It’s been six months since an explosion demolished JJ’s restaurant, killed one employee, and injured at least 14 people.
While JJ’s owners, brothers Jimmy and David Frantze, are still deciding whether to rebuild the popular restaurant, they will continue celebrating JJ’s. This year’s 28th 1/2 anniversary event will start at noon on Sunday. The street in front of JJ’s will be shut off, and tables and chairs will be set up on the former JJ’s site. Barbecue and PBR, pop, white wine and water will be for sale, and local bands — featuring some former JJ’s employees — will perform.
“You can’t hold a street party in Kansas City in February so we have held it in August for about five years. We want to have some fun and celebrate the fact that we all enjoyed JJ’s so much,” Jimmy Frantze said.
The event also will include a silent auction of portions of the JJ’s mural, which will form a back wall for the temporary restaurant during Sunday’s event. The colorful mural, by local artist Mike Savage, was put up across the street from JJ’s to give its customers a nicer view than the ongoing construction of the West Edge project. It survived the explosion, except for some pieces of glass which have been removed.
As for the return of a permanent JJ’s, Jimmy Frantze said he is still taking bids. If it is reconstructed on the site at 910 W. 48th St., it would include a rooftop deck and a terra cotta facade using some of the salvaged pieces from the original JJ’s.
“I don’t want to throw up a cinderblock building. I want it to have some character and style like JJ’s,” he said.