Shannon Kimball proudly pulls out a slab of juicy ribs and places them on a cutting board.
He’s doing test runs for his new downtown Parkville barbecue, Pullman BBQ, which will have a limited run for Parkville Days, starting at 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Then it will shut down for a few weeks as Kimball puts finishing touches on the new decor before a mid-September opening.
Kimball, founder of FireBug BBQ, is collaborating with Fireside BBQ in Overland Park. Initially, a few items from each company will be featured on the menu, including ribs, sliced brisket, burnt ends, pulled pork, smoked turkey and a flame-grilled burger.
Later Kimball plans to bring in guest pitmasters, maybe a regionally known barbecue or a winner at the American Royal, for a featured menu that could run several weeks.
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Pullman BBQ is taking a 3,500-square-foot building at 100 S. Main St., with a Pullman passenger train on one side, a caboose on the other.
The caboose will be a retail area carrying some of the artisan crafted products that Kimball co-packs and distributes through his Flavor Trade LLC — beef jerky, smoked nuts, condiments, sauces and dips, rubs and spices.
Flavor Trade’s production facilities also will relocate to the new building.
Kimball was raised on a Kansas cattle ranch, and has been barbecuing since he was about 4 years old, according to his parents. He has been selling his award-winning sauces since 2009, using a variety of ingredients, including raw sugar, caramelized onions and fresh berries, as well as a special blend of spices.
He named it Firebug after his love of setting spring pasture fires on the farm and his love of firing up the barbecue pit.
Several restaurants have operated in the Parkville building, selling everything from cheesesteaks to gyros to hot tamales. But that hasn’t deterred Kimball.
“Over the past few years it has become more of an antiquing and walking destination. We’ve spent a lot of time researching the traffic flow and decided it was a good fit,” he said.
Other Parkville updates
New owners started renovating the 8former Power Plant Brewery & Restaurant with plans to open The Local Eatery & Pub in January. It would offer buffalo burgers, fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a fried green tomato club, as well as live music.
But it never opened, and work has stopped seemingly in mid-progress with tools left in the space. A “for sale” sign is in a window of the 8,000-foot-building (4,000 square feet on each floor) at 2 Main St. The Local Eatery owners couldn’t be reached for comment.
The building, circa 1918, is listed for $750,000 but also is for lease.
“I think that building has the opportunity to be the heart of downtown Parkville, when a train goes by the building hums a little bit and there’s a really sweet upstairs patio,” said Josh Haith, senior sales associate with Haith & Company Inc. in Overland Park, broker for the building. “It’s large but it needs someone to put some love into it, maybe a brewery with pizza and live music.”