The Best Barbecue in Kansas City, the Barbecue Capital of the World



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August 17, 2017


Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que and Back Napkin Restaurant Group, two of Kansas City’s leading homegrown restaurant companies, are pleased to announce the opening of County Road Ice House located in the space formerly occupied by Gordon Biersch in the Power & Light District, downtown Kansas City’s premier dining and entertainment destination.

County Road Ice House is a unique dining and drinking concept, entirely new to Kansas City. It will feature smoked meats, burgers, and tacos, and ice cold beer, served in a casual indoor and outdoor environment.

“We’re thrilled to be introducing the ice house concept to Kansas City,” said Jeff Stehney, founder and owner of Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que. “In Texas, where the ice house tradition originated, these were public places where friends and neighbors came together to relax and enjoy some good food and music. Usually with big outdoor seating areas. We want to replicate that experience here in our hometown.”

Zach Marten, co-founder of Back Napkin Restaurant Group, said “This is a whole new old thing for Kansas City. In the South, ice houses have been around for a long time; big spaces where people gather to kick back, laugh and talk, and drink some beer. It’s going to be a lot of fun to bring this concept to Kansas City.”

“We’ll be serving the coldest beer in town,” said Bret Springs, Back Napkin’s co-founder. “There’s cold. And then there will be ‘County Road cold’. It’s going to be a thing. We’re going to be known for our really cold beer.”

“One of our primary goals in managing the Power & Light District is making sure that downtown is not only a place Kansas City can be proud of but also a place that reflects what makes Kansas City great,” said Nick Benjamin, Executive Director, Kansas City Power & Light District. “With that in mind, we couldn’t be more excited to announce the addition of County Road Ice House to the District. Joe’s Kansas City BBQ is one of Kansas City’s most impressive local businesses—a reason people visit Kansas City and a reason people love living in Kansas City. We know this collaboration between Joe’s and the locally-owned Back Napkin restaurant group will have a similar impact, and we are all anxiously awaiting our first meal there early next year.” 

County Road Ice House will be owned and operated by a newly formed Missouri-based LLC. The principals of this new entity are Jeff and Joy Stehney of Joe’s Kansas City, Zach Marten and Bret Springs of Back Napkin, and Ryan Barrows of Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que.

Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que was founded by Jeff & Joy Stehney in 1996. Their original restaurant, located in the gas station at the corner of 47th Avenue and Mission Road, in Kansas City, Kansas, has earned scores of local, regional, and national accolades for its food and service. In 2006, the Stehneys opened a second restaurant at 11950 Strang Line Road, in Olathe, Kansas, and in 2012, a third restaurant was opened at 11723 Roe Avenue, in Leawood, Kansas.

Back Napkin Restaurant Group was founded in 2016 by Zach Marten and Bret Springs. Marten and Springs are the entrepreneurial partnership behind Westport Ale House, The Rockhill Grille, and the Parkway: Social Kitchen. Back Napkin is known for its innovation, hospitality, and commitment to quality.