TJ turns ten

How does a place known for live music celebrate its 10-year anniversary? 

Yeah, you’re already there.

The recent all-day live music extravaganza at TJ Leland’s was more than just an anniversary celebration, though. It was a testament to teamwork, hard work, and a community that supports local dreams.

“We appreciate our community and that TJ Leland’s is Pittsburg’s best kept secret,” Terri Kutz, co-owner, said. “TJ’s has been a labor of love for John (Kutz) and I, and without it, we wouldn’t have met all the customers, bartenders, and musicians we consider friends and loved ones.”

Terri and John opened TJ Leland’s in 2012 to provide Pittsburg residents with a cool place to enjoy friendship, a good drink, and live music. The couple has owned the building at 108 W. 6th Street since 1993. 

The name of the pub was inspired by history and family. Their daughter Loren suggested the name TJ Leland’s as a combination of the owners’ initials and as an homage to the building’s past as the historic Hotel Leland.

Terri said customers and visitors alike enjoy the historic features inside the Leland’s. 

“TJ Leland’s is known for its historic location,” she said. “Patrons of TJ’s have always appreciated the exposed brick walls, hardwood floors and the barback, which was built by John with lumber from the demolished Masonic Temple.”

Terri said the pub’s first 10 years has “flown by”, and she cherishes the memories made at the pub.

“It has been amazing to watch so many ‘kids’ grow up during these past 10 years,” she said. “To be known to them as Mama T or as someone’s Pittsburg mom is truly a gift.

“We are even known for being the place to go to meet that someone special. Numerous couples have met at TJ’s and found their partners, and that is truly a blessing for John and me.”

TJ Leland's

“We appreciate our community and that TJ Leland’s is Pittsburg’s best kept secret”

The May 28 anniversary event featured several local bands who have performed on TJ’s stage over the years, including Thunder Mug, Bill and Monica’s Excellent Adventure, The John Waynes, The Shane Duling Band, The Bends and more. 

“We enjoy live local musicians, traveling bands, and even had a band from Germany perform here once,” Terri said. “John and I wanted our regulars to come and enjoy some bands that played here 10 years ago and some that are relatively new to TJ’s.”

The celebration also featured a cornhole tournament and food trucks. 

“Thanks to the State of Kansas and the City of Pittsburg, common consumption areas are now feasible,” Terri said, “and a street party was the only way to go. The City of Pittsburg has backed TJ’s and our other ventures, and Pittsburg’s citizens always support local businesses.”

Check out TJ Leland’s online on Facebook.