Arthur Bryant's Barbeque at 18th and Brooklyn in Kansas City
|Current owner(s)||Gary Berbiglia and Bill Rauschelbach|
|Food type||Barbecue Restaurant|
|Street address||1727 Brooklyn|
The restaurant can trace its descent from Henry Perry, the "father of Kansas City barbecue", who in 1908 began serving smoked meats to workers in the Garment District in Downtown Kansas City from an alley stand. Perry moved to the 18th Street and Vine neighborhood where he sold barbecue for 25 cents a slab from a trolley barn at 19th and Highland.
Charlie Bryant worked for Perry and was soon joined by his brother Arthur Bryant. In 1940 when Perry died, Charlie took over the restaurant. Arthur in turn was to take it over.
The restaurant was located for many years at 18th and Euclid Streets in the inner city neighborhood of 18th and Vine. Bryant moved the business to its present location, 1727 Brooklyn, in 1958. In the 1950s and through the early 1970s, it was visited by fans and players visiting Municipal Stadium, home to the Kansas City Athletics (1955–67), Kansas City Chiefs (1963–71) and Kansas City Royals (1969–72). The stadium was located five blocks south of the restaurant before being razed in 1976.
The restaurant has never strayed far from its unpretentious decor with formica tables, fluorescent lighting, and jugs of sauce placed in the windows. While Arthur Bryant's is known for the full range of barbecue dishes, its acknowledged specialty is burnt ends, the flavorful end pieces of smoked beef brisket; burnt end sandwiches are served open-faced at the restaurant. Its sauce (which is characterized by tastes of vinegar and paprika rather than sweetness) is sold on the Internet and by mail, and at various locations including Kansas City International Airport.
The restaurant gained fame over the next several decades, and notable diners included President Harry S. Truman. However, it became the subject of international attention when, in 1974, writer Calvin Trillin wrote in Playboy that Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City was "...possibly the single best restaurant in the world." Since then, it has been frequented by a number of famous visitors, including Tom Watson (the 8 time major golf champion is a native of Kansas City and currently lives in Stilwell, Kansas), Steven Spielberg, Bryant Gumbel, Jimmy Carter, Jack Nicholson, James Spader, Bill Clinton and in 2008 by Republican presidential nominee John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin, as well as barbecue aficionados.
Arthur Bryant died in 1982, and the restaurant is now owned by Gary Berbiglia and Bill Rauschelbach, who expanded the restaurant to the Kansas Speedway and Ameristar Casino. The location at Ameristar Casino closed in January 2014, after the restaurant was unable to work out a new lease deal with the casino.
- Perrottet, Tony (January 28, 2012). "Humble Kansas restaurant Arthur Bryant's Barbecue has some famous fans". The Australian. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- Bender, Jonathan (September 1, 2011). "Zagat names Arthur Bryant's one of the top 10 barbecue meccas". The Pitch (Kansas City, MO). Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- Janovy, CJ (September 18, 2008). "In Lee’s Summit, Missouri, John McCain and Sarah Palin refute reality". The Pitch (Kansas City, MO). Retrieved January 27, 2012. "In Kansas City last week, John McCain and Sarah Palin make the obligatory stop at Arthur Bryant's."
- "Station Casino to feature KC restaurants". Kansas City Star (Kansas City, MO). October 11, 1996. p. B2. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- Barnes, Harper (January 19, 1992). "Arthur Bryant's: Still Hog Heaven". St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, MO). p. 2C. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- Fuller, Jennifer Mann (May 5, 1991). "As weather warms, Bryant's sauce becomes a hot item". Kansas City Star (Kansas City, MO). p. E4. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- "K.C. restaurant is reopened". St. Joseph News-Press (St. Joseph, MO). Associated Press. February 22, 1983. p. 4B. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- "Death of a Legend". Kansas City, MO: Kansas City Public Library. December 28, 1982. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- "Lunch in K.C.". The Lewiston Daily Sun (Lewiston, ME). Associated Press. October 16, 1979. p. 1. Retrieved January 27, 2012. "President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn enjoyed barbecue sandwiches at Arthur Bryant's restaurant in Kansas City."
- "Kansas City Eatery Getting Spot on Map". The Vindicator (Youngstown, OH). United Press International. August 14, 1976. p. 13. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- Trillin, Calvin (1974). American Fried: Adventures of a Happy Eater (1st ed.). Garden City, NY: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-00440-0. LCCN 73011637.