The Osteria IL Centro family has had the pleasure of seeing Loy Edge around OIC since its inception in 1995. The well-known Kansas City man-about-town returned to KC a few years ago after a dozen years or so in LA and, on his last visit to the corner of 51st & Main, signed up as a member of the OIC Wine Club – becoming our 500th member!
Loy is known nationally as a voice over talent and has also appeared in several films as an on-camera character actor. While in LA he has written and produced for television networks and also penned comedy for multiple TV programs.
In recent years, Loy has been spending more time back in Kansas City, where he provides strategic consultation services to the local business community. He often refers to himself as an “ad man,” but it is a poorly-kept secret that more than a few high-level executives consider him something of a strategic marketing guru.
Before Loy left for Los Angeles in 2000, he was the creative force behind several of the city’s best known ad campaigns and promotions. He also designed and owned more than a few of the venerable bars, restaurants and retail concepts of the 90’s era – several of which continue to prosper today.
An example of his not-insignificant community impact is when he originated a little concept of turning art openings into a social event that included food, wine and entertainment as a promotion for KCUR. The first “First Friday” evening art crawl was actually on the Plaza and, in subsequent years Westport, finally migrating to the eclectic KC area now known as the Crossroads District.
Gallery owners eventually adopted the idea and have grown it into one of Kansas City’s most successful organic tourist attractions. According to Loy, OIC founder Gregg Johnson, “still winces at the memory of providing complimentary wine to crowds that (unexpectedly) swelled into the hundreds – hell, maybe even thousands!”
Without question, having now more than 500 Wine Club members is far more than was expected when the OIC Wine Club was formed. Loy opined, “Perhaps a plateau of this magnitude calls for a party!” The OIC brain trust is carefully considering the idea. If the scribbled notes on a very well guarded OIC bar napkin become a reality, we’re reasonably certain OIC Wine Club Member #500 will lend a hand. Stay tuned.