Gates Bar-B-Q is a Kansas City original family restaurant that started in 1946. It has grown from a single store front at 19th & Vine to a family of six up-to-date restaurants throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. This neighborhood saw the rise of the famous Henry Perry restaurant as well as the 18th & Vine Jazz District. Gates was founded by George and Arzelia Gates, their three children (Winnifred, Gwendolyn, and Ollie), and the cook, Arthur Pinkard, who had been a cook for Perry.
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There are six Gates Bar-B-Q restaurants throughout the Kansas City area. They are easily marked by their unique red roof design and sauce bottles with the "man in full tuxedo top hat" logo. Customers are greeted almost as soon as they walk through the doors with the question, "Hi, may I help you?" After the order is taken, the cashier then screams the order to the cook, indicating whether or not the meal is "to stay." The restaurant says its staff is trained at Gates College of Bar-B-Que Knowledge, better known as Rib Tech. The Gates Bar-B-Q headquarters are located at 4621 Paseo.
Since 1983, Gates has attempted distribution of their famous sauce across the country. In markets close to Kansas City, Gates' sauces maintain a substantial market share, but the distribution area has been severely limited due to high transportation costs. A number of determined former Kansas Citians around the country have had some limited success in persuading their local Walmart Supercenters to carry Gates Bar-B-Q Sauce, citing its availability in Kansas City area Walmart locations.
- 1325 East Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard - Kansas City, MO
- 1221 Brooklyn - Kansas City, MO
- 3205 Main - Kansas City, MO
- 10440 East 40 Highway - Independence, MO
- 1026 State Ave - Kansas City, KS
- 103rd & State Line - Leawood, KS
In popular culture
Gate's Bar-B-Q is featured prominently in the lyrics and video of rapper Tech N9ne's song "O.G." The title and cover of the 2010 album the song is featured on, The Gates Mixed Plate, make further references to the restaurant. Tech N9ne has also referred to Ollie Gates in numerous songs over his career.