Five years after opening in Riverside, locally owned Hawg Jaw Que & Brew has moved to North Kansas City.
Family-owned Silvio’s Foods in Riverside purchased the business in late 2014 and brothers Sam and Nick Silvio operate the barbecue. They reopened the restaurant Monday at 900 Swift St. in North Kansas City.
They also own the Northland’s Em Chamas Brazilian Grill.
Hawg Jaw serves brisket, burnt ends, pulled pork, ham, turkey and sausage, along with smoked wings and barbecue nachos.
Specialties include the Irish Hawg (with smoked corned beef, smoked sausage, Swiss cheese, spicy sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing on toasted marble rye), the Slaw Dog (all beef hot dog with pulled pork and Buffalo coleslaw), and the Spud Deluxe (a stuffed potato with pulled pork, topped with chipotle sour cream, cheese, green onions and red peppers).
It also has a catering menu with “brown bag” lunches and a barbecue buffet.
“We had already leased the spot to use as a commissary for caterings and had been playing with the idea of opening a second Hawg Jaw, but then we had to relocate,” said Sam Silvio.
The brothers said they were forced to close the Riverside restaurant after a dispute with the Platte County Health Department.
They said they were updating their septic system to the city sewer system earlier this month and were just about a week away from completing the process when the health department ordered them to close until the project was completed, even though it “was no threat to the environment or customers.”
They posted this statement on their Facebook page: “Hawg Jaw feels they have done this as a punitive measure and not because of public health concerns. With this closure, they forced us to lay off or terminate permanently all employees....” and Hawg Jaw directed concerns to the Platte County Health Department.
The health department said Hawg Jaw had 18 months to finish the project and they extended the deadlines several times. When Hawg Jaw’s health permit expired at the end of the year, the health department gave the restaurant another week to complete the project. When it still wasn’t completed by Feb. 9, the health department issued a closing order after the lunch rush.
“When we were first informed, we had to close them once for a couple of hours when there was ‘surfacing sewage.’ They had a little more than 18 months to fix the problem and connect to sewers,” said Brandi Moritz, food safety program manager for Platte County Health Department.
Sam Silvio said: “Those timelines are correct and the first phase was completed in August for $17,000. But this is something we were unaware of. So we bought a business not knowing it had a $50,000 problem for a building we didn’t own. On top of it, we were in the levee district so everything needed to be approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”
He said the cost for the second phase went up 75 percent from the original bid and even then, workers couldn’t get to it until after the first of this year.
Kansas City SmokeShack BBQ and El Burrito Loco Mexican Cafe had previously operated in the building at 900 Swift. The Big Rip Brewing Co. also operates in the building.
“We will be doing some cross promoting with the Big Rip and they will be serving our barbecue,” Sam Silvio said.
North KC tap room
In 2015, Kiley Sutter opened VeloWagon, a mobile bicycle repair shop in a 1969 Volkswagen bus. It also is equipped with four beer taps so he can set up at events around town.
Now he also will have a permanent location.
Sutter is teaming up with Steve Borden, of Norman, Okla., to open VeloGarage and Tap House at 1403 Swift St. in North Kansas City. An early March opening is scheduled.
The taproom, which will seat 99 people, will serve craft beers and snacks including pretzels and Dēz Nüts Kansas City artisan nuts.
It also will have a bike repair shop and the owners will organize sponsored bicycle rides around the city.