Caliente Closed

My favorite spot in KC is now closed. The wife and I noticed that they were closed last time we were at the legends, but we hoped it was only a temporary thing. I loved Caliente because it had excellent food and you could dance to good music by resident DJ Jalapeno, who happens to be someone I actually know. I did get the feeling that the place was not being wisely managed because the bartenders were on the rude side. That told me that management was never really around to control or take care of that.

Here is the information I found thanks to the Kansas City Star:

Now the new CalienteCuban Restaurant is in trouble.

Legends of KC, the legal name of the Legends at Village West complex at Interstate 435 and State Avenue in Kansas City, Kan., has sued the Caliente Legends company, plus Kerry Duffin, Herman Duffin, Darin Duffin, Peter Castillo and Thomas Gray, in Wyandotte County

The Legends says Caliente, which opened July 25, has not paid rent since July 22, the commencement date of the lease.

On Nov. 14 the Legends told Caliente to leave if rents weren’t paid by Nov. 17. Caliente has refused, according to the lawsuit, and the Legends puts its damages at $99,975 as of Nov. 14, with costs and damages accruing. It also is asking for legal expenses.

Kerry Duffin referred calls to his attorney, who did not return phone calls.

Caliente has other legal troubles. Numerous liens have been filed against the company. The lawsuit mentions several: Arrowhead Drywall Supplies for $13,271 (but Arrowhead said it received $4,000 of that this summer); American Fire Sprinkler Corp. for $30,314; Desco Coatings Inc. for $7,784; and DMA Electric Inc. for $124,793.

According to the Legends, the restaurant’s last operating date was Dec. 6. Customers concerned about holiday parties scheduled at the restaurant and who cannot reach Caliente management can call Legends management at 913-788-3700.

It is a shame the place closed, but I could almost see it coming. That area of the legends already has enough restaurants, and with two other Spanish places opening right next door it was going to spell tough competition. The sad part is that most people never realized what being a Cuban restaurant meant and kept on trying to get chips and salsa. I guess I am going to have to find another place to get some good “ropa vieja” sandwiches at and where to get my salsa on… but it will probably not be in the same building. Their my space says that they are coming to KCMO, but that remains to be seen.

8 Responses to Caliente Closed

  1. damn, I didn’t know about this at all. I’ve heard good things about the place.

    Now I’ll never know. :(

  2. I went there on a date and was kinda underwhelmed (maybe it was the company), but I really liked the idea of a Cuban restaurant.

  3. The place was good… apparently. Food was good, music was great, good parties on the weekends. Too bad the owners didn’t do a good job.

  4. We had a family dinner there not long after they were open. There were some wrinkles but that is to be expected with a new restaurant. The food was good and our waiter was awesome. Sounds like the people with the pocketbook were morons.

    Hopefully they can save the place, it was a good option if you didn’t feel like franchise food.

  5. not surprising. i love jalapeno and my friends said the salsa there was kickass, but i applied for a job as a server there in late May. got a bad vibe from the management. they talked big but kept pushing back the opening so long that finally i went and got another job. also heard the food couldn’t hold a candle to jorge’s old cuban corner cafe. that said, i wish we could get another non-Mexican latin place in kc.

  6. Kerry Duffin is the same person who constructed the idea of renovating the Madrid Theatre, which still has no liquor license or Parking. Kerry left the Madrid Theatre, new owner, his brother in law, Karl Schimmel is trying to sell it for 1.2 million dollars after the fact what the neighborhood told them actually came true. You will never get a liquor license.

    Kerry Duffin tried to open up Caliente’s in the Cross Roads but was turned down by the city due to a lack of parking. Kerry borrowed $542,000 from the Small Buiness Loan. I bet he never paid that back.
    This is exactly why stupid people shouldn’t be allowed access to think they can come to Kansas City and open up a bar with no parking.

    Wanna be developers never listen to neighborhood groups. As I remembered Hyde Park(bad people) back the Madrid Theatre. I always hate it when one neighborhood would turn on another neighborhood.

  7. I ate at the Cuban restaurant on Broadway. People who own it and work there are real Cubans. It was OK, I had higher expectations, but I am not an expert.
    http://www.foodbuzz.com/blogs/us/kansas/kansas_city/54584-cafe-cuba

  8. My husband and I tried this place not long after it opened. I was really excited about having a Cuban restaurant in KC. I don’t smoke but I thought, “hey wow maybe they will offer a high end cigar bar and posh lounge at some point.” No Cubans of course, but at least some good Dominicans. No such luck. After asking the bar manager if that was in the works, he said no, that it was entirely non smoking. Well I knew that spelled trouble right there. Then you just have another fancy “Mexican” restaurant. I wanted to see cute guys in guayaberas outside with kick you in the teeth service. Live Cuban music at least 2-3 nights a week. Excellent Cuban food. I was really disappointed that they couldn’t make it work. When I saw the “Coming soon – Corona cantina” sign next door, I knew the place was doomed.

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