This is the happy story of a primed location whose tenant fell through that found a unique new barbecue joint searching for a home. The restaurant is called 18th & Vine Barbeque, and it's taking over the space on Throckmorton at Maple that was going to house Herrera's, the famed Tex-Mex restaurant; Herrera's owners decided at the last minute to walk away from the deal.
But back to the barbecue. If you know your Kansas City history and geography, then you may already know that 18th and Vine is recognized as one of the cradles of jazz music. If you're skilled at the art of deduction, then you may be able to guess what kind of barbecue will be the specialty at 18th & Vine.
Founder Matt Dallman has a personal connection: Kansas City is his hometown.
"I moved here 12 years ago to marry a Dallas girl, and part of our story is that we've been doing catering," he says. "We've been doing private events for about eight years. My wife, Kimi, also runs a design firm, Switch Creative."
Dallman takes his inspiration from all the great KC BBQ places.
"My culinary perspective is that I grew up with an appreciation and love of barbecue and missed the barbecue that tastes like home," he says. "I'm self-taught but I had good chef friends. There's a feel for it and a standard you want to cook to. My ideals include the favorite haunts like Arthur Bryant's and Gates, and Oklahoma Joe's [now Joe's Kansas City] inspired me.
"What we'll bring to the table is something familiar in that aspect and something new," he says. "An important part for us is to have a bar with live music."
The target date for opening is spring 2015. Construction is underway in the location across from Old Parkland, where much development is going down. The 18th & Vine space has a second floor, which they'll make use of with an upstairs and downstairs bar. "We're calling the upstairs bar 'The Roost,'" Dallman says.
The menu will include Kansas-City style barbecue but also something they call "BBQ small plates."
"That's something we've tested and done with all of our catering," Dallman says. "If you have a party and want some brisket or grits, we have items like brisket sliders so it won't get to a place where we roll you out. You get to have a good tasty barbecue item and a cocktail and a chance to listen to live music as well."