What’s happening in the Kansas City food scene this September
Overland Park’s newest BBQ joint features some familiar faces. Smoketown BBQ will open in late August on Shawnee Mission Parkway, in the former home of a Hawaiian plate lunch spot. Several employees formerly worked at Johnny’s in Mission, which shuttered at the start of the year. (“We are a completely different restaurant,” the staff says.) One early standout on the menu is a Smoketown Throwdown sandwich that appears to be a supersized version of Joe’s famous Z-Man: a half-pound of brisket, onion rings, cheese, sauce, plus two pieces of bacon for good measure.
If you want to sample Alabama’s unique style of barbecue there’s good news and bad news. The good news is your closest source for deep Dixie’s distinctive mayo-based white BBQ sauce is no longer in Alabama. The bad news is Moe’s is still a bit of a hike, in St. George, Kansas, just east of Manhattan. Moe’s is a casual chain that’s been listed as one of the better multi-state BBQ empires in several national rankings.
Imo’s returns to KCK
Provel paradise has returned to Kansas City. Imo’s is the St. Louis favorite known for its specialty cheese blend and fried raviolis. Kansas City had an Imo’s location in Westport until 2016, when it unexpectedly closed, leaving the central city without the cross-state fave. Lucas Commodore, whose parents have owned the south Overland Park location since 2004, will be opening a new location on Rainbow Boulevard in KCK this fall.
“We may focus on curbside and carryout initially, with delivery and limited dining to follow,” Commodore says.
“This location has been in the works for a long time,” he says. “Especially right now, when every dollar counts and the consumers are thinking through every time they go out to eat in public.”
Commodore and his family are grateful to be able to open when so many businesses are going through a hard time.
“We feel lucky that in a year where so many other businesses are closing or failing or struggling, our one store has got along quite well and we are able to open a second one,” Commodore says. “But we don’t want to take anything for granted.”
Lost and Found
Johnson County has another new brewery. Lost Evenings in Lenexa was influenced by British pubs and is housed in a large, open space. The brewery opened in late June in the Westchester Shopping Center and is owned by longtime homebrewer Patrick Davis and his wife Heather. Along with the very European no tipping model, the tap list at Lost Evenings leans heavily on British pub favorites like mild, stout and brown ale.
KC’s carryout chicken game just got a little more spicy with the arrival of The Post Chicken & Beer on Country Club Plaza. The spinoff from Jax Fish House, where the KC location is housed for now, boasts all-natural birds that are brined for hours before being fried up nice and crispy. That chicken also comes as a pot pie for chilly fall nights. Some of the Southern side offerings include biscuits, collards, hush puppies, Dijon-fennel cider slaw and cornbread.