There is no lawn at B.B.'s Lawnside Bar B.Q., but there is an uneven parking lot with an honest-to-God roadhouse planted on it (Patrick Swayze not included). B.B's is only 15 years old, but the building it occupies is a piece of living history that recalls wilder days when south KC lay on the outskirts of city law and juke joints stayed open all night. Things are a bit tamer now, but it's still a roadhouse -- the place is small and loud, with local and national acts (most of them blues or rock) playing Wednesday through Sunday. Many of the tables are long, cafeteria-type setups, so you many get to know your neighbor while dunking a rib in the signature sweet sauce and bobbing your head to the music.
Youd think this town would have lots of joints offering the true barbecue-and-blues experience. Friendly, greasy dives that you can smell before you enter. Packed places where casually dressed patrons, surrounded by handbills from past shows, gnaw on burnt ends wrapped in white bread while tapping their toes to nationally known blues acts. But theres only one such establishment in these parts. Down south around 85th Street and Troost stands B.B.s Lawnside BBQ, a family-run operation that features live blues six nights a week and a menu full of Kansas City and Louisiana-style favorites that are smoked in the granite pit out back. While the lineup changes on the weekends, B.B.s has been home to the citys most celebrated blues musicians, such as John Paul Drum, Diane Mama Ray and Lee McBee. Definitely a place to bring out-of-town visitors, B.B.s has a large deck in front, buckets of beer and an open blues jam on Saturdays. The cover charge is always reasonable, but it helps to arrive early to secure a spot at one of the family-style tables, unless you want to stand in back by the bar.
This 50-year-old roadhouse was once located on the wild side of Kansas Citys outer limits, before the town grew south of 85th Street. But the bawdy spirit of those Prohibition-era days lives on in this combination nightclub and barbecue joint, thanks to owner Lindsey Shannons passion for the blues; local and national artists perform there five nights a week. Its a no-frills place (all the food is served in plastic baskets or Styrofoam bowls), and Shannon offers a variety of smoked meats, but we go for the succulent, tender beef ribs, slathered in a sauce flavored with apple juice and brown sugar. — Charles Ferruzza
Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa, cash
Parking: Lot Available
Reservations: Not Accepted
Entertainment: Live music every night
Sat., May 18, 9 p.m. 2013
Fri., May 17, 9 p.m. 2013
See all past events at B.B.'s Lawnside BBQ »