Long before we bottled our own sauce we were smoking at the Woodyard. Back when we just sold firewood, bricks, sand, statues, and anything and everything else, my grandfather would start a fire to cook lunch. He would throw a piece of meat on the grill and let the smoke do its work. This way, he could cook and run the store at the same time. When it came time for side dishes, there was always popcorn.
Back then the place was called Southside Patio and Wood. Before that, when my great-grandfather ran the place, we were the Southside Coal Co. My great-grandfather started the business in 1913 on Westport road just down the block from Kelley's bar where we sold coal for home stoves.
We moved to Merriam Lane in the 50s and started selling wood - hickory, oak, apple and cherry. I could find the exact date somewhere, but the history of Woodyard is a lot like the history of BBQ in general, it is a history of people and it is best told one story at a time with a little myth and no exact dates. Stories like the time when my grandpa sold a cord of wood to a guy that dialed the wrong number or the time when my grandpa had three friends over for lunch on February 2nd, and now, 55 years later, we still have a Groundhog Day party.
Woodyard Bar-B-Que started with my grandfather working his grill at lunch, feeding his customers and his friends for free, while he sold wood deliveries over the phone. My father kept it going in the same spirit of generosity and started smoking for charities and church fundraisers. Eventually my father gave in to multiple requests and opened the restaurant. We've always been a family business. And we've always been a big family, quick to welcome anyone willing to work. Through the ages Woodyard and Southside have employed countless cousins and second cousins. My sister Heidi laid the brick patio out front and my sister, Theresa, pioneered the holiday boxes. My cousin Jeff showed me how to start building the brick smoker we use and my brother-in-law Jeff showed me how to finish it. Today, my Cousin Mark is manning the pit and happy to tell you what kind of wood to use in your home smoker.
Come on down to the Woodyard! If you're lucky, when you come in you'll meet my dad and maybe hear some of the myths and legends that make Kansas City the king of BBQ and make Woodyard the best place to get it!!
I have never had BBQ this good, they out cook ALL the other BBQ joints in KC.
This is amazing - WoodYard's BBQ is one of the best BBQ places in the KC area.
"Sooo good! My boyfriend and I were looking for a place to eat last week, when we stumbled upon WoodYard BBQ. Very friendly service number one... and the food was so good!!I"
Sara and Thom