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January 17, 2022 | Archive
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Welcome to the podiatry practice of Dr. Thomas Bembynista
Welcome to the podiatry practice of Dr. Thomas Bembynista, serving Overland Park and North Kansas City, Missouri. Our Overland Park office is at college Blvd and Antioch in the Bank of America Building and the North Kansas City location is at Green Hills Rd. and Barry Rd. Dr. Bembynista offers expert podiatric services and focuses on patient care and responding to individual patient needs.We treat Nail Fungus, Heel Pain, Plantar Fasciitis, Bunion’s, Ingrown Nail’s, Plantar Wart’s, Hammer Toe’s, Morton’s Neuroma, PRP Platelet Treatment, Tailor’s Bunion, and we make Custom Made Orthotics. When treating patient’s we always use conservative treatment before ever considering any type of surgical correction of the problem.
Dr. Bembynista is originally from Chicago but has been practicing in Kansas City for 37 years. He is married to the love of his life Barbara for 40 years and has a son. My philosophy is always to put the patient first, time will always be taken to listen to your problem and review treatments. Each care plan is tailored to your individual needs. We use advanced technology with digital x-rays, lasers, and instructional videos.
Dr. Bembynista is also Board Certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery. He attended medical podiatry school in Chicago and did his training here in the Kansas City area in 1982. Both he and Barbara so loved the area they decided to stay and raise their family here.
What is a Podiatrist?
A podiatrist can be described as a doctor of podiatric medication (DPM), who is trained in treating the foot, ankle, or related structures of the legs. Podiatrists are trained to treat foot conditions, including bunions. Four years of podiatry residency training and three years in the hospital are required for podiatrists. They may also specialize in surgery, wound care and pediatrics.
About Kansas City Missouri
Kansas City (abbreviated KC or KCMO) is the largest city in Missouri by population and area. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city had a population of 508,090 in 2020, and was the 36th most-populous city in the United States as of the 2020 census. It is the most populated municipality and historic core city of the Kansas City metropolitan area, which straddles the Kansas–Missouri state line and has a population of 2,392,035. Most of the city lies within Jackson County, but portions spill into Clay, Cass, and Platte counties. Kansas City was founded in the 1830s as a Missouri River port at its confluence with the Kansas River coming in from the west. On June 1, 1850, the town of Kansas was incorporated; shortly after came the establishment of the Kansas Territory. Confusion between the two ensued, and the name Kansas City was assigned to distinguish them soon after.
Sitting on Missouri’s western boundary with Kansas, with Downtown near the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, the city encompasses about 319.03 square miles (826.3 km2), making it the 23rd largest city by total area in the United States. It serves as one of the two county seats of Jackson County, along with the major suburb of Independence. Other major suburbs include the Missouri cities of Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit and the Kansas cities of Overland Park, Olathe, Lenexa, and Kansas City, Kansas.
Kansas City, Missouri, was incorporated as a town on June 1, 1850, and as a city on March 28, 1853. The territory, straddling the border between Missouri and Kansas at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers, was considered a good place to build settlements.
The Antioch Christian Church, Dr. James Compton House, and Woodneath are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The first documented European visitor to the eventual site of Kansas City was Étienne de Veniard, Sieur de Bourgmont, who was also the first European to explore the lower Missouri River. Criticized for his response to the Native American attack on Fort Détroit, he had deserted his post as fort commander and was avoiding French authorities. Bourgmont lived with a Native American wife in a village about 90 miles (140 km) east near Brunswick, Missouri, where he illegally traded furs.
To clear his name, he wrote Exact Description of Louisiana, of Its Harbors, Lands and Rivers, and Names of the Indian Tribes That Occupy It, and the Commerce and Advantages to Be Derived Therefrom for the Establishment of a Colony in 1713 followed in 1714 by The Route to Be Taken to Ascend the Missouri River. In the documents, he describes the junction of the “Grande Riv[ière] des Cansez” and Missouri River, making him the first to adopt those names. French cartographer Guillaume Delisle used the descriptions to make the area’s first reasonably accurate map.
The Spanish took over the region in the Treaty of Paris in 1763, but were not to play a major role other than taxing and licensing Missouri River ship traffic. The French continued their fur trade under Spanish license. The Chouteau family operated under Spanish license at St. Louis, in the lower Missouri Valley as early as 1765 and in 1821 the Chouteaus reached Kansas City, where François Chouteau established Chouteau’s Landing.
After the 1804 Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark visited the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers, noting it was a good place to build a fort. In 1831, a group of Mormons from New York settled in what would become the city. They built the first school within Kansas City’s current boundaries, but were forced out by mob violence in 1833, and their settlement remained vacant.
In 1831 Gabriel Prudhomme Sr., a Canadian trapper, purchased 257 acres of land fronting the Missouri River. He established a home for his wife, Josephine, and six children. He operated a ferry on the river.
In 1833 John McCoy, son of Baptist missionary Isaac McCoy, established West Port along the Santa Fe Trail, 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) away from the river. In 1834 McCoy established Westport Landing on a bend in the Missouri to serve as a landing point for West Port. He found it more convenient to have his goods offloaded at the Prudhomme landing than in Independence. Several years after Gabriel Prudhomme’s death, a group of fourteen investors purchased his land at auction on 14 November 1838. By 1839 the investors divided the property and the first lots were sold in 1846 after legal complications were settled. The remaining lots were sold by February 1850.
In 1850, the landing area was incorporated as the Town of Kansas. By that time, the Town of Kansas, Westport, and nearby Independence, had become critical points in the westward expansion of the United States. Three major trails – the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon – all passed through Jackson County.
On February 22, 1853, the City of Kansas was created with a newly elected mayor. It had an area of 0.70 square miles (1.8 km2) and a population of 2,500. The boundary lines at that time extended from the middle of the Missouri River south to what is now Ninth Street, and from Bluff Street on the west to a point between Holmes Road and Charlotte Street on the east.
During the Civil War, the city and its immediate surroundings were the focus of intense military activity. Although the First Battle of Independence in August 1862 resulted in a Confederate States Army victory, the Confederates were unable to leverage their win in any significant fashion, as Kansas City was occupied by Union troops and proved too heavily fortified to assault. The Second Battle of Independence, which occurred on October 21–22, 1864, as part of Sterling Price’s Missouri expedition of 1864, also resulted in a Confederate triumph. Once again their victory proved hollow, as Price was decisively defeated in the pivotal Battle of Westport the next day, effectively ending Confederate efforts to regain Missouri.
General Thomas Ewing, in response to a successful raid on nearby Lawrence, Kansas, led by William Quantrill, issued General Order No. 11, forcing the eviction of residents in four western Missouri counties – including Jackson – except those living in the city and nearby communities and those whose allegiance to the Union was certified by Ewing.
After the Civil War, Kansas City grew rapidly. The selection of the city over Leavenworth, Kansas, for the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad bridge over the Missouri River brought about significant growth. The population exploded after 1869, when the Hannibal Bridge, designed by Octave Chanute, opened. The boom prompted a name change to Kansas City in 1889, and the city limits to be extended south and east. Westport became part of Kansas City on December 2, 1897. In 1900, Kansas City was the 22nd largest city in the country, with a population of 163,752 residents.
Kansas City, guided by landscape architect George Kessler, became a leading example of the City Beautiful movement, offering a network of boulevards and parks. New neighborhoods like Southmoreland and the Rockhill District were conceived to accommodate the city’s largest residencies of palatial proportions.
The relocation of Union Station to its current location in 1914 and the opening of the Liberty Memorial in 1923 provided two of the city’s most identifiable landmarks. Robert A. Long, president of the Liberty Memorial Association, was a driving force in the funding for construction. Long was a longtime resident and wealthy businessman. He built the R.A. Long Building for the Long-Bell Lumber Company, his home, Corinthian Hall (now the Kansas City Museum) and Longview Farm.
Further spurring Kansas City’s growth was the opening of the innovative Country Club Plaza development by J.C. Nichols in 1925, as part of his Country Club District plan.
The Kansas City streetcar system once had hundreds of miles of streetcars running through the city and was one of the largest systems in the country. In 1903 the 8th Street Tunnel was built as an underground streetcar system through the city. The last run of the streetcar was on June 23, 1957, but the tunnel still exists.
At the start of the 20th century, political machines gained clout in the city, with the one led by Tom Pendergast dominating the city by 1925. Several important buildings and structures were built during this time, including the Kansas City City Hall and the Jackson County Courthouse. During this time, he aided one of his nephew’s friends, Harry S. Truman in a political career. Truman eventually became a senator, then vice-president, then president. The machine fell in 1939 when Pendergast, riddled with health problems, pleaded guilty to tax evasion after long federal investigations. His biographers have summed up Pendergast’s uniqueness:
Kansas City’s suburban development began with a streetcar system in the early decades of the 20th century. The city’s first suburbs were in the neighborhoods of Pendleton Heights and Quality Hill. After World War II, many relatively affluent residents left for suburbs in Johnson County, Kansas, and eastern Jackson County, Missouri. Many also went north of the Missouri River, where Kansas City had incorporated areas between the 1940s and 1970s.
Troost Avenue, once the eastern edge of Kansas City, Mo. and a residential corridor nicknamed Millionaire Row, is now widely seen as one of the city’s most prominent racial and economic dividing lines due to urban decay, which was caused by white flight. During the civil rights era the city blocked people of color from moving to homes west of Troost Avenue, causing the areas east of Troost to have one of the worst murder rates in the country. This led to the dominating economic success of neighboring Johnson County.
In 1950, African Americans represented 12.2% of Kansas City’s population. The sprawling characteristics of the city and its environs today mainly took shape after 1960s race riots. The April 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. was a catalyst for the 1968 Kansas City riot. At this time, slums were forming in the inner city, and many who could afford to do so left for the suburbs and outer areas of the city. The post-World War II ideals of suburban life and the “American Dream” also contributed to the sprawl of the area. The city’s population continued to grow, but the inner city declined. The city’s most populous ethnic group, non-Hispanic whites, declined from 89.5% in 1930 to 54.9% in 2010.
In 1940, the city had about 400,000 residents; by 2000, it was home to only about 440,000. From 1940 to 1960, the city more than doubled its physical size, while increasing its population by only about 75,000. By 1970, the city covered approximately 316 square miles (820 km2), more than five times its size in 1940.
The Hyatt Regency walkway collapse was a major disaster that occurred on July 17, 1981, killing 114 people and injuring more than 200 others during a tea dance in the 45-story Hyatt Regency hotel in Crown Center. It is the deadliest structural collapse in US history other than the September 11 attacks. In 2015 a memorial called the Skywalk Memorial Plaza was built for the families of the victims of the disaster, across the street from the hotel which is now a Sheraton.
In the 21st century, the Kansas City area has undergone extensive redevelopment, with more than $6 billion in improvements to the downtown area on the Missouri side. One of the main goals is to attract convention and tourist dollars, office workers, and residents to downtown KCMO. Among the projects include the redevelopment of the Power & Light District, located in the area to the east of the Power & Light Building (the former headquarters of the Kansas City Power & Light Company, which is now based in the district’s northern end), into a retail and entertainment district; and the Sprint Center, an 18,500-seat arena that opened in 2007, funded by a 2004 ballot initiative involving a tax on car rentals and hotels, designed to meet the stadium specifications for a possible future NBA or NHL franchise, and was renamed T-Mobile Center in 2020; Kemper Arena, which was replaced by Sprint Center, fell into disrepair and was sold to private developers. By 2018, the arena was being converted to a sports complex under the name Hy-Vee Arena. The Kauffman Performing Arts Center opened in 2011 providing a new, modern home to the KC Orchestra and Ballet. In 2015, an 800-room Hyatt Convention Center Hotel was announced for a site next to the Performance Arts Center & Bartle Hall. Construction was scheduled to start in early 2018 with Loews as the operator.
From 2007 to 2017, downtown residential population in Kansas City quadrupled and continues to grow. The area has grown from almost 4,000 residents in the early 2000s to nearly 30,000 as of 2017. Kansas City’s downtown ranks as the 6th-fastest-growing downtown in America with the population expected to grow by more than 40% by 2022. Conversions of office buildings such as the Power & Light Building and the Commerce Bank Tower into residential and hotel space has helped to fulfill the demand. New apartment complexes like One, Two, and Three Lights, River Market West, and 503 Main have begun to reshape Kansas City’s skyline. Strong demand has led to occupancy rates in the upper 90%.
While the residential population of downtown has boomed, the office population has dropped significantly from the early 2000s to the mid 2010s. AMC and other top employers moved their operations to modern office buildings in the suburbs. High office vacancy plagued downtown, leading to the neglect of many office buildings. By the mid 2010s, many office buildings were converted to residential uses and the Class A vacancy rate plunged to 12% in 2017. Swiss Re, Virgin Mobile, AutoAlert, and others have begun to move operations to downtown Kansas City from the suburbs as well as expensive coastal cities.
The area has seen additional development through various transportation projects, including improvements to the Grandview Triangle, which intersects Interstates 435 and 470, and U.S. Route 71, a thoroughfare long notorious for fatal accidents.
In July 2005, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) launched Kansas City’s first bus rapid transit line, the Metro Area Express (MAX), which links the River Market, Downtown, Union Station, Crown Center and the Country Club Plaza. The KCATA continues to expand MAX with additional routes on Prospect Avenue, Troost Avenue, and Independence Avenue.
In 2013, construction began on a two-mile streetcar line in downtown Kansas City (funded by a $102 million ballot initiative that was passed in 2012) that runs between the River Market and Union Station, it began operation in May 2016. In 2017, voters approved the formation of a TDD to expand the streetcar line south 3.5 miles from Union Station to UMKC’s Volker Campus. Additionally in 2017, the KC Port Authority began engineering studies for a Port Authority funded streetcar expansion north to Berkley Riverfront Park. Citywide, voter support for rail projects continues to grow with numerous light rail projects in the works.
In 2016, Jackson County, Missouri, acquired unused rail lines as part of a long-term commuter rail plan. For the time being, the line is being converted to a trail while county officials negotiate with railroads for access to tracks in Downtown Kansas City.
On November 7, 2017, Kansas City, Missouri, voters overwhelmingly approved a new single terminal at Kansas City International Airport by a 75% to 25% margin. The new single terminal will replace the three existing “Clover Leafs” at KCI Airport and is expected to open in October 2022.
While it was once true that much of the economic development in the Kansas City metro area was on the Kansas side, as of May, 2021, the Missouri portion is leading in total non-farm employment. This reflects a more balanced new economic picture. The federal government is the largest employer in the Kansas City metro area. More than 146 federal agencies maintain a presence there. Kansas City is one of ten regional office cities for the US government. The Internal Revenue Service maintains a large service center in Kansas City that occupies nearly 1.4 million square feet (130,000 m2). It is one of only two sites to process paper returns. The IRS has approximately 2,700 full-time employees in Kansas City, growing to 4,000 during tax season. The General Services Administration has more than 800 employees. Most are at the Bannister Federal Complex in South Kansas City. The Bannister Complex was also home to the Kansas City Plant, which is a National Nuclear Security Administration facility operated by Honeywell. The Kansas City Plant has since been moved to a new location on Botts Road. Honeywell employs nearly 2,700 at the Kansas City Plant, which produces and assembles 85% of the non-nuclear components of the United States nuclear bomb arsenal. The Social Security Administration has more than 1,700 employees in the Kansas City area, with more than 1,200 at its downtown Mid-America Program Service Center (MAMPSC). The United States Postal Service operates post offices in Kansas City. The Kansas City Main Post Office is at 300 West Pershing Road.
In 2019, the US Department of Agriculture relocated two federal research labs, ERS and NIFA, to the metro area. This move was considered controversial at the time of announcement, and resulted in multiple people leaving the agencies. The new location for these agencies will be in the downtown area.
Ford Motor Company operates a large manufacturing facility in Claycomo at the Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant, which builds the Ford F-150. The General Motors Fairfax Assembly Plant is in adjacent Kansas City, Kansas. Now shuttered Smith Electric Vehicles built electric vehicles in the former TWA/American Airlines overhaul facility at Kansas City International Airport until 2017.
One of the largest US drug manufacturing plants is the Sanofi-Aventis plant in south Kansas City on a campus developed by Ewing Kauffman’s Marion Laboratories. Of late, it has been developing academic and economic institutions related to animal health sciences, an effort most recently bolstered by the selection of Manhattan, Kansas, at one end of the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, as the site for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, which researches animal diseases. Additionally, the Stowers Institute for Medical Research engages in medical basic science research. They offer educational opportunities for both predoctoral and postdoctoral candidates and work with Open University and University of Kansas Medical Center in a joint Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Science (IGPBS).
Numerous agriculture companies operate out of the city. Dairy Farmers of America, the largest dairy co-op in the United States is located in northern Kansas City. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and The National Association of Basketball Coaches are based in Kansas City.
The business community is serviced by two major business magazines, the Kansas City Business Journal (published weekly) and Ingram’s Magazine (published monthly), as well as other publications, including a local society journal, the Independent (published weekly).
The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank built a new building that opened in 2008 near Union Station. Missouri is the only state to have two of the 12 Federal Reserve Bank headquarters (the second is in St. Louis). Kansas City’s effort to get the bank was helped by former mayor James A. Reed, who as senator, broke a tie to pass the Federal Reserve Act.
The national headquarters for the Veterans of Foreign Wars is headquartered just south of Downtown.
With a Gross Metropolitan Product of $41.68 billion in 2004, Kansas City’s (Missouri side only) economy makes up 20.5% of Missouri’s gross state product. In 2014, Kansas City was ranked #6 for real estate investment.
Three international law firms, Lathrop & Gage, Stinson Leonard Street, and Shook, Hardy & Bacon are based in the city.
The following companies are headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri:
According to the city’s Fiscal Year 2014–15 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top ten principal employers are as follows:
Kansas City, Missouri is abbreviated as KCMO and the metropolitan area as KC. Residents are known as Kansas Citians. Kansas City, Missouri is officially nicknamed the “City of Fountains”. The fountains at Kauffman Stadium, commissioned by original Kansas City Royals owner Ewing Kauffman, are the largest privately funded fountains in the world. In 2018, UNESCO designated Kansas City as a City of Music. The city has more boulevards than any other city except Paris and has been called “Paris of the Plains”. Soccer’s popularity, at both professional and youth levels, as well as Children’s Mercy Park’s popularity as a home stadium for the U.S. Men’s National Team led to the appellation “Soccer Capital of America”. The city is called the “Heart of America”, as it is near both the population center of the United States and the geographic center of the 48 contiguous states.
There were only two theaters in Kansas City when David Austin Latchaw, originally from rural Pennsylvania, moved to Kansas City in 1886. Latchaw maintained friendly relations with a number of actors such as Otis Skinner, Richard Mansfield, Maude Adams, Margaret Anglin, John Drew, Minnie Maddern Fiske, Julia Marlowe, E. H. Sothern, and Robert Mantell.
Theater troupes in the 1870s toured the state performing in cities or small towns springing up along the railroad lines. Rail transport had made touring easy allowing theater troupes to travel with costumes, props and sets. As theater grew in popularity after the mid-1880s that number increased and by 1912 ten new theaters had been built in Kansas City.
By the 1920s Kansas City was the center of the vaudevillian Orpheum circuit.
The Kansas City Repertory Theatre is the metropolitan area’s top professional theatre company. The Starlight Theatre is an 8,105-seat outdoor theatre designed by Edward Delk. The Kansas City Symphony was founded by R. Crosby Kemper Jr. in 1982 to replace the defunct Kansas City Philharmonic, which was founded in 1933. The symphony performs at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Michael Stern is the symphony’s music director and lead conductor. Lyric Opera of Kansas City, founded in 1958, performs at the Kauffman Center, offers one American contemporary opera production during its season, consisting of either four or five productions. The Civic Opera Theater of Kansas City performs at the downtown Folly Theater and at the UMKC Performing Arts Center. Every summer from mid-June to early July, The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival performs at Southmoreland Park near the Nelson-Atkins Museum; the festival was founded by Marilyn Strauss in 1993.
The Kansas City Ballet, founded in 1957 by Tatiana Dokoudovska, is a ballet troupe comprising 25 professional dancers and apprentices. Between 1986 and 2000, it combined with Dance St. Louis to form the State Ballet of Missouri, although it remained in Kansas City. From 1980 to 1995, the Ballet was run by dancer and choreographer Todd Bolender. Today, the Ballet offers an annual repertory split into three seasons, performing classical to contemporary ballets. The Ballet also performs at the Kauffman Center. Kansas City is home to The Kansas City Chorale, a professional 24-voice chorus conducted by Charles Bruffy. The chorus performs an annual concert series and a concert in Phoenix each year with their sister choir, the Phoenix Chorale. The Chorale has made nine recordings (three with the Phoenix Chorale).
Kansas City jazz in the 1930s marked the transition from big bands to the bebop influence of the 1940s. The 1979 documentary The Last of the Blue Devils portrays this era in interviews and performances by local jazz notables. In the 1970s, Kansas City attempted to resurrect the glory of the jazz era in a family-friendly atmosphere. In the 1970s, an effort to open jazz clubs in the River Quay area of City Market along the Missouri ended in a gang war. Three of the new clubs were blown up in what ultimately ended Kansas City mob influence in Las Vegas casinos. The annual “Kansas City Blues and Jazz Festival” attracts top jazz stars and large out-of-town audiences. It was rated Kansas City’s “best festival.” by Pitch.com.
Live music venues are found throughout the city, with the highest concentration in the Westport entertainment district centered on Broadway and Westport Road near the Country Club Plaza, as well as the 18th and Vine area’s flourish for jazz music. A variety of music genres can be heard or have originated there, including musicians Janelle Monáe, Puddle of Mudd, Isaac James, The Get Up Kids, Shiner, Flee The Seen, The Life and Times, Reggie and the Full Effect, Coalesce, The Casket Lottery, The Gadjits, The Rainmakers, Vedera, The Elders, Blackpool Lights, The Republic Tigers, Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko, Kutt Calhoun, Skatterman & Snug Brim, Mac Lethal, Ces Cru, and Solè. As of 2003, the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, a big band jazz orchestra, performs in the metropolitan area.
In 2018, UNESCO named Kansas City as a “City of Music”, making it the only city in the United States with that distinction. The city’s funding of $7 million for improvements to the 18th and Vine Jazz District in 2016, coupled with the city’s rich musical heritage, contributed to the designation.
The large community of Irish-Americans numbers over 50,000. The Irish were the first large immigrant group to settle in Kansas City and founded its first newspaper. The Irish community includes bands, dancers, Irish stores, newspapers and the Kansas City Irish Center at Drexel Hall in Midtown. The first book that detailed the history of the Irish in Kansas City was Missouri Irish: Irish Settlers on the American Frontier, published in 1984. The Kansas City Irish Fest is held over Labor Day weekend every year in Crown Center and Washington Park.
Missouri voters approved riverboat casino gaming on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers by referendum with a 63% majority on November 3, 1992. The first casino facility in the state opened in September 1994 in North Kansas City by Harrah’s Entertainment (now Caesar’s Entertainment). The combined revenues for four casinos exceeded $153 million per month in May 2008. The metropolitan area is home to six casinos: Ameristar Kansas City, Argosy Kansas City, Harrah’s North Kansas City, Isle of Capri Kansas City, the 7th Street Casino (which opened in Kansas City, Kansas, in 2008) and Hollywood Casino (which opened in February 2012 in Kansas City, Kansas).
Kansas City is famous for its steak and Kansas City-style barbecue, along with the typical array of Southern cuisine. During the heyday of the Kansas City Stockyards, the city was known for its Kansas City steaks or Kansas City strip steaks. The most famous of its steakhouses is the Golden Ox in the Kansas City Live Stock Exchange in the West Bottoms stockyards. These stockyards were second only to those of Chicago in size, but they never recovered from the Great Flood of 1951 and eventually closed. Founded in 1938, Jess & Jim’s Steakhouse in the Martin City neighborhood was also well known.
The Kansas City Strip cut of steak is similar to the New York Strip cut, and is sometimes referred to just as a strip steak. Along with Texas, Memphis, North, and South Carolina, Kansas City is lauded as a “world capital of barbecue”. More than 90 barbecue restaurants operate in the metropolitan area. The American Royal each fall hosts what it claims is the world’s biggest barbecue contest.
Classic Kansas City-style barbecue was an inner-city phenomenon that evolved from the pit of Henry Perry, a migrant from Memphis who is generally credited with opening the city’s first barbecue stand in 1921, and blossomed in the 18th and Vine neighborhood. Arthur Bryant’s took over the Perry restaurant and added sugar to his sauce to sweeten the recipe a bit. In 1946 one of Perry’s cooks, George W. Gates, opened Gates Bar-B-Q, later Gates and Sons Bar-B-Q when his son Ollie joined the family business. Bryant’s and Gates are the two definitive Kansas City barbecue restaurants; native Kansas Citian and essayist Calvin Trillin famously called Bryant’s “the single best restaurant in the world” in an essay he wrote for Playboy magazine in the 1960s. Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue is also well regarded. In 1977, Rich Davis, a psychiatrist, test-marketed his own concoction called K.C. Soul Style Barbecue Sauce. He renamed it KC Masterpiece, and in 1986, he sold the recipe to the Kingsford division of Clorox. Davis retained rights to operate restaurants using the name and sauce, whose recipe popularized the use of molasses as a sweetener in Kansas City-style barbecue sauces.
Kansas City has several James Beard Award-winning/nominated chefs and restaurants. Winning chefs include Michael Smith, Celina Tio, Colby Garrelts, Debbie Gold, Jonathan Justus and Martin Heuser. A majority of the Beard Award-winning restaurants are in the Crossroads district, downtown and in Westport.
The proportion of Kansas City area residents with a known religious affiliation is 50.75%. The most common religious denominations in the area are:
In 1911, Elias Disney moved his family from Marceline to Kansas City. They lived in a new home at 3028 Bellefontaine with a garage he built, in which Walt Disney made his first animation. In 1919, Walt returned from France where he had served as a Red Cross Ambulance Driver in World War I. He started the first animation company in Kansas City, Laugh-O-Gram Studio, in which he designed the character Mickey Mouse. When the company went bankrupt, Walt Disney moved to Hollywood and started The Walt Disney Company on October 16, 1923.