Kansas City has been serving up legendary barbecue for more than a century, but Jones Bar-B-Q is taking the city’s smoked meat obsession to a new level. The restaurant just added a barbecue vending machine so that hungry customers can enjoy a brisket sandwich or burnt ends even when the counter isn’t open.
Jones Bar-B-Q, which was notably featured on a episode of Queer Eye, is owned by sibling duo Deborah “Little” Jones and her sister Mary “Shorty” Jones Mosley. Typically, their restaurant is only open for lunch, which means the spot is notorious for big crowds and long wait times. The pair usually runs out of barbecue in just a few hours. A recent addition changes things entirely: a barbecue vending machine.
Atlas Obscura reported that the sisters were inspired by the regular vending machine outside the restaurant that dispenses soda. They wondered if they could make the same concept work with barbecue. The idea turned out to be a hit, especially among people who don’t make it to the counter until after the lunch rush. Burnt ends, chicken wings, turkey, and rib tips are all available in the vending machine, and sandwiches come with a cup of sauce and a side of either barbecue beans, coleslaw, or potato salad.
The Jones Bar-B-Q barbecue vending machine has been “in the works” since last winter, according to Atlas Obscura, but right now, the sisters are more thankful than ever that their idea worked. With takeout and delivery orders skyrocketing due to lockdowns to slow the spread of COVID-19, the vending machine has become even more popular, and practical, because people need a contactless way to grab their barbecue fix. And as a small business, Jones Bar-B-Q has to be creative to survive. The vending machine might just help keep Jones Bar-B-Q afloat until restaurants are allowed to reopen.
Even in the middle of a pandemic, Kansas City’s love of barbecue is still burning strong.