Historic Broadway strip coming back to life

barclay-buildingBy Joe Lambe

A vegetarian restaurant will soon move into a historic Midtown building on Broadway, building owner Greg Patterson said Saturday.

It will be near the new Broadway Jazz Club and the new iPho Tower French-Vietnamese bistro, all within three adjacent historic buildings from 3601 to 3623 Broadway.

The new restaurant to open this summer will be in the Garret Building at 3605 Broadway, where Nabil’s restaurant used to be.

The buildings in a 1940 photo.

The buildings in a 1940 photo.

The Garret building (3601-3609 Broadway), the Betsy Ross building (3611 Broadway), and the Barclay building (3613-3625 Broadway) were all designed in the 1920s by prominent Kansas City architect Robert Gornall.

He also designed the Uptown Theater, the Congress Building and the Hyde Park Apartments, all nearby.

Patterson’s buildings, the Uptown and others in the area have survived declines and past attempts to demolish them and Patterson predicts a return to the area’s former high status.

“The cool factor is coming back,” he said.

The nearby Chatham and Valentine apartment buildings have been renovated and the Ambassador apartments are under renovation.

Look down from the top of one of the big buildings, he said, and you see “ a pretty fabulous urban place – it’s like a plaza.”

Patterson also owns the Uptown Arts Bar in the Betsy Ross building and the former Blockbuster building south of his three historic properties. He has been pushing the buildings with mixed success since the 2008 start of the recession.

“It’s been a long haul to the last few years,” he said, but now all space in his buildings is leased except one.

Greg Patterson in front of the block he owns on Broadway.

Greg Patterson in front of the block he owns on Broadway.

That is 8,400 square feet of renovated space in the Garret Building above the new jazz club. It housed a German beer hall in the 1920s and later a night club.

It has a big ballroom that does not lend itself too well to common office space, Patterson said, and there are hopes of attracting an architecture or tech firm.

They could be in what is the next hot area, he said.

Besides, how many chances do you get to set up shop in an old German beer hall?


  1. Victoria Gornall Brunetto says:

    My grandpa would be proud to know someone such as yourself Mr. Patterson, appreciates his talents. Thanks for preserving the Broadway strip. Perhaps someday we will meet. I live in Arizona. I stopped by trying to locate some of his buildings, and did find his old office. He also did a house on Ward Parkway, which is also in the National Historic Register another home on Verona. Gosh, I’d have to pull out the family photo album to check the address, but we did find the residential homes and they were gorgeous. I was able to tour one of the homes and it featured skylights in the closets, which is a cool concept. Really lights it up naturally. I guess you could say he was “green” ahead of his time!

    There’s a gentlemen in England, a long lost cousin I still keep in contact with that supplied me with pics and info of the Gornall/Garnella family legacy.

    Thanks again for keeping grandpa’s buildings alive for all those who love the Art Deco look.

    • Be patient with me as I am so busy, I apologize for not being in communication with you as you have reached out. I would love to better understand the life and work of your grandfather. I do love the 3 buildings I own: the Garret, the Betsy Ross, and the Barclay. My office is in his former office the the Barclay Building Suite 8 with his name above the door. Later this became the office of Sidney Ginsberg who was one of the founders of the National Restaurant Association and was a mentor to many many successful restaurant people.

      Anyway if you are here again, it would be wonderful to meet and show you the buildings I own.

  2. Jeny kyte says:

    I used to have a restaurant at 3601 Broadway in the Garret Building. Jeny’s Pizza Saloon with a Full service square bar. We also had the backroom as a sports area with large screen TV and games.
    I loved that building, so unique!
    The basement was dark and drab, reminded me of a dungeon… lol.
    I live in south Florida now.
    I’m so glad the building is still there!
    Best regards,

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