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Popular barbecue restaurant set to open in North Lawrence, expand sauce bottling business


There are all types of ways to wear crimson as part of your crimson and blue Jayhawk outfit. Trust me, I’ve already discovered that a large stain of barbecue sauce on your shirt is one way, but soon the barbecue sauce may actually be officially licensed by KU.

Lawrence-based Mr. Bacon BBQ is working to finalize a deal to sell officially licensed KU barbecue sauce. It is part of an expansion plan for the popular barbecue restaurant.

You perhaps have noticed that Mr. Bacon BBQ no longer is operating in the shopping center at Ninth and Illinois streets near the KU campus. Don’t worry, though, the restaurant plans to reopen in a new, larger location that is needed, in part, to house a more substantial barbecue sauce bottling operation.

Jeff Frye, owner of Mr. Bacon BBQ, told me recently that the restaurant will move into space at 624 N. Second St. in North Lawrence. If you remember where the Iwig Dairy store used to be located, it is in that same building.

In this file photo from Jan. 25, 2016, Mr. Bacon BBQ owner Jeff Frye preps his barbecue for a day's work at the restaurant, 846 Illinois St.

In this file photo from Jan. 25, 2016, Mr. Bacon BBQ owner Jeff Frye preps his barbecue for a day's work at the restaurant, 846 Illinois St. by Richard Gwin

The expansion will give the restaurant more room for seating. The old location only had 10 seats, and Frye is estimating the new location will have at least 20. But a good amount of space will be used for the barbecue sauce operation.

Frye has long had some sauces that evoke KU imagery, including Rock Chalk Red and Crimson Blaze. But Frye has decided to take that idea to a new level. He’s going through the licensing process to actually have the Jayhawk emblazoned on the label of the barbecue sauce. Jayhawks may not be the only mascot Frye has in his sights.

“We will test it out with Jayhawks on the label and go from there,” he said. “It is a product that is not popularly licensed in that fashion.”

But Frye thinks it could be a hit. After all, there is a lot of barbecue sauce consumed at tailgate parties and game-watching parties. He thinks the Jayhawk connection also may make the sauce more popular as a gift option, which he said is already a surprisingly big part of his business.

“We’ve already found that some of our best locations for our sauce are gift shops,” he said.

Frye said he hopes to have the new KU emblazoned barbecue sauce on the market no later than the Christmas holiday shopping season.

As for fans of the actual barbecue that Frye produces, they should expect to see that sooner. The company, which still has its catering business in operation, plans to get the restaurant open in the coming weeks. (When I chatted with Frye a few weeks ago, he had hoped to be open by now, but these projects usually take longer than expected.)

Frye is not planning on changing his barbecue style at the new restaurant.

“I tell people that it is Kansas barbecue, not Kansas City barbecue,” Frye said. “Excellent ingredients is what we are all about.”

The menu changes some, but pulled pork and brisket are staples. The restaurant also has gained some notoriety for its creation called a Pig Pie. Served in a cardboard boat, it includes pulled pork, Fritos, barbecue beans, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, Rock Chalk Red barbecue sauce, sweet-and-spicy coleslaw and bacon.

If you haven’t tried it, you either listen to your doctor way too much or haven’t gotten over to the restaurant during its fairly limited hours. The space on Illinois street was open only 10 hours per week — Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for lunch and Friday for dinner. When I chatted with Frye said he was considering expanding those hours, but hadn’t made a decision.

“We’re small enough now that I can still give personal attention to all the meat that I cook,” Frye said. “That is a big part of it for me. I believe that everything you make, you want to treat it like it is for your parents coming over for dinner.”


Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 months ago

There is a lot of parking in the back.

Ginny Hedges 10 months ago

There isn't a parking lot in back; just a dirt path around the building. Do you mean they are going to build one?

Bob Smith 10 months ago

"....The restaurant also has gained some notoriety for its creation called a Pig Pie. Served in a cardboard boat, it includes pulled pork, Fritos, barbecue beans, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, Rock Chalk Red barbecue sauce, sweet-and-spicy coleslaw and bacon.." Sounds tasty!

David Holroyd 10 months ago

And visit Dorothy when you eat pullled pork. She can give tips on Stained Glass...btw...How is your work on the windows coming along for the Mausoleum....surely you care...Lawrence is a caring and sharing community...well maybe if it benefits YOU>

Dorothy didn;'t you enjoy Trump in Phoenix...wish Lawrence could get a crowd together for any event..any event.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 months ago

First of all my studio has moved to my home, because the rent was too high. And as I explained before I don't do large projects, but I suppose your don't read my posts anyway. And I haven't seen you out there with your tool bag. When are you going to start working on it?

And if you would ever leave your house, you would know that Lawrence gets a lot of crowds together. The Sunday after Charlottesville there were hundreds of people gathered. Several hundreds gather for fun events too - City Band concerts in the park, arts and crafts shows, parades, etc. It's called community. There are even neighborhoods that gather together for social events all over this town? How well do you know your neighbors?

But since David hasn't bothered to read the story, then I will let you know that Mr. Bacon has very good food. His new place will be a nice addition to North Lawrence. Hopefully he will also be able to clean up and use the beautiful garden in the back for outside eating. You would really be surprised at this little oasis amongst a lot of industrial type buildings. It would be a great place to rent out for catered events. Good luck, Jeff. Too bad I'm not still over there. It would have been a great place to get lunch.

Don Brennaman 10 months ago

bring trump in. he will draw a crowd and he will name names here - brownie, kobie, koch. jenks, moran, yoder. set it up dh

Mark Kostner 10 months ago

Make sure that Jayhawk bars around the country like Kansas City BBQ in San Diego gets some! I'll make sure I pick some sauce up next time I'm back.

David Holroyd 10 months ago

What,??? Dorothy says rent too high>. Dorothy says there is a parking lot too. FAKE news. Come on Dorothy...rent too high in that ranshacle building....really now.

You can't do a 2x2 foot window...or repair one.?

I do leave my house...when I leave I go away where people don't color there hair purple and green and pink to be noticed..and where folks wear shoes and not flip flops...( osteoporosis is on the way!) and where people are busy enjoying the mountains, the sun and not protesting at fake get togethers....

My neighbors...I know them well....Don;t worry about my neighbors..'cause there are new ones every year...it's the best...really the best they come and go...and how well do you know the Haskell students....do you have an annual get together for them.... It would be nice...right in your front yard.

I said I would donate a $100 toward the Mausoleum if someone would match it. So far no takers...and SO FAR NOTHING from the City either..they havn't started on the roof. The city is NOT good on their word.

Promises and just think it could be a hands on experience for the Peaslee Center...but then where is the glamour in that for Mr.Markus....SAD..!!

Louis Kannen 10 months ago

Rare, the opportunity for 'smoked goodness' here at altitude...sounds like my options for 'REAL GOOD BBQ' when in LarryLand have just improved...REAL GOOD!!

And as to David Holroyds' persistent but quite obviously NECCESSARY Mausoleum comments, will SOMEBODY in authority please take ownership of this important, PENDING issue! I mean REALLY, can there be ANY viable reason why NO UPDATES are available, or is this the City's methodology of simply delaying in order to allow 'the Elements' the opportunity to make the "unforseen additional irreversible damages" call ??

David Holroyd 10 months ago

Mr. Louis.....about the Mausoleum....the city agreed to fix it....$10,000 was to fix it...according to Toni Wheeler...so why can't a simple thing like a roof be fixed? Could it be there is no glory in a roof for dead people....Mr. Markus can't put that on his resume..how dumb would that look. And Mayor Soden isn;t bright enough to bring the item forward and act on it...NOW.....it is "affordable housing" and surely Mr. Boley would step forward. I mean there are empty crypts in the place and they could be sold again... This, Lawrence, is backwards!

A chance to sell mausoluem spaces twice rarely comes about.!!!

A joint partnership with the students at Peaslee Center and donated materials could knock the project out asap.

Remember when the volunteers built Penn House a new facility. Of course not...few people around remember that.

The developers at the time did it...much to the chagrin of the East Lawrence folks...those "nasty" developers...how dare they donate their time and materials.

AND it is still there and sadly many who worked on it are dead. Rochelle,,,revive that story and enlighten the birkenstock and pink hair folks about Lawrence history when something was needed and got done.

This Porter guy who is communications honcho at the city , I understand he and staff reads posts...so why not step forward and do the right thing. The Mayor and City Manager can do it...and it doesn't need Paul Werner or Treanor to design it either. It needs a SIMPLE ROOF

And to think Elizabeth Watkins gravesite is within sight of it...even the Friend gravesite a local family that was in the lumber business and what about all those new gravesites sold behind the Mausoleum...WHAT WAS THE REVENUE for those sites for sale of the plot and opening of the plot.

The City Manager is a disgrace and each and every commissoner for not acting upon the promise...to repair it..I expected the promise to be fulfilled before Memorial Day...what's the holdup?

About REVENUE.....HERE revenue from parking meters...how's that seeking of information coming along Rochelle or even Porter Annelli (?) could answer that since Stuart Boley won't check into the matter. Remember some of the proceeds were going to "affordable housing" the housing affected by the 3.5 mill levy from the school district...

Keep those LED lights because the City Manager and the City Commission need all the light they can get....!!

Louis Kannen 9 months, 4 weeks ago

" Dear Mr Kannen, You know, Louis, as my Sworn Civic Duty not only attests but also requires, gosh darn it, I'd sure be more than happy to be of some kind of help with this Mausoleum business. Unfortunately I'm kind of almost certain that I'm really pretty busy right now, working on a bunch of other busy kinds of uncertain things and stuff. However, valuing your vote-casting Constituency as I most certainly do, dad gum it, Louis, I'll sure try to see if there's ANY theoretical possibility of somehow inadvertently attempting to keep this prior agreed upon, Bored approved, important Civic project in mind. Kindest Personally Indifferent Regards, Bob N. Weave Chairman of the Bored "

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