History

For as long as Lindsay Shannon can remember, he dreamed of having his own barbecue restaurant. In October of 1990, after leaving a good job in sales, Lindsay and his wife Jo made his dream a reality by opening B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ.

BB’s Lawnside BarB-Q

Jo says, “It was a tough decision but the location had everything we needed.” Everything includes a 1950s pit for smoking, a full kitchen, large parking lot, and of course, a room large enough to serve up blues as well as barbecue.

In 1992 Jo gave up her job in advertising to devote full-time effort to managing the kitchen, employees and the books. Lindsay handles the marketing, advertising and entertainment, and together they provide the food: Lindsay’s Kansas City-Style barbecue recipes and Jo’s Louisiana recipes. Everything is made from scratch-from the sauce to the bread pudding.

BB’s main focus is barbecue, but it wasn’t long before Lindsay’s love of the blues made live music a permanent item on the menu. BB’s features live music Thursday through Sunday, and several special events are held each year, including the Sherwood Center Benefit, The Acoustic Blues Showcase, a benefit for the Kansas City Blues Society, as well as the Hope House benefit which helps abused women.

It lakes more than a love of the blues to be a good blues promoter, and Lindsay’s credentials are impressive: founding member of the Kansas City Blues Society in 1980, blues radio DJ, and booking agent for the blues stage at Kansas City’s Spirit Festival. Lindsay’s successful radio show on KCFX, 101FM, The Fox,  “The Kansas City Blues Show,” earned him the Blues Foundation’s “Keeping the Blues Alive” award for blues in commercial radio in 1992.  Lindsay doesn’t credit any particular moment for his love of the blues or barbecue.

When he was a boy, the Kansas City Blues, a farm team of the New York Yankees, played ball at a stadium close to all the barbecue places in the 18th and Vine district, and eating barbecue became part of the ritual. In the ’50s and early ’60s the opportunity to hear blues and jazz music came from AM radio stations including KPRS in Kansas City, and a Little Rock, Arkansas radio station that featured all the blues greats of the time. When Lindsay was in college he got his own smoking pit and began to develop barbecue recipes while listening to the blues.

Lindsay and Jo stay busy experimenting with different recipes and exploring new ways to promote the music they love. A Sunday matinee with the Kelley Hunt Band started this long running event, where you can now see Lee McBee & the Confessors!  The deck was added in 1999!

When you come to Kansas City, be sure to stop by this friendly, family place. It’s easy to get there. As Lindsay says, “To find it, turn right on 85th, then go south about 60 years.”

Lawnside Blues, April 11, 2000
By MARCIE RYAN

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