Magee said he looked for three things when selecting his second location: an already established area with plenty of residents, office buildings for lunch customers, and hotels and highway access for tourists and business travelers.
The former Hayward’s Bar-B-Que space at 11051 Antioch Road, just south of Interstate 435 and across from Corporate Woods as well as near other office buildings and neighborhoods, met all three requirements.
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Q39 South is scheduled to open at 11 a.m. Monday in the 7,191-square-foot freestanding building. It has been completely remodeled with an urban-rustic decor by Realm Architecture + Design, which also did the original location.
But in three years of running the 39th Street restaurant, Magee said he’s learned a few things that could make it more efficient, and he’s implemented those at Q39 South.
The separate to-go area is three times as large as the 39th Street location. A window looks into the temperature-controlled butcher room where customers can watch meat being prepared daily — brisket is ground for burgers and pork for sausage; meat is trimmed to Magee’s specifications and prepared to be seasoned for the pitmaster; pork and chicken are brined; and chicken breasts and wings are marinated.
The kitchen can cater meals for up to 3,000 people for off-site events, and the smoker capacity has more than doubled. Servers also can pick up chilled water at a separate station to speed up service.
He even put baby changing stations in both the women’s and men’s restrooms, which are larger than at the 39th Street location.
The dining room seats 210 people and includes a semi-private dining area that can seat up to 24 people. It also has a patio with a fireplace and a full-service bar serving specialty cocktails, beers and wine.
Q39 offers two cooking styles: Barbecue cooked using hickory wood in indirect heat, used for heavier meats such as pork shoulder, chicken and ribs, then seasoned with Q39 sauces; and oak wood-fire grilling for lighter dishes such as hamburgers, steak and seafood.
The scratch menu includes shareables such as pork belly and sausage corn dogs and bacon-wrapped shrimp; soups and salads; brisket burgers; specialty sandwiches, including the Triple Threat (with sausage, pulled pork, pork belly, apple coleslaw and barbecue sauce on a toasted bun); and competition barbecue plates such as the Jumbo Beef (with short rib with white bean cassoulet, seasonal vegetables and barbecue sauce). Wood-fired grilled plates include salmon and Kansas City strip.
Magee has won several awards since he started competing in 2002, and some of those are proudly displayed in the dining room. But he also spent three decades working in food and beverage for top area hotels, where he honed his operational skills.
“When I was growing up I always wanted to be on the winning team. You don’t win the World Series without time and effort,” Magee said. “And you’ve got one shot when you open up a restaurant. Everything matters — hot food hot, cold food, the best barbecue, the best service and a great environment that we keep clean.”
Hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Hayward’s Pit Bar-B-Que relocated to Lenexa in 2016.
Check out more than 100 area barbecue offerings in The A-Z list of Kansas City-area barbecue food trucks, restaurants.