John O’Brien is the owner of Hammer Out Design in Independence, and formerly the owner of the Dolphin Gallery in the West Bottoms. He originally opened the Dolphin Gallery on 39th Street, then moved the business to 20th and Baltimore. He helped brand the Crossroads name and helped establish First Fridays. John was a major player in the renaissance of the West Bottoms through his involvement in the rehabilitation of the former R Bar, Amigoni Winery and the Bill Brady Gallery. John believes strongly that the creative class is crucial in building an interesting city.


Q:  What is the best thing to happen to Kansas City recently?


A: Young individuals are dreaming – we are in a renaissance of ideas and attitudes. We should support and listen to the new pathways being formed.