Plowboys BBQ closing all restaurant locations, signaling end of 9-year run

Plowboys BBQ is closing the doors to all of its restaurants, says its four founders are all retiring “from restaurant life.”
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 6:37 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2022 at 7:03 PM CDT
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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. (KCTV) - Plowboys BBQ is closing the doors to all of its restaurants, says its four founders are all retiring “from restaurant life”.

The local BBQ franchise closed its Overland Park location in December, citing “pandemic challenges,” leaving its Kansas City location and its flagship Blue Springs location on 7 Highway. Now those locations will also be closed permanently, effective Aug. 14, Plowboys owners announced Tuesday morning.

“We are very proud of what Plowboys accomplished: three metro restaurant locations spanning both sides of the state line, the only BBQ restaurant in the downtown loop, a franchise restaurant in Lincoln, Neb., plus five years as the exclusive barbeque of the Chiefs at Arrowhead,” said owner Todd Johns in a statement.

The founders opened their first Plowboys location in Blue Springs in 2013 and didn’t wait long to burst onto the Kansas City BBQ scene, quickly securing several awards over some established legendary BBQ institutions. Johns was named Grand Champion at the American Royal World Series of BBQ, and USA Today in 2016 named Plowboys as having the nation’s best burnt end sandwich.

Several customers said they were surprised to learn about the closure.

“I was saddened by the closing because it’s a part of the community,” said Michelle McCann. She told KCTV5 she’s been a Plowboys customer for eight years.

Plowboys was also part of Operation BBQ Relief, an effort to bring food to those affected by natural disasters around the country. They were also active in this effort during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Plowboys Foods will continue its line of rubs, sauces and seasonings.

“As we close our restaurants, the first word I think of is how grateful I am,” Johns says. “Grateful to have been a part of the long, rich barbeque tradition in Kansas City. Grateful for our fans, who loved our brand and our food. Grateful for the many vendor partners we worked with over the years. and, most importantly, grateful for our staff, who supported us in the good times and endured during the hard times, always supporting each other and working together to help create a sense of community.”

According to Johns, his staff was notified of the closure the day before the public announcement. He said he’s connected with other businesses to make sure they stay employed.

“We’re working with them to make sure everyone lands as good or better than they are today,” Johns said.