Country music venue Guitars & Cadillacs back at JoCo


Mitch Kerns and Jack Hanrahan, founders of Guitars and Cadillacs, are resurrecting the once-popular concert hall for a new location at Rosana Square in Overland Park.

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Guitars and Cadillacs, once a favorite of the Kansas City area, are making a comeback.

The Country Music Venue and Live Dance Venue – which once had locations in Northland, Olathe and Westport – plans to open in a 10,000 square foot space at Rosana Square, 7312 W. 119th St., Overland Park, July 28.

It will regularly host local and regional country bands, as well as national artists, and offer dance lessons.

Owners will also have a separate dueling piano bar, Tequila Flats at Guitars & Cadillacs, with access through the main room.

There will be a cover charge to enter – $5 to $10 depending on the act – and national acts will cost more. Both spaces will also be available for private events.

Two of the original founders of Guitars & Cadillacs, Mitch Kerns and Jack Hanrahan, are joining the new operation. They started talking about bringing the popular country music venue back five years ago and were scouting for venues before the pandemic hit.

“It’s amazing how many people remember this,” Kerns said. “When I wear my Guitars & Cadillacs shirt, people ask me if it’s coming back. A teller at our bank said his parents met there.

The menu will include macaroni and jalapeno and cheese bites, loaded nachos, ahi tuna street tacos, sliders, flatbreads, desserts and waffle cones (with a choice of pulled pork, pulled chicken , burnt ends, Philly steak and popcorn peppers or shrimp).

“We’re hoping waffle cones will become our flagship item, kinda fun. And no fried food,” Kerns said.

There will also be a retail store selling Guitars & Cadillacs logo t-shirts, glassware, keychains, decals and hats.

Hours will be 5 p.m. to midnight Wednesday and 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. On Sundays from 4 to 10 p.m. there will be a “family night” where children can take free dance lessons.

Guitars & Cadillacs was founded in Westport in 1988. Locations were subsequently opened in Northland, Overland Park, Branson, Springfield, Joplin, Omaha and Lincoln in Nebraska, and in Des Moines, Iowa.

“Leases were up or we sold them,” Kerns said. “But I think country music today is bigger than it was in 1988, more widely received, 60,000 people at Kenny Chesney. It’s good music, the genre works.

Rosana Square previously had a hit entertainment district, One Block South, with country music and more. But it closed during the pandemic and did not reopen.

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Joyce Smith has been covering restaurant and retail news for The Star since 1989 under the Cityscape brand. She appreciates topical advice.

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