Missy, I was blown away,” he said. “I love the city. I prefer towns with soul and energy like Kansas City.”
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