With its new standalone location Wolfepack BBQ looks to become the leader of the pack
The Kansas City barbecue scene is a tough one to stand out in. For Jared Wolfe, the co-owner and pitmaster of Wolfepack BBQ, the challenge is part of what brings his team together.
Along with co-owner Sam Parker, Wolfe has assembled what the duo views as the perfect team to sling high-quality smoked meats, tasty sides and experimental specials. And now, in their bid to rule the KC barbecue roost, Wolfepack BBQ is opening their first standalone location.
Wolfepack had previously been based out of Callsign Brewing in North Kansas City, but a twist of fate over a cup of coffee changed all that. “I was in Columbus Park, having a coffee at Cafe Cà Phê,” Wolfe says. “I was chatting with the gang over there, and they casually mentioned that the space next door was up for sale. A couple weeks later, we signed the paperwork and started getting to work!”
A can-do attitude is a good place to start, but Wolfepack BBQ has plenty of other tricks up its sleeve to help crack the Kansas City barbecue market. For one, they use some of the best quality meat you can find—their brisket comes from Creekstone Farms, and they use Duroc for their ribs and pork butts. They also cook their meat entirely in a wood smoker with no gas assistance.
Wolfe calls it a labor of love to barbecue this way, but the flavors you get are worth it. He converted a thousand-gallon propane tank to serve as his primary smoker, which will be on display and in use when the new location opens. He knows they’ll eventually outgrow it, but they’ll keep doing what they know for as long as they can.
Their standalone location is located at 910 E 5th Street in the Columbus Park neighborhood, and Wolfe hopes they can officially open their doors in mid-March. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get your hands on their food before that—their food trailer is currently parked in the new location, so you can head there for a sneak peek at the spot while you’re chowing down.
Every barbecue joint has their specialities, and Wolfe wastes no time when asked what they do best. “Our brisket burnt ends are incredible,” he says. “The meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender and the amount of flavor packed into it is so good. I would put them up against any burnt ends in the city.”
Even though Wolfepack BBQ only had their first sale about a year ago, Wolfe was a competition BBQ judge for years. He knows good burnt ends.
Another point of pride for the Wolfepack BBQ team comes from their daily specials. “We try to think outside the barbecue box for our specials. It really gives us a chance to flex our creativity and make use of some fun ingredients.” One specialty highlight is a cold-smoked lobster bisque that was so well received, it has essentially become a full-time item on the menu. Wolfe also points to a goat curry soup as another strong special the team created recently.
“I hate when restaurants I visit frequently don’t have anything new to try,” he says. “This was the Wolfepack solution.”
The Columbus Park location will have seats for about 80 guests and, besides the barbecue, will also feature 16 beer taps. Wolfe plans on having a few standard domestics on tap, but will otherwise focus on local options. There will also be a handful of cocktails available, but he stresses that they’re a barbecue restaurant first and foremost—don’t expect a late-night mixology spot.
Once the restaurant is fully operational, Wolfe plans to be open five days a week for both lunch and dinner, either Tuesday through Saturday or Wednesday through Sunday. He also plans to send the trailer out to other locations to continue serving up barbecue to different areas of the metro. They have some other plans in the cards for the new location, like patio seating, that’s on a “we’ll get there when we get there” timeline. Wolfe is excited about the future of Wolfepack BBQ, saying “We’ve built a killer team here, and we couldn’t do any of this without them.” Stay tuned to their social media to get the official opening date of their new location.
Wolfepack BBQ is located at 910 E 5th Street, Kansas City, MO 64106.
All photos courtesy Wolfepack BBQ