Michael Bushnell

Columbus Park has become quite the smokin’ hot place to open a business lately, given the success of CP newcomers Cafe Cà Phê, Lily Floral Designs and Swoon on 5th Street. Now the neighborhood really will be literally smokin’ hot as they welcome Wolfepack BBQ to the old North End restaurant space at 910 E 5th St.

Jared Wolfe, co-owner of Wolfepack BBQ, hopes to be fully operational by mid-March, just in time for the St. Patrick’s Day holiday and the NFL Draft that will be in town in April.

Wolfepack BBQ has been located inside Callsign Brewing Company on Burlington in North Kansas City for the last year or so and had plans of operating a full kitchen from the Callsign space. In the end, however, things didn’t work out and Wolfe was looking for a new location for Wolfepack.

“No harm, no foul, it’s just the nature of business sometimes,” Wolfe said.

With local ‘cue circles being what they are with everyone helping each other out, Wolfe learned of the Columbus Park space through the fiancé of another local BBQ purveyor.

“She called me up and said, ‘You need to see this space,’” Wolfe said. “That was about three weeks back and here we are, keys in hand and ready to get things rolling’.”

Wolfe plans to open in stages, serving a limited menu out of his BBQ trailer that will be on site by mid-January. The real smoker and a 4,000-pound retrofitted propane tank will be installed on the property in February and hopefully, if all the City permitting falls into place, be fully operational by mid-March, with the focus on locally sourced meats, such as Creekstone Farms Beef and Pork from Arkansas City, Kan., prepared and smoked on site, served fresh in a family atmosphere.

“We will be known as a spot that provides the freshest barbecue we can at all times,” Wolfe said. “We don’t believe in reheating what we didn’t sell yesterday and trying to sell it to you fresh the next day.”

Instead, leftovers can be repurposed in brisket rangoon or cold smoked lobster bisque. Are you hungry yet?

As for the bar scene, Wolfe is quick to state that there won’t be motorcycles racing up and down the streets or late night parties.

“I know we have to kind of win the neighborhood back over a little bit, but that’s not the type of people we are anyway,” Wolfe said. “I just know what comes with that. We don’t want to be known as that place.”

Wolfe expects to carry a number of local craft beers, as well as some quality bourbons with the focus staying local.

“We’ll have some taps dedicated to your standard domestics, but we really want to focus on the local beer community,” Wolfe said. “There may be a time or two where I pull an Oklahoma or Minnesota beer, but we really want to support those folks who have supported us.”

While you’re mashing down some of that quality Q inside, take a look around as you’ll likely spot the work of some local artists gracing the walls. “We want to display some local art and maybe have a local muralist do something around the inside.” Wolfe also has plans for an outdoor patio area where folks can gather, listen to some acoustic music and enjoy a nice neighborhood gathering.

“This neighborhood just excites me,” Wolfe grinned, pointing outside to where the patio area would be. “We want to be that place where people get together and all the worries go away because they’re eating good food and you know, they get to relax and that’s what we’re about.”

For more info on Wolfepack BBQ, visit wolfepackbbq.com.