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Archive for Sunday, June 10, 2007

No one is going to run’

For Steffes, power drives business

Dennis Steffes says he has two loves: one is his 7-year-old daughter Monica, and the other is his collection of European sports cars, which he customizes for himself and others. Steffes is the owner of Last Call and Coyotes nightclubs in Lawrence and is challenging the city's smoking ban in court.

Dennis Steffes says he has two loves: one is his 7-year-old daughter Monica, and the other is his collection of European sports cars, which he customizes for himself and others. Steffes is the owner of Last Call and Coyotes nightclubs in Lawrence and is challenging the city's smoking ban in court.

June 10, 2007

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Dennis Steffes, the owner of Last Call and Coyotes

Wakarusa 2007

  • Read a 1996 Journal-World article about Dennis Steffes opening the nightclub Tremors. In 2002, Steffes changed the name of the club to The Last Call.

Dennis Steffes - owner of the Lawrence nightclubs Last Call and Coyotes - says his passion is automobiles.

His body language says something different. When he's talking about his stable of 15 cars - mostly Porsches that he's customized to "look like airplanes" - he's quiet and relaxed.

But now, he shows the signs of a passionate man. He leans forward in his chair as his black tailored suit and button-down shirt begin to crease. His head - complete with slicked-back hair and a ponytail - begins to bob as his voice rises. And his hands - one adorned with a single gold ring on his middle finger, and the other supporting a large gold wristwatch - move with every word he speaks.

Steffes is not talking about cars now. He's talking about control.

"It is U.S. and Russia all over again," Steffes says of how he manages security at his controversial hip-hop club Last Call, 729 N.H. "You have to create it where there is a power stance there - where there is no mistaking who runs this place when you come in the front door.

"We operate under this mutual destructive deterrent (philosophy). : That's why I have armed staff on duty. That is why we are as visible as we are. The purpose of these kids and thugs or wannabes is that they want to feel powerful.

"When you take that away, all of a sudden the interest is not there anymore. Why would someone pull a gun out and wave it around or fire some shots in the air? Because everybody screams and runs and the power is now on your end.

"The bottom line is you may end up doing that (at Last Call). You might pull a gun out, but you're going to have about five other ones pointing right back at you. And no one is going to run."

This is the man Lawrence City Hall is doing battle with.

Steffes and City Hall are clashing on a couple of fronts. The bar owner is challenging the city's smoking ban, claiming it is unconstitutional. He has taken that case to the Kansas Supreme Court, which could issue a ruling any day now.

He's also in the center of a storm over deteriorating nighttime safety conditions in downtown. In May 2006, seven shots were fired inside Last Call, sending 200 people fleeing into the street. Lawrence police officers also have confiscated several illegal weapons from cars in parking lots near Last Call.

Although City Hall leaders are careful to not point only at Steffes, the activity around his club has led to a discussion about creating a more stringent licensing process for Lawrence bars and nightclubs.

A globetrotter

Steffes' accent is German, with a mix of many other dialects. His voice - many times soft-spoken with a hint of a stammer - strikes the ear as being different but still hard to place.

That's in part because Steffes has lived a little bit of everywhere. He was born in Bulgaria but began his grammar schooling in Germany. His last citizenship before coming to America in 1984 was French. He also spent significant time in Libya and Italy, where he finished his secondary education in a Roman Catholic school.

At one point, he became fluent in six languages - German, French, Russian, Italian, Arabic and Bulgarian - mainly by watching foreign movies over and over until he began to understand them.

Steffes' parents were engineers for the petroleum industry, and he started to follow in those footsteps. He has a master's degree in polymer chemistry and a doctorate in experimental physics.

"My mother is always good to point this out," Steffes says with a laugh. "'What happened to you?' she says. 'You were this great student. You should be running DuPont by now,' she says."

A painter

Steffes, 42, has put his degrees to use. He worked as a chemical engineer for a German automotive paint company, a job that played into his passion for automobiles.

But eventually he left Europe and landed in the mid-1980s in the Kansas City metro area, near where he had spent some summers as a youth on a family farm in Iowa.

He ran a business in Oak Park Mall called AutoBuf of KC. It started as a car accessory store but morphed into a custom car shop that served customers "who never asked how much," Steffes says.

He bought his automotive paint from a little store in Lawrence, Lonnie's Auto Paints, near the corner of 23rd Street and Learnard Avenue. One day, after years of hearing the old man at the store say he was going to close the shop, Steffes bought it. He was a good paint salesman, and soon his German friends from the automotive paint giant Spies Hecker called him about helping the company break into the U.S. market.

Steffes began traveling across the country doing seminars and training sessions for auto body shops and other large buyers of paint. One year in the early 1990s, he was gone 43 weeks out of the year.

Then his daughter came along. Steffes has been raising his 7-year-old daughter as a single father since she was about a year old. The travel needed to stop. So he started buying property around his small paint shop at 23rd and Learnard, and he still owns a good portion of the block. He used the buildings to house the training workshops that he previously was conducting across the country.

There was a problem: entertainment. Bring a group of car guys to town, and they're bound to partake in some nighttime activities. Steffes didn't necessarily want them spending their time with drunk fraternity boys at the bars in Lawrence.

As fate would have it, an acquaintance of Steffes owned a bar in town, Club 729. The bar owner wanted out. At first, Steffes said he dismissed the suggestion that he buy the bar. Then he realized his company's entertainment budget was more than what the guy was asking for the bar.

"The bar business, I got into that by accident," Steffes says.

A lightning rod

Like most accidents, there are many people who wished it never would have happened.

Former Douglas County District Attorney Jerry Wells is among a group of residents convinced that Last Call - Steffes' hip-hop club - is creating a serious safety concern for the community by attracting some people who tote guns and are willing to use them.

Wells thinks Steffes could do a lot to ease the tensions.

"The old bartender's rule is 'Change the music, change the crowd,'" Wells says.

Wells says he's not trying to be stereotypical about hip-hop music or its fans. He says it's clear not all Last Call patrons are causing trouble, but he's convinced a significant percentage of the club's customers "really pose a risk to the community."

Wells hopes Steffes will become more "community-minded" and take action to change his club. But Wells says he's seen enough and thinks the city needs to take steps to get Steffes to clean up his operations.

"It is coming a time when some action needs to be taken," Wells says. "Sooner or later the odds are going to catch up. If that group of people continues to come to Lawrence, someone is going to get hurt or killed."

Other critics of Steffes have faulted him on that front too, pointing to back taxes that Steffes has owed on some of his properties. Steffes owes about $4,500 in back property taxes on a Glenview Drive property. The Kansas Department of Revenue also has filed a tax lien seeking about $5,000 in back sales taxes from October 2002 that were accrued by his AutoBuf business.

Steffes, though, says the back property taxes are simply the result of an escrow mix-up following a change he has made in banks. On the sales tax issue, he says the state is mistaken in its calculations and he does not owe any back taxes. He is contesting the state's demand for payment.

And he responds to Wells' and others' concerns about his club by saying it is time for the city to improve its enforcement. He said he's already done his part.

Following the May 2006 incident during which shots were fired inside Last Call - an incident that he says caused "heads to roll and fingers to be broken" - he installed metal detectors and added armed security guards and electronic surveillance equipment.

He says he's doing his job to keep weapons out of his club, but he's quick to point out that he doesn't own the parking lot. The city does.

"I am making a difference in my circle," Steffes says. "I am trying to prove a point that I can get the respect of any controversial gathering, I can make them behave and I can allow them to have a good time without the repercussions in there.

"As far as I'm concerned, if there is a gun in the car, that means it is not in the club, and that means I've done my job."

That's an attitude City Hall leaders don't appreciate. City Manager David Corliss confirms that he has made Steffes, along with the owners of a few other drinking establishments, aware of the city's concerns.

"They think their responsibility ends at the door," Corliss says. "I think it is fair to say that if they attract problems, they have some responsibility in helping us solve those problems.

"We just fundamentally disagree."

The bar business

It is peaceful at Steffes' rural Douglas County home. A quick tour of his property includes a look at part of his Porsche collection.

Other than the black chain-link fence that surrounds the property, the signs of a man who clearly likes to be in control aren't as obvious here.

Steffes once told a story about how when he was in the paint business, he would send a "recon team" into the major cities where his company was looking to sell paint.

The team would prepare for Steffes' arrival by researching the large paint buyers and paint sellers in the market. But it wouldn't stop with the basics. The team would dig for details - what type of food the executives liked, what type of entertainment they preferred.

They then would report those details so Steffes was equipped with everything he would need to know about the people and the city, down to details such as the best Italian restaurants or the hippest nightclubs. His recon team members even would make sure that the servers at a restaurant would be able to recognize Steffes and greet him by name when he arrived with a client.

"Even though you walked into a strange place, you dominated it," Steffes says.

But Steffes doesn't come off that way as he strolls across his property. He mainly is just doting over his daughter, Monica.

"This is why I do everything I do," he says as he points at her.

That includes getting into the bar business full-time. Eventually, Steffes and the German paint company parted ways after the company wanted to move the training center to a larger metro area, Steffes says.

Steffes says the bar business looked easy to him, and it provided him with the flexible schedule he needed to raise his daughter.

One of their shared hobbies is collecting exotic animals. Steffes built his daughter a special room on the ground floor of his house - a young girl's paradise filled with teddy bears - in part so she could have a better view of the zebras and kangaroo.

Steffes' parents are down from Iowa for an early summer vacation. It's the final touch on a traditional family scene. His parents tell stories - like how a young Steffes always wanted to grow up to be a clown. They laugh like families laugh.

His father, though, says some things haven't changed with Steffes.

"Once he becomes convinced something is right, he'll stick with it," says Bob Steffes. "He won't let go very easily."

That's what Steffes' peers in the bar industry have noticed, too. Some declined to talk for this story, and others said they really didn't know Steffes that well. Privately, some wish he would change the format of his club. Some admire his fortitude.

But nearly all who have observed him for a while notice the same thing.

"I'm not sure he is really a person who makes compromises on much," says Nick Carroll, who owns the Replay Lounge and Jackpot Saloon in downtown Lawrence. "He just seems to put his foot down and say, 'This is the way it is.'"

Steffes says he doesn't have any plans to change the format at Last Call. When he first opened it as Tremors, the club was geared toward a more middle-aged crowd. But it is tough to make a living off a demographic that only goes out once every couple of months, Steffes found.

For a short time, the club was a traditional college bar. That experiment produced more minor in possession violations than Steffes could live with, he says.

Last Call is staying hip-hop, in large part, because to change would go against Steffes' principles. If anything, the problems - particularly the May 2006 incident where shots were fired in his club - have hardened his stance.

"I had a choice to make when that happened," Steffes says. "Are you going to roll over and play dead, and allow the degenerates of this society to run your business and to run how we do business in this town?

"I'm sorry, I'm not a quitter. When somebody comes in and shakes my tree like that, I can either equip appropriately to deal with them, or I can just shut the doors and go away because they've won.

"I have a problem with allowing them to win."

Comments

Falcon8 7 years, 2 months ago

What's wrong with a hard working father who loves his daughter? This is a fascinating story, whether you agree with Steffe's stance or not you have to admire his character. What's with the mean critique of the photo? Let's see your ugly mug on the front page and see who jeers at you.

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crazyleaflady 7 years, 2 months ago

It isn't fair to criticize the photo. It's certainly fair to criticize the man and his scr3w-you business practices. And the fact that he collects exotic cars and animals. I find that creepy. The fact that he looks like a cartoon criminal is completely coincidental.

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Kookamooka 7 years, 2 months ago

Too bad this guy won't use his knowledge and expertise and put it to good use doing something really useful for the community and his daughter. He sounds like a bright guy. Does he realize that being able to tell your friends that your dad is a petroleum engineer is way cooler than telling your friends my dad owns a hip-hop club? Sounds like the guy could build some kind of fantastic automotive dynasty. Or a Cabelas-like car world super store. Complete with racing simulators and a car museum. Lawrence? or KCK?

P.S. Somebody needs to tell him that there are more gang bangers in KC and Topeka than in Lawrence. I'd think he could make a lot more money with a hip-hop club by taking it to the people.

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Mike Blur 7 years, 2 months ago

Ragingbeer, that remark was really uncalled for, and I would urge Steffes to start legal action against you.

You really need to stand down from these comment forums for a day or ten. Your narcissistic desire to poison practically every article with your invective is revolting. Heck, you've already made more comments today than I have in the last month, and it's not even 7 am.

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pz5g1 7 years, 2 months ago

Kookamooka said: "Does he realize that being able to tell your friends that your dad is a petroleum engineer is way cooler than telling your friends my dad owns a hip-hop club?"

You had very different friends than I did growing up.

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News_to_me 7 years, 2 months ago

But what about the Last Call and the guns? Why does he feel his responsibility ends at the door? If a bartender continues to serve alcohol to someone who is obviously intoxicated and a danger to society, and that person goes out and kills someone with his vehicle, does the bartender not bear some responsibility? How is it different, if that same person goes out and gets a gun out of his vehicle and shoots somebody?

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la_don 7 years, 2 months ago

...consigliere advises that the hip-hop club will remain in Lawrence because the city was presented with an offer they can't refuse...

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Jamesaust 7 years, 2 months ago

"What do you want me to do?" Steffes asks.

As I've noted all along, the City doesn't need to do more than establish fair, measurable standards (start with the police stats) for the nuisance that Steffes creates for the community, document in both relative (other bars) and absolute (just his) terms, give fair warning of the on-going results (due process), and let Steffes take whatever measures he wishes to improve those measured standards. If he doesn't, the City has reviewed several legal means by which his establishment might be shut down (and I'm certain they can get more if they try).

Heck, we live in a state where a liquor store owner can be dispossessed if they so much as sell soda pop on-site!

Steffes just wants to reap excess profits from an otherwise underserved part of the market - underserved because most persons of character REFUSE to serve it!

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 2 months ago

"The bottom line is you may end up doing that (at Last Call). You might pull a gun out, but you're going to have about five other ones pointing right back at you. And no one is going to run."

Something is wrong with that quote. To me it almost says "bring it". If the place I hang out at has to have heavily armed guards for the purpose of creating an assured mutual destruction scenario, I think I might take my partying somewhere else. Is this Lawrence, or is it Mogadishu? He should call his bar "Doomsday Device". The name "Last Call" just took on a whole new metaphorical meaning for me.

Some of these thugs are looking for a gansta shootout JUST like the one Steffes is offering. Good luck.

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Jamesaust 7 years, 2 months ago

So ... what does Steffes do?

Here's what you do, Mr. Steffes:

You adopt the tried-and-true Kansas method of controlling the dispensation of liquor and the problems resulting from that - you establish a private club.

In this club, you have various requirements for membership and you experiment with various requirements until such time that your nuisance magically disappears. Let's see: first, you require basic information about the members of your club, names, addresses, etc. Perhaps you require an annual membership fee - $20 - or a membership deposit - $250 - to be refunded at the end of the membership. Perhaps you inquire from applicants if they are felons and deny private club membership on that basis. Or, if felony charges are pending, in which case they may reapply if and when cleared of those felonies. Perhaps you require a delay of time after application - one week - before membership is granted. Perhaps you have standards of behavior - no weapon found on you at the door - that can get membership permanently revoked. Perhaps you even go so far as to require out-of-town applicants to be sponsored by a Douglas Co. resident member (no more than three such persons per sponsor). Whatever.

At some point your nuisance will no longer be measurable relative to other establishments. Sure, you won't make as much money but you'll have the satisfaction of living in harmony with your community, which after all is worth more than lucre, isn't it?

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Richard Heckler 7 years, 2 months ago

Shut down Coyote and Last Call. They are a liability to the city. Require too much LPD time. That is the bottom line. Did the LJW think a little history on this man would make his bar/club actions more acceptable to ciitzen/taxpayers? Get real. Why should anyone receive preferential treatment ?

Smoke Free Germany http://www.smokefreeworld.com/germany.shtml

World Wide Smoking Bans http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-07-12-smoking-bans_x.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...

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Richard Heckler 7 years, 2 months ago

Whatever steps the city MIGHT take will affect all bars so he is a negative in general to the bar/club business. Even the unethical have rights as do criminals. Pay your taxes dude cuz your business is a drag on dowtown. I guess Lawrence will need to impose a mandatory $10,000 fine each time a violent eruption takes place in a bar/club scene and doubles with each infraction.

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Sigmund 7 years, 2 months ago

Smoke Free Germany?? Oh well there you go! Deutsches Reich is doing it and so should we! We will expand our bans seeking Lebensraum!

Personally I prefer smoking and non-smoking clubs, where adults get make their own choices about where they go to eat or drink. But hey I'm a radical free thinking kind of guy who doesn't want control every last breath everyone in the world takes nor what they buy nor where they buy it nor how much they must or can't pay for it.

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Sigmund 7 years, 2 months ago

Gee Merrill that sounds like a threat. Are you sure the Traffic Safety Kommission can impose such a fine? Are you sure it is constitutional?

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phogm 7 years, 2 months ago

This guy has caused nothing but big trouble for Lawrence. I don't exactly what the answer is but the comments of Jamesaust above as to what the City could do and what he could do are excellent. Of course, he won't take any restrictive action as it would hurt his bottom line. The City is probably afraid to act since I believe he's the idiot fighting the smoking ban in court. It's instructive that even many of his peers wish he would do something else; after all, this blight on the community is hurting them and causing yet another hit for downtown Lawrence.

The bottom line is that he purposely created and environment for out of town thugs to come to Lawrence and create havoc to the community. He gave up on the middle age bar concept; his comment that such a crowd goes out once every two months is ludicrous on its face. Had he provided a positive experience the niche market exists. He then purposefully went looking for the worst possible crowd he could think of and it's been nothing but trouble since.

No one has yet mentioned the countless cases of his patrons robbing and plundering local convenience stores on their way back to Topeka and Kansas City. That's any outrage in itself and should force the City to act in a decisive manner.

Things have gotten so bad that people have actually fired shots in the bar and often the police are there around 2:00 in the morning to mediate trouble. I understand that residents of the Hobbs-Taylor lofts are at their wits end, have complained to the City but to no avail.

His "answer" to the problem is to hired armed guards in the club? His "answer" is to welcome those with guns, tell the city that it's OK for those to bring guns to town, all the while looking for nothing but trouble to Lawrence?

It's clear he's nothing put a pox on the community and we need to take strong action to end this before it destroys our town.

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Ragingbear 7 years, 2 months ago

Mike, this is a relatively free country still. If you don't like my comments, then don't read them. I stand by what I said in each and every comment. There is no possible legal action that could be taken unless it's another idiot lawsuit.

Let him go ahead and sue me. I got me no money.

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Ragingbear 7 years, 2 months ago

~At the LJW - it's 'all the news that's print to fit.'~

Unless it requires actual reporting.

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lunacydetector 7 years, 2 months ago

i thought lawrence was inclusive and open minded. shouldn't the socialists who write on here be on his side? he brings blacks to the community, a different musical genre, and a little excitement (because of the gang element). come on you pinkos. show some heart and some multiculturalism.

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Newell_Post 7 years, 2 months ago

Why does this photo and article make my skin crawl? Is anyone else's internal BS detector going into full alarm?

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 2 months ago

Is he going to let his daughter hang out in his bars when she is old enough? It's a good thing he lives in the country. I'm sure he would be the type who would make a bad neighbor.

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Sigmund 7 years, 2 months ago

Lets not forget to blame the real culprits, you know the few criminals with guns, those guys. For all the hysteria and simple-minded solutions what keeps them (exclusively males if I recall correctly) from moving to the Moon Bar, Thai House, or the next incarnation. How many bars and pictures of bar owners with their kids do you intend to vilify before you actually deal with the real problem, the criminals that commit the crimes?

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George_Braziller 7 years, 2 months ago

"dorothyhr (Anonymous) says: It's a good thing he lives in the country. I'm sure he would be the type who would make a bad neighbor"

If he's anything like his bar then he is. Last Call is my neighbor and I have considered selling my house to get away from the noise and the risk of having a bullet come through my window. I wish Last Call would have its last call.

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ruscus_5 7 years, 2 months ago

So there is some intelligence on this panel after all.

Well put Marion! Its good to know some people can say it like it is! You go calvindog!

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ku234 7 years, 2 months ago

I am a professor here at KU, and I also live in the vicinity of Last Call. Naturally, I have been following some of the publicity that Last Call has received and some of Mr. Steffes' battles with the city. In a very recent past, on a Saturday night, I made an effort to meet Mr. Steffes at the controversial Last Call. After being stopped by security at the front door and my intentions to speak to Mr. Steffes being announced over their radios, Mr. Steffes came out of the building and introduced himself. I have to admit, I was very much surprised to meet this well-dressed, very professional, highly educated and extremely intelligent gentleman. I didn't have to be with Mr. Steffes for more than 10 minutes, for me to realize that this is not your typical nightclub owner. His knowledge of worldly affairs, politics, constitutional issues, understanding and clear respect for the law are nothing short of impressive. In fact, I would've been more inclined to believe that I was speaking to an attorney, rather then a Doctor in Experimental Physics. Mr. Steffes took me on a personal tour of a what I would describe as a very impressive and busy nightclub. I was allowed to observe his operation, at the peak of the night for over an hour. I was very taken by the energy that the club had and the efficiency by which it operated. Overall, I just watched kids having a good time. I began my journey that night, with a very biased disposition and ended my experience with a completely different outlook on Mr. Steffes and his operation. I found Mr. Steffes to be a man of conviction, morals, integrity and above all, the open mind to listen and receive new information. On a personal note, for those of you with the considerably less than intelligent comments earlier on, I encourage you to make the effort to meet the man (he appears to be readily available) and see for yourself, if you're not going to share similar findings as I did.

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Sigmund 7 years, 2 months ago

You want to know what creeps me out? It is the lynch mob mentality of the "liberal" posters to this forum. The problem is Steffes, where Steffes lives, the picture of Steffes and his daughter, guns, the LPD, the music, the kids from KC, the kids from Topeka, and secondhand smoke. Barely a mention of the illegal drugs use and alcohol abuse of the some downtown bar patrons nor a word about the drug dealing gun carrying criminals who the commit crimes. Scapegoat, it's the other white meat!

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TheEleventhStephanie 7 years, 2 months ago

He looks like Olaf from Lemoney Snicket.

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bombsgoboom212 7 years, 2 months ago

I don't think anyone should judge them. These people are incrediably nice. Monica is the sweetest thing to be around. She's smiling all the time and that right there is NOT a forced smile.

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Sigmund 7 years, 2 months ago

The last two shootings in downtown Lawrence happened outside Brothers and the Granada. Wasn't someone killed outside Henry T's a couple of years ago? Who was shot or injured inside or outside the Last Call, I forget. So why is all the focus on the Last Call? My guess is because he challenged the PLC smoking ban and because the hip hop music scene attracts non-white urban youth from out of town, Bar owners, like other businesses in Kansas, have little to no responsibility on what customers do either before or after they patronize their business.

I support the LPD continuing to use every legal means to stop illegal activity downtown no matter who is breaking the law, including sobriety checkpoints and checking for current registration, proof of insurance and valid drivers licenses, as well as legally checking cars parked downtown by looking for illegal drugs or guns that are in plain sight. Other than these legal methods that have been heavily criticized, what more do you expect of the LPD? If it is legal, I'll support it.

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bigfan123 7 years, 2 months ago

I've known Dennis for many years now, he would give you the shirt off his back if you were ever in need. He's one of the most down to earth people you could ever meet. You couldnt ask for a nicer man to be around. Last Call shouldnt be the only night club getting all the negative attention. If all the people with the negative opinions about him were more like him Lawrence would be a better place.

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bigfan123 7 years, 2 months ago

Hi Dennis and Monica we LOVE you!

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Sigmund 7 years, 2 months ago

There is one thing that bothers me about Dennis, "Porsches that he's customized to 'look like airplanes.'" That is surely a symptom of a deeply disturbed mind. Even though the designers at Porsche are by far the laziest in the world (you can't tell one model from another, year after boring year) and they are ass-engined (unnatural and against God's law), these are not an acceptable excuses for such deviant behavior! Best review of a Porsche can be found here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9655uAiHD4

Why would you mess with that? And if you want a car that pretends to be an airplane by a Saab. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDLS57tssQU

If I didn't loathe hip-hop and county "musac," I'd be tempted to go down to the Last Call or his other establishment and tell him what's what.

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Ragingbear 7 years, 2 months ago

Liberals are not open minded. That is a common misconception. They simply believe that everyone should believe what they believe, and will try to force that issue. Just like Conservatives. The only real difference is that Conservatives are more prone to force double standards and be hypocrites.

As for my comment on the picture, that was all the comment was about. The picture is just plain creepy.

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calvindog 7 years, 2 months ago

We concur with big fan 123. Dennis is a friend of our family and has always been wonderful. He is dedicated to his family and loves his daughter. Why don't you all do what ku234 did and go meet him? You will be pleasantly surprised!!

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George_Braziller 7 years, 2 months ago

Uhhhh, ku234 you must be insulated on the fifth floor of the lofts or have been there at 9 p.m..

When the "kids having a good time" leave after the bar closes the area is like a scene from "Mad Max." I once saw a mob chase after a guy who I thought was going to be beaten to a pulp. By mob I mean 25 to 30 people. The only thing that stopped it was two police cruisers that zoomed in. Of course the lights and sirens continued for yet another 1/2 hour. This activity is the norm and not the exception. Last Call DOES affect the liveability of the neighborhood. Steffes may be a nice guy but Last Call is a nuisance.

ku234 (Anonymous) says:

"Mr. Steffes took me on a personal tour of a what I would describe as a very impressive and busy nightclub. I was allowed to observe his operation, at the peak of the night for over an hour. I was very taken by the energy that the club had and the efficiency by which it operated. Overall, I just watched kids having a good time."

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ruscus_5 7 years, 2 months ago

I am an ex-employee of Dr. Steffes, and I have to say that he has changed my life for the better, through his teachings and his practices. Everything that I have achieved in life since then, is because of what he has taught me and the principles and business practices that he has instilled in me and also all the employees that were fortunate enough to work for him. He has truly been an inspiration for a lot of people. I used to live in Lawrence, and worked for him when he was the CEO for Spies Hecker Automotive Central division USA. Currently I am a top executive for a major automotive conglomerate, which deals with five state area in western United States. Obviously I still follow current events in the Lawrence area online. Therefore, when I read some of the negative statements issued about Dr. Steffes and his character, it compels me to throw in my five cents worth. He's the most impressive employer, trustworthy partner, best friend that you could possibly have and a devoted father (that most of us would only wish we had, when we were children). He has the cunning ability to take any group of people, from any walks of life, any education and bring them all on one level, make them feel comfortable and teach them complex things even like polymerizing resins, in a matter that they can all understand. He's a great teacher, a great mentor, and the most amazing people's person. Since he has stopped traveling and teaching (after making a commitment to be a father), I am still hard-pressed after this many years to go anywhere in the US, from General Motors, to Ford, to BMW of North America, to Porsche, or anywhere in the private sector of the automotive industry, where I would not run into people still talk about him as some kind of a legend. Everybody still wants to know where the German doctor with the ponytail is (that was his trademark) and when his next class is? The comments still fly that "we learned more from him in two hours than we have in the last 10 years". He is truly the most intelligent man, that I have ever had the privilege of knowing...... Therefore, when some of the less intelligent comments appear in an attempt to assassinate his character, it becomes painfully obvious that some of you may not have the cranial capacity to comprehend any of this, or simply enjoy being in a mode of whining and complaining rather than getting off your computers, stop hiding behind your screen names and go visit Mr. Steffes, whom I am certain, is not hiding from you! Only then, you will understand the true intellect, ambitions and the ease by which you can talk to the man. At that point, one of two things are going to happen; either you will present some structured information that will convince him that he is wrong and he will make the necessary changes, or he will give you the necessary education for you to understand why things cannot. So some of you please, stop whining and do something constructive! PS Dr S, I'm certain you remember me?

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George_Braziller 7 years, 2 months ago

Repeat: This isn't about Steffes. Last Call is a dangerous nuisance to the neighborhood. Guess what there ARE people who live within shooting distance. I don't care if he has installed metal detectors there are still guns being found on the ground in the area and the noise is persistent. Even if Saint Bernadette owned the place I still say that it should be shut down.

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Godot 7 years, 2 months ago

" Anonymous user

George_Braziller (Anonymous) says:

Repeat: This isn't about Steffes. Last Call is a dangerous nuisance to the neighborhood. "

Is that why the JW did this front page feature story on Steffes? The placement of this supposed human interest story, on the front page of the Sunday edition, is very suspect. Was it meant to elicit negative, libelous posts about the JW's neighbor? That certainly was the immediate result.

Richard Gwin is an excellent photographer; I cannot believe the photo on the front page of the paper was his best shot of the day. Surely, that is not what Richard would want to show as his best work.

Shame on the editor who chose that unflattering photo.

And shame on Dolph for resorting to this tactic in his effort to ruin yet another individual who dares to swim against the suffocating blue tide that is the Lawrence establishment.

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Ragingbear 7 years, 2 months ago

Calvindog. Interesting how his account started today. Perhaps he is the one so talked about. Scumbags do stuff like that you know. Go around pretending to be people they are not.

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greenworld 7 years, 2 months ago

I swear we have so many people so quick to judge with so little time. The time and effort put into passing so much judgement to me indicates we have alot of player haters out there. Come on people dont hate the player, hate yourself since that's everything that I keep reading or just dont hate at all. Some of you guys need to get a life and leave Dennis alone. I know this guy personally and he loves his life, his daughter and his ability to make others around him happy and loves creating a friendly environment that gives kids and people something to do. I have to agree with one of the previous posters that the time I cruised around with Dennis that when we entered Last Call I never felt any uncomfortable feelings at all when I was in there and Dennis showed me the whole place and let me hang out upstairs with one of the top Dj's , DJ Legacy
and I felt as if I was apart of something pretty special and got a up close view of how the club life is really more than just the "thug life" but rather a ticket to one's ability to just have fun and feel good. Dennis told me he doesnt know why he is still doing what he is doing and there is probably a million other things this guy could do but he choses to give the kids something to keep them out of trouble and give them an outlet. And also I will give Dennis the benefit of the doubt that his security is the best of any place that I have every been in and that includes places in Topeka and KC. I would have to say his staff/security is probably better than LPD. So you guys can say what you want about the guy but I like Dennis and what he brings to the table and know he would do anything for me anytime. If you ever get to know him give him a chance, i did and I am glad. He never forgets a name or face.

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erod0723 7 years, 2 months ago

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Ragingbear 7 years, 2 months ago

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janeyb 7 years, 2 months ago

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erod0723 7 years, 2 months ago

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getserious 7 years, 2 months ago

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domovik 7 years, 2 months ago

First off, if you live by a bar stop complaining about the noise and the people of the bar. You chose to live there and you should have researched the area better before moving in. Last Call is a problem area because most, if not all, of the police force is down there every Saturday night at bar close to keep the crowds in check while the rest of the town goes to hell. That is not how the city should be taken care of and Mr. Steffes needs to provide his own security inside and out. Either that or start paying extra for all the special attention he gets from LPD so they can keep his little establishment nice and safe for the out-of-towners. So if your car gets broken into on a Saturday night and there is no law enforcement around to catch the criminal go ask Mr. Steffes if you can borrow one of his security to take the report since LPD is busy taking care of his bar.

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calvindog 7 years, 2 months ago

Raging Bear,

Yes, my username was setup today. That is because I have sat back and read your posts for a long time and have never felt like I needed to respond. However, today after reading the stuff written about Dennis, I was upset. Here is a friend and a very nice, intelligent man being attacked by people who don't even know him. No, I calvindog am not Dennis Steffes. I am a female who husband was lucky enough to work for Dennis for years and Dennis helped my husband grow personally and professionally. Yes, Dennis has his faults. But we all do. All I know is that he was there for my husband and is there for his family. Enough said. Good night.

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Mike Blur 7 years, 2 months ago

Pilgrim (Anonymous) says:

Ragingbear (Anonymous) says:

That is the same type of look I made when my abusive stepfather used to try to hug me in public.


Ah, that explains a lot.

mike blur sez: Yes it does, Pilgrim. It says that Rage-a-holic's self-victimization scheme is a sham.

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Mike Blur 7 years, 2 months ago

Not only that, but I'll be honest. This article about Steffes might change my whole negative attitude about him and his efforts to clean up "upper downtown." I can "sort of" see the unorthodox way of Steffes' thinking: and forthwith, until he makes cause for another action to happen, I am behind him 100 percent in his opposition to the smoking ban.

In the long run, I really fell the "urban population" might not be right for Last Call. I mean, c'mon, Steffes decries his attempt to cater to the "college crowd" yet it is a proven fact that 50 college girls drinking Bud Light spend more money and tip more than 50 'bangers ordering Alize and Hypnotiq mixers. (Guys, I'm hip to the drinking culture.) In the long run, finances will wend their way as Steffes has a valuable "gran-pappy" downtown Lawrence liquor license.

Mr Steffes, my email address is onlynecessary at gmail dot com. I would love to take the tour you proffer other people on this board--and I am a believer in you.

Mike

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George_Braziller 7 years, 2 months ago

It wasn't a bar when I bought my house. I chose to buy my house, I didn't chose to have a noisy nuisance move in after the fact.

"domovik (Anonymous) says:

First off, if you live by a bar stop complaining about the noise and the people of the bar. You chose to live there and you should have researched the area better before moving in. "

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Red_venue 7 years, 2 months ago

First, I would like to say that I know Mr. Steffes personally and that he is an intelligent businessman, well-cultured individual, the best friend a person could have, and a very loving and generous father and member to his family. Some of you may want to criticize his business tactics, or some of the issues going on in Lawrence, but that gives you NO RIGHT to attack him personally - especially those of you that have never met the man! How weak and narrow minded of you... TO RAGINGBEAR: I'm sorry you had to suffer growing up with an abusive stepfather, but that gives you no right to attack another individual and his fatherly role because you have un-dealt with anger...Mr. Steffes is an amazing father and I have witnessed this first hand. He has an amazing relationship with his daughter and it is obvious to anyone - again who ACTUALLY knows him and his daughter - that she has great respect and love for her father. There has never been any abuse in their relationship and there NEVER will be! I know that for a fact. So you should be ashamed of yourself for spreading slander and un-factual statements about a person being an abusive parent without any evidence except your thinking a picture "is creepy".

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Red_venue 7 years, 2 months ago

TO LOGRITHMIC: Where do you get off with your comment of "I wonder if he enjoys blowing smoke in his daughter's face?" What information do you have to justify that accusation? Mr. Steffes has not EVER smoked around his daughter. If you actually followed his court cases against the smoking ban, you would know that he is not a hypocrite. He is not fighting the ban on personal beliefs of whether he agrees or disagrees with the act of smoking...he is fighting for his freedoms as a business owner and the way the fines are distributed by the city. Shame on you for insinuating that he is that kind of parent. Also, how dare you drag his family members and family name into this by saying, "continuing the proud Steffes family tradition of addiction to nicotine." Do you even know any of his family members? Why do they deserve to be insulted by you? How would you feel if someone made accusations like that about your family?

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Red_venue 7 years, 2 months ago

TO GEORGE-BRAZILLER: In response to your comment about the neighbors around Last Call having to suffer through persistent noise and living within shooting distance...I agree that's unfortunate for people that decided to move in the area before Last Call, but the new NH condo owners were sent a formal letter by Mr. Steffes inviting them to the neighborhood and awaring them that he owned a nightclub directly across the street. They were purposefully warned so that they couldn't come back and whine about it now - even though they are. Mr. Steffes has never hid what type of bar Last Call is...nobody recently moved into the neighborhood can say they had no idea about the neighborhood or nearby nightclub...and if so, maybe they should have done their necessary research before dropping a bundle on a downtown condo...

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Red_venue 7 years, 2 months ago

TO DOROTHYHR: What right do you have to insinuate that he's a bad neighbor? Do you live by him? Just because you don't agree with issues of his business does not mean you can attack him personally. I'm sure he wouldn't have any complaints from his neighbors and I am speaking from personal experience as I have been to his house with his family more times than I can count and HAVE actually met some of his neighbors. The reason he lives in the country is because he enjoys the space, quiet and privacy. I have witnessed him driving home one afternoon, where he passed a field across the street where a cow was in labor and having difficulty. No one was around and he stopped, with one of his suits on, and helped this cow in distress deliver the calf that ended up having it's umbilical cord around it's neck. He saved the calf, maybe the cow, and the neighbor farmer from losing some of his livestock. Eye witness true story...Would you have stopped and done that for you neighbor?

I think all of you attacking Mr. Steffes personally need to take a look at yourselves... Maybe you should be spending more time discussing the issue and put some of that energy into possible solutions than attacking the person and their reputation, when you really have no right and nothing to back it up with personally.

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dthroat 7 years, 2 months ago

Red_Venue-

Just why should WE spend more time discussing the issue and putting our energy into possible solutions????? Now I will not attack Mr. Steffes personally since I do not know him but ...

WE are NOT the one who runs a club that attracts the thugs from KC (and Lawrence also) to one spot every week and then make sure they leave their guns outside so that nothing "happens" inside the club's door. It is outside so IT IS NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY.

I call a giant BS for not just this bar, but all of them with that attitude. It is YOUR business that got the thugs here so it is YOUR problem. Particularly since the bar has been contacted by the city, LE, and the neighbors and NOTHING is done except to say "it is not my problem", it is outside.

That is a buch of crap. He is making money off having that club here, knowing what type of people it attacts and the problems that are caused by those people in the area and he plainly just doesn't give a s*** as long as he make money and nothing happens INSIDE so he can't be sued easily.

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ouch 7 years, 2 months ago

Wow!!! I can't believe all of these negative comments are coming from grown adults. Have you ever considered that this country was founded on rights? The right to speak freely (yes, even you negative nillies), the right to Vote? What about the rights a business owner has? Doesn't Mr. Steffes have the right to run his business? Doesn't he deserve to live a life free from defamatory slander?? What about the right to be a parent withouth having your values and principles undermined by people that haven't even met him or his family?

Seems to me that those of you who have a serious concern about the safety of your streets, should be consulting your local Police Chief, not Mr. Steffes. His bar is clearly protecting the patrons inside, it's the city's job to protect the citizens on the outside.

Maybe you should take a few minutes to identify who you are really upset with before you start shoving fingers of blame at people that have done nothing but try to protect his rights and the rights of his patrons.

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RKLOG 7 years, 2 months ago

Can't wait for the new edition of Marlboro_man3. I think Marlboro_man2 is made entirely out of Spam.

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greenworld 7 years, 2 months ago

hello everybody, let me clarify something about people that are carrying guns right now in America so everybody doesnt freak out. Right now just as many women carry guns and other people over age 40 than young kids across America. The only difference is thugs dress like thugs and women dress like themselves which doesnt come off as a criminal type. Also thugs dont always make the right decisions and act responsibly because they choose to live the thug/gang life which makes things live or die. I mean I dont feel there is to much difference in thug life and mafia life. You still always have some type of power or a gun pointing at you at all times. The difference is it might be to protect you or it could be to kill you. I mean you people are stupid acting like Last Call has had just dozens of shootings since they opened and last time I checked there was only one to date. All the guns found in bushes BS from what I have looked into only half of them where thugs or blacks since everybody thinks blacks are the ones getting arrested but just to damn scared to come out and say it which isnt true. But Last Call does primarily cater to about 80-90% of that race but I still do not believe people are pointing fingers. Last time I checked Granada had a shooting and someone got killed outside of it. Why is nobody talking about that , that wasnt Last Call and was a Rap concert. Something tells me that most the people on here that are talking negative are either jealous of Dennis's success or plain losers. Or maybe just work at all the other bars downtown and worried about Dennis running you guys out of business and you losing your jobs. I think before we start yelling thug life we need to evaluate how well of a job Dennis is doing. I believe thug life was hear long before Dennis showed up in Lawrence. Just call the LPD and ask them where they respond to the most and I bet its not all Last Call. There used to be a place called Hot Shots on Vermont street where Rick's place is and in the lower basement part there used to be a club that was pretty bad. Outside of that you got LA's that used to get 100 calls a night over to N Lawrence and of course your Haskell Ave bar called Crosstown. I saw someone pull a gun in Crosstown once and it never even made the paper so what's up with that? I think what we got here is pressure from the City Commission to have the LJWorld write all the articles of negative publicity on Dennis and his places to try and back him off his Smoking Ban lawsuit and they will try anything. Just a observation doesnt mean its true or not.

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George_Braziller 7 years, 2 months ago

Marlboro_Man2 - I don't live in an area zoned for commercial use. I have lived in my house for 15 years. The only bars on New Hampshire were the "Stumble Inn" and "Bottleneck." It used to be a quiet neighborhood - GONE.

Don't live in the condos. I think they were all idiots for paying that much for a concrete box where they don't even own the land it sits on.

I left Oread Neighborhood where I lived for 8 years to escape "all the traffic after a football game or basketball game . . . Bunch of drunk college kids cruising the streets yelling and being a nuisance."

Red_venue (Anonymous) says: Once again I DON'T LIVE IN THE CONDOS!!!!! If you people would look east beyond the western facade of Border's, Pachamammas, and THE CONDOS you would realize that there is an established neighborhood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"I agree that's unfortunate for people that decided to move in the area before Last Call, but the new NH condo owners were sent a formal letter by Mr. Steffes inviting them to the neighborhood and awaring them that he owned a nightclub directly across the street."

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dthroat 7 years, 2 months ago

A lot of topics to comment on: "Seems to me that those of you who have a serious concern about the safety of your streets, should be consulting your local Police Chief, not Mr. Steffes. His bar is clearly protecting the patrons inside, it's the city's job to protect the citizens on the outside"

WHY should the city have to deal with this?? Steffes knows the types of people his club BRINGS to this city. They are not here for the 'quaint downtown style' they are here for HIS place. We don't need them and shouldn't have to put up with the crap they bring. Oh, and when the LPD brings "heat" on that area, all you hear from him is he is getting picked on, and other posters talking about possible bad actions by the LPD for searching the cars, etc. (not to mention the helicopter lights which scared people).

  1. Why does he feel his responsibility ends at the door? -Because it DOES! He has no authority outside that front door. Touch someone and you're getting sued.

BS. That is the argument ALL bar owners have used for years and it doesn't fly. If they are your patrons you are (not legally) responsible for the problems they cause in the neighborhood - be it Oread (drunk college students) or downtown (some drunk college students or KC thugs). You can't escape community responsibility as easily as legal responsibility.

"Of course, he won't take any restrictive action as it would hurt his bottom line." -He shouldn't have to

Maybe he shouldn't HAVE to - but obviously he just doesn't care about what happens to the area - - except that he will still make big bucks and who cares who gets shot.

and Greenworld - I just can't copy everything you said, but... Yes more people are carrying guns today, women and men both. The ones carrying for protection are NOT carrying the assault rifles that have been found there and are not living the "thug life" where it is do or die. They are carrying for protection from the ones that come to the Last Call.

I could rant all night but would be better not to. If Mr. Steffes wants to earn money (HIS RIGHT) from this type of business just take it out of Lawrence. MOST (not all) of his customers are from out of town, so let him go to THEIR town. They won't have to drive so far and they own cities can deal with the mess he creates. (Or can he not get a license in their city or do they have stricter rules he doesn't want to deal with??????)

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George_Braziller 7 years, 2 months ago

Sooooooo, is this the place where I'm supposed to scream at you and tell you that "your mamma wears army boots" or are you waiting to slay me with even more enlightened comments?

Marlboro_Man2 (Anonymous) says:

George, You said: 1."Once again i don't live in the condos!!!!! If you people would look east beyond the western facade of Border's, Pachamammas, and the condos you would realize that there is an established neighborhood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

-Oh yeah, that's called East Lawrence and nobody cares about you guys anymore. Sorry you didn't get the memo. Get a real job, get some money and move out to West Lawrence and you won't have to worry about things. west side baby!!!!!

  1. "I don't live in an area zoned for commercial use. I have lived in my house for 15 years. The only bars on New Hampshire were the "Stumble Inn" and "Bottleneck." It used to be a quiet neighborhood - GONE."

-cry me an F'n river. West Lawrence used to be nice and quiet 10 years ago but now is congested with traffic and new businesses. It's called economic growth and it will eventually affect us all. If you left once before::.move again. Your going to have to move anyway as soon as the blacks feel like living in the midwest is the thing to do. Can't outrun them forever!!!

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Red_venue 7 years, 2 months ago

All the more power to ya Marlboro_Man2 (Anonymous)! Loved all your points!

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Godot 7 years, 2 months ago

Park Hetzel owns the building that houses the Last Call.

Where is the JW "human interest" article about that individual?

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lunacydetector 7 years, 2 months ago

i think that guy passed away last year.

as for my original post, didn't anyone get a chuckle out of it? i was laughing as i was writing it.

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Sigmund 7 years, 2 months ago

The last two shootings in downtown Lawrence happened outside Brothers and the Granada. Wasn't someone killed outside Henry T's a couple of years ago? Where is the outrage for these establishments? Who was shot or injured inside or outside the Last Call, I forget.

So why is all the focus on the Last Call? My guess is because he challenged the PLC smoking ban and because the hip hop music scene attracts non-white urban youth from out of town, Bar owners, like other businesses in Kansas, have little to no responsibility on what customers do either before or after they patronize their business. They have no control on what people do on the public streets.

BTW GB, how long ago did you have to buy a house in that neighborhood that there weren't bars in the area? I think that The Bottleneck and Tap Room were there before Quantril came to town.

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 2 months ago

I see nothing wrong with the picture.

What is wrong with people? You don't like Steffes (even though you've never met him), you don't like his business (even though there are others that are probably just as bad).

So, just because you don't like someone, you think a picture of a man with his daughter is creepy?

????

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ouch 7 years, 2 months ago

OK people - especially you, dthroat -

Why do you continue to insist that Mr. Steffes "BRINGS these people" to Lawrence?

Seriously, those of you that continue to place the blame on Mr. Steffes NEED TO WAKE UP! Last time I checked, he does't own a taxi service... he's not out randomly searching the streets and picking up "thugs" to bring into your city.... get a grip!

If you have a problem with the type of music, fine, don't listen. If you don't like drinking, fine, don't drink. If you don't like the tax money that each and every one of his "thug" patrons bring into your city, fine, THEN MOVE!!!!

He has just as much right to operate his bar, as you do to go there if you would just put your pointy white hat down for a minute..........

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 2 months ago

And showing off the cars you own makes you creepy?

I guess most of the people in my neighborhood are creepy, then.

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rhd99 7 years, 2 months ago

We have totally missed the point of this article entirely. Steffes & other bar owners are clamping down on gun happy patrons who want to wave their revolvers around to work off frustrations they face in their lives. Maybe they are just frustrated by the fact they can't smoke in a bar. Part of the frustration by Steffes & others comes from the fact that the city doesn't have what it takes to enforce this smoke-free ordinance. Yet another fine example of wasting tax money on ordinances that can't be enforced.

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i_have_only_valid_opinions 7 years, 2 months ago

So, the dude pretty much admits that Last Call is geared towards hip hop thugs, that there is a need for armed security in the club and that those thugs bring guns to the area (oh, but they leave them in the car). But, he won't change despite all that. He'll change from Tremors to Last Call for better $$$, but won't make any changes to better the City of Lawrence. Why should we care about him if he only cares about the $$$?

His passions are cars and money, and maybe his daughter. I think the "special room" sound like a bribe for for his daughter so that he can spend most of his time stroking his cars and toting a bullet proof vest at work.

The guy's a nutsack if I ever saw one. Someone can be educated and well spoken and still be a self-serving douche bag. Let me introduce Exhibit 1 into evidnece: Dennis Steffes.

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 2 months ago

It was Ragingbear who said the picture was creepy, but other folks seemed to agree with him, which is what I was commenting on in the first place, not your posts.

No, nobody around here owns European cars...but by the way they baby their cars, and their boats, and their campers, seems to me to be showing off...

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i_have_only_valid_opinions 7 years, 2 months ago

Marion-

Read more carefully...not everyone on here is just saying he is creepy. Some of us think he is just a bad businessman in the sense that he is pretty much giving a big salute with his middle finger to the people of Lawrence saying that he won't change until he needs to change his venue to stir up some more cash. And you expect us to support a business that is one of the most dangerous places in Lawrence? Why? Let me guess...because he is a brilliant small business owner like yourself? I guess you both do kind of have the same negative reputations. Turn a blind eye and stick together!!! No matter how ridiculous you look (and you do)!!! Plbbbbbbb.............

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i_have_only_valid_opinions 7 years, 2 months ago

I didn't say anyone has been shot and killed inside anywhere, Marion. My point is that Last Call brings the largest number of thugs out to prowl on the most regular basis. The most gun arrests have been there. Steffes doesn't care. Knows it's bad and hires armed security but does nothing to help the city of Lawrence. Knowingly brings crime into the area and says f-you to the people's needs. Can't argue that one. Not comparing shootings or killings to anywhere. Just the bad element. Please read my posts carefully before you try to pull me into an unprovoked argument about something

I

didn't

say.

Thank you.

The Anti-Marion

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dthroat 7 years, 2 months ago

Again a lot to rant about - -

Marion - - Yes you are correct (did I say that out loud??) the thugs WILL go somewhere else - - MAYBE back to KC and Topeka where they all come from to go there. Which is why I say Steffes "brings" the thugs here. No he doesn't have a taxi service (that I know of) but the ones that get talked to, say they are only here to go to LAST CALL. Oh, and I just bet they provide LOTS of tax dollars (ouch). They spend their money in HIS place (he doesn't seem to pay the tax man) and they have stolen so much that the Stop and Rob shops actually CLOSE (at least they used to) when it was time for the Last Call crowd to head back to KC.

And why are all the arrests being made on other peoples property???? Last I checked Last Call has NO PARKING LOT. (Just like all the bars downtown so that is not something special for Last Call.) The patrons have to park elsewhere.

The argument ALL bar owners spout is that if it didn't happen INSIDE their building it is not their fault is lame to me. When you can specify which bar the people are coming to and why they are in that area. IT IS THEIR FAULT THE PEOPLE ARE THERE!!! Granted this applies to all the college bars to, not just Last Call.

To me, Steffes is just someone who does what he wants and will fight anyone who doesn't agree with him. And he cares nothing about the town, as he can escape to his nice little recluse in the county with his exotic animals for his nice little daughter.

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 2 months ago

Oh, get real, people. Violence and shootings are happeneing everywhere, and it has nothing to do with the bars.

Even if Lawrence had NO bars, it would still be happening. It happens in other cities, and in residential areas, not around bars.

What made you think it would never happen in Lawrence?

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dthroat 7 years, 2 months ago

crazyks - yes, shootings happen everywhere and will definately happen here both at bars and elsewhere, BUT do you not increase the chances of one happening here by bringing MORE/EXTRA bad guys (yes we have our own) into the mix.????

If Steffes wants to cater to these types of people, let him open a club in THEIR city, not have them drive here.

Or, I just thought of another (better??) idea. Do away with the security and the armed security INSIDE the bar he runs. If they want to shoot each other, who cares???? Let him deal with it, instead of forcing it into the streets, because he knows it won't happen inside. I think I would like to see a trial period of that - as long as he is mandated to stay visible inside the club (w/o a vest). Maybe he would get a different perspective???????

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dthroat 7 years, 2 months ago

Last I checked it is a "somewhat" free county and people can go where they want. Just exactely how is the "city" going to keep them from coming here.???

Seems like the PD had been trying to do it's part, judging by the number of people they have arrested for gun charges. (Can't blame the PD when the courts fail to enforce the laws on the books.) And judging from the number of officers there at closing time (at our expense) they are trying. Why the city has not gone after a nuisance violation is beyond me (unless they remember the mess with LA's club a few years ago and are scared.)

All I am saying is the gun-toting idiots are driving here with the SPECIFIC purpose of going to his club. I think he should have to let them in and live with the consequences instead of forcing the city to put up with it.

Remember the saying, "If you build it they will come"? I say build it where they live so they con't come here.

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George_Braziller 7 years, 2 months ago

Is there not a moderator for this forum?

Why is Marlboro_Man2 allowed to make comments like:

"Your going to have to move anyway as soon as the blacks feel like living in the midwest is the thing to do. Can't outrun them forever!!!"

. . . and he/she/it is still allowed to post?

Come on moderators you must sleeping while driving to allow comments like this.

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Meatwad 7 years, 2 months ago

I wish he would move to Topeka where he can have as many stinky smoky clubs as he wants and where maybe people will be impressed with his fancy cars and gold rings and chains.

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Motivation 7 years, 2 months ago

My goodness!!! I don't think I've ever seen so many comments removed from any blog on this website. People are extremely hot on this topic. No wonder why the paper published the article.

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annoyed2007 7 years, 2 months ago

What have any of you opinionated people ever done to "help the city of Lawrence"? You are all so quick to throw stones. Have you ever heard the expression that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Why don't you all quit complaining, get off your rears and come up with a constructive solution. Until you yourselves do something to help your precious city of Lawrence then keep your traps shut. Look up the definition of the word martyr in the dictionary!

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greenworld 7 years, 2 months ago

Let's face it people, the City cannot beat Dennis Steffes and they know it. He has taken them all the way to Ks Sumpreme Court on the smoking ban and I believe has the power and money to keep on going if needed. See Steffes isnt a small rollar here, this is a millionaire folks playing hardball against the Lawrence City Commission which consists of individuals who make less than 6 digits I am sure that have to hold hands to make decisions and sit around and spend more and more money fighting the stopping of the construction of Walmart and if I must say years ago which I believe is still unsolved THe road that know one wants to go through the "Baker Wetlands/Haskell. These people can't keep up with a guy like Steffes, he's 100 steps ahead of them and will fight until the end. This guy is pretty smart and I dont think you want ever to mess with him.

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DRYFUSIII 7 years, 2 months ago

What you all need to realize is that Dennis is providing an outlet for this entertainment , if they have no place to go, THEY WILL GO SOMEPLACE, and the party may just be in your neighborhoods. Give the man as well as yourselves a BREAK!!!!!!!!! Hang in there BUBBA

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underground_voice 7 years, 1 month ago

armed guards? -they were there the night of the shooting-their leader ran like a little girl video survalience? -there is nothing other than the cameras at the front door metal detectors? -they don't even work-why do you think they still wand and pat down

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