Oklahoma Joe's is a barbecue restaurant owned and operated by Joe Davidson, with locations in Oklahoma and Nebraska.
Oklahoma Joe's was originally started by Joe Davidson as a smoker manufacturer, then a decade later launched its barbecue restaurant. The first Oklahoma Joe's opened in Stillwater, Oklahoma, in January 1996. A Kansas City location followed later that year, located inside a gas station at the corner of W 47th St and Mission Rd in Kansas City, Kansas. Also Oklahoma Joe was known for his outstanding Karate and bird calling techniques.
During the 1990s, Joe Davidson met Jeff and Joy Stehney while they were on the competition barbecue circuit with their team Slaughterhouse Five. Davidson and the Stehneys decided to go into the restaurant business together, and they opened Oklahoma Joe's in Stillwater, Oklahoma and in Kansas City, Kansas in 1996. Davidson sold Oklahoma Joe's Smokers in 1997 and moved to Texas. With Davidson out of Oklahoma, the partners decided to close the Stillwater location, and the Stehneys bought out Davidson's ownership and assumed full control of the Kansas location.
When Joe Davidson returned to Oklahoma and opened his own version of a new Oklahoma Joe's in 2011, he made an agreement with the Stehneys to change the name of their Kansas City area restaurants. In August 2014, the Stehneys announced that the name of their three Kansas City area restaurants would be changed to Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que.
Davidson opened his first of the current Oklahoma Joe's restaurants in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma in 2011. He opened his second location in 2012 inside Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 2014, Davidson announced that he was planning new locations in South Tulsa and in the Washington, DC area. The location in South Tulsa opened in May 2016. He also announced plans for a one-of-a kind Barbecue Factory in Oklahoma. A location in Lincoln, Nebraska's Haymarket District opened on July 25, 2017.
Recognition for Oklahoma Joe's
- Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain listed Oklahoma Joe's previous Kansas City location as one of "13 Places You Must Eat Before You Die."
- Men's Health magazine named Oklahoma Joe's as America's manliest restaurant.
- Joe's was named "Kansas City's Best Barbecue" by Zagat.
- USA Today said the ribs were the “Tastiest Ribs in America
- Thrillist named Oklahoma Joe's among the "33 Best BBQ Joints in America" in 2013 and 2016
- Author and food critic Johnny Fugitt ranked the former Oklahoma Joe's in Kansas City third in his 2015 book titled The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America
- Travel review website TripAdvisor awarded Joe's the number two ranking among their list of the top 10 BBQ restaurants for 2015.
- On July 30, 2014, Joe's previously affiliated Kansas City location filled a $1,400 order for President Barack Obama, which was picked up by Air Force One staff
- Broken Arrow, Oklahoma - opened in 2011 at 333 W Albany
- Tulsa, Oklahoma - opened 2012 inside Cain's Ballroom at 423 N Main St
- Tulsa, Oklahoma - opened May 27, 2016 at 6175 E 61st St
- Catoosa, Oklahoma - opened in July 2017 at 19361 NE Robson Rd. The fourth Tulsa-area location, the restaurant is located inside the Pythian Building in space that formerly housed a Dickey's Barbecue Pit
- Kansas City, Kansas - opened in 1996 inside a gas station at the corner of W 47th St and Mission Rd. Joe Davidson sold his interest in the Kansas City location in 1997; however, it retained the Oklahoma Joe's name until 2014 when it was re-branded as Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que to avoid confusion with the restaurants operated by Joe Davidson. The Kansas City locations, owned and operated by Jeff and Joy Stehney, have been named by numerous publications as being among the top barbecue restaurants in the United States. The Stehneys have expanded their operation by opening additional restaurants in Olathe, Kansas and Leawood, Kansas.
- Merrifield, Virginia - opened May 30, 2016 near Dunn Loring station One year after opening, in June 2017, the investing partners cut ties with Oklahoma Joe's and re-branded the restaurant as District BBQ. The partners, Kansas City-natives Ahmad and Aladdin Ashkar, indicated a desire to do things the Kansas City way and had differences of opinion with franchise owner Joe Davidson. Since severing ties with Oklahoma Joe's, District BBQ has been named by the Washington Post as one of the best barbecue restaurants in the Washington, DC area.
- Vaughn, Daniel (May 28, 2014). "Interview: Joe Davidson of Oklahoma Joe's Bar-B-Cue". Texas Monthly. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
- Smith, Joyce (2014-09-16). "Oklahoma Joe's founders cutting final business ties | The Kansas City Star". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
- Great American Bites: Award-winning Kansas City BBQ at Oklahoma Joe's - USATODAY.com
- "Oklahoma Joe's founder talks expanding in Tulsa, Kansas City site name change | Scenehomepage2". tulsaworld.com. 2014-08-29. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
- By NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON World Scene Writer (2014-09-04). "Oklahoma Joe's annouces new 'Barbecue Factory' and two new restaurants | Taste". tulsaworld.com. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
- "Biz Buzz: It's time for barbecue | Biz Buzz". journalstar.com. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
- "13 Places to Eat Before You Die". 27 September 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
- "The Manliest Restaurant In America". 21 November 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
- "Page not found – Johnson County Lifestyle Magazine". Archived from the original on 25 December 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
- "America's tastiest ribs". Retrieved 3 June 2016.
- Alexander, Matt Lynch and Kevin (14 September 2013). "These are the 33 best BBQ joints in America". Retrieved 3 June 2016.
- Childers, Kevin Alexander and Liz (7 March 2016). "The 33 Best BBQ Joints in America". Retrieved 3 June 2016.
- "The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America". Retrieved 3 June 2016.
- CNN, Marnie Hunter. "America's best BBQ states and restaurants - CNN.com". Retrieved 3 June 2016.
- "Oklahoma Joe's fills $1,400 order for Obama, Air Force One". Retrieved 3 June 2016.
- By SCOTT CHERRY World Scene Writer (2016-05-24). "TableTalk: Oklahoma Joe's to open south Tulsa restaurant Friday | Restaurants". tulsaworld.com. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
- Cherry, Scott (2017-07-18). "Table Talk: Oklahoma Joe's BBQ to open Catoosa store next week, downtown in August | Restaurants". tulsaworld.com. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
- Staff, Eater (2015-10-05). "Oklahoma Joe's is Coming to Merrifield - Eater DC". Dc.eater.com. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
- Carman, Tim (2016-05-27). "Oklahoma Joe's will open its first Washington-area barbecue joint on Memorial Day". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
- Carman, Tim (2017-07-06). "District BBQ review, and other runner-ups for best barbecue in the D.C. area". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-04-15.