Showdown on Swift? New barbecue restaurant is coming to North Kansas City

Updated: 2014-03-19T19:27:34Z


The Kansas City Star

Look out, Smokin’ Guns BBQ & Catering in North Kansas City. There’s a new barbecue in town.

For more than a year, Glenn Yeager and his son Josh Yeager have been converting a small gold brick building at the southern end of Swift Avenue into Kansas City SmokeShack BBQ. They plan an April 17 opening.

SmokeShack is less than three blocks from the award-winning Smokin’ Guns, which more than quadrupled its size this year.

“I think he’s got his work cut out for him competing against us,” said Linda Hopkins, co-owner of Smokin’ Guns.

The Yeagers will be using a rub created by Glenn’s great-great-grandfather Gregory Yeager in 1867. He operated a Sedalia, Mo., cafe that often served cowboys on cattle drives, according to Yeager family lore. But instead of smoking meats over an open pit like Gregory, Glenn uses a rotisserie-style Southern Pride XLR-1400, with a capacity to smoke about 1,800 pounds of meats daily.

“Our meats are more smoky, more juicy, more better,” Glenn Yeager said. “Our brisket takes three days to process and then is smoked for 20 hours, so when you put a fork in it, it falls apart.”

Kansas City SmokeShack, at 900 Swift Ave., will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays. It will sell smoked meat sandwiches — brisket, pulled pork, sausage, ham, turkey and chicken — along with baby back ribs and spare ribs. It also will have four sides: Smokey Cheesey Mac & Cheese and CampFire beans (both smoked for an hour), along with french fries and cole slaw, and chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

“There are 14,000 people who show up in North Kansas City for work every morning,” Glenn Yeager said. “Those people who have only 30 minutes for lunch. We want to be able to get them in and out in 30 minutes.”

As for the showdown with Smokin’ Guns, Yeager is ready.

“They can continue to smoke guns, and we’ll smoke meat,” he said with a grin. “We’re all just talking barbecue smack. There’s so much room for barbecue in town, even here in North Kansas City.”

Signature beers

While Kansas City SmokeShack has about two-thirds of the building at the southern end of Swift Avenue, the remaining space is going to two self-described beer nerds and friends.

Josh Collins and Kipp Feldt are setting up Big Rip Brewing Co. They plan to open a production facility and tap room there in May.

Big Rip, at 216 E. Ninth Ave., will have two signature beers — the Great Conjunction, a cherry Hefeweizen, and Hathor’s, a sweet brown ale. Other selections will include Irish Red Ale, Milk Stout, Banana Cream Ale, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Ale and Black Lager. It also plans to serve wine, some spirits and a gluten-free raspberry beer made from sorghum.

It will not serve food but will let customers bring in something to eat, including barbecue from neighboring SmokeShack.

Quick bite

Just over a year after opening, Boot Ristorante will be sold to new owners who plan to open with a new theme in the space this summer.

Aaron Confessori and Richard Wiles opened the Italian-inspired restaurant (named after Italy’s boot shape) in early 2012 at 415 Westport Road, next to their Westport Cafe & Bar.

The space once housed a Papa Keno’s Pizzeria but had been completely remodeled for Boot. It was to close after business at 1:30 a.m. Friday.

To reach Joyce Smith, call 816-234-4692 or send email to

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