KANSAS CITY, MO. – Mention Kansas City people in other parts of the country and they probably think of the city’s famous barbecue.
Mention Kansas City BBQ and many will say Gates Bar-BQ is one of the best.
The restaurant had humble beginnings, beginning in the late 1940s when George Gates traded a job with the railroads to cook quality grilling, leading to the opening of Gates Old Kentucky or “Gates Ol ‘Kentuck” on the 19th and Vine.
After several name changes, relocations and upheavals, the company developed into what the Kansas Citians now know as Gates Bar-BQ. The company now owns half a dozen restaurants on the subway.
The black subway bank helps color communities develop financial clout and build wealth
George Gates II, his grandfather’s namesake, said barbecuing is a family tradition and they don’t plan to stop anytime soon.
“Seventy-five years is a long time to be in business,” he said. “But the restaurant business is something special.”
Gates said the experience begins as soon as customers walk through the door when they are greeted with the greeting message, “Hello, how can I help you?” that the company said makes them unique.
Then it’s time to eat.
“The flames go up and the juices go down and it hits the flame,” said Gates. “We only cook with feeling.”
Henry Perry Day: Kansas City Honors the Black BBQ Master who Feeded Thousands for Free
The restaurant has flavors known to the Kansas Citians, including pork ribs, brisket, and chicken wings.
For those who can’t make it to the restaurant, Gates Bar-BQ condiments and sauces are available at many local grocery stores. Gates said these additional items like Dubai have been shipped all over the world.
“You can go to any grocery store, buy a bottle of sauce, read the instructions, and have it there,” he said. “It may not be exactly right, but you got it.”
But the food isn’t the only thing that makes Gates unique. As a black-owned company, family and community are two of the main values and some of the many things that make customers return.
Oldest black settlement west of the Mississippi tucked away on the Kansas prairies
“This community has embraced us, the black community and the white and all the colors in between,” said Gates. “We’re just delighted to represent the community with pride and excellence.”
These values and good food will strengthen their legacy for generations to come.
“It’s quite an experience, with the end being a taste that stays in your mouth after you go,” said Gates. “When you say gates, you mean grilling.”
Suggest a correction
Suggest a correction