By Michele Walters, Vice President SBA Commercial Relationship Manager, Core Bank
If you lived ‘North of the River’ as we Kansas Citian’s like to say, chances are you’ve been to Paul and Jack’s for lunch, dinner, a family reunion, birthday party or maybe to see a local band. For those of you south of the river, let me introduce you to a North Town tradition… Paul and Jack’s Tavern located at 1808 Clay Street, North Kansas City, Missouri.
Paul and Jack’s Tavern
Paul and Jack’s is located in North Kansas City, just around the corner from Chicken and Pickle and Cinder Block Brewery. While both of these businesses are fairly new to the North Town landscape, Paul and Jack’s is a landmark established in 1948 by two brothers… Paul and Jack Dunbar.
Over the years, the legacy has continued through two more owners who each added their own flair to the menu and service. And the last one even added an outdoor stage with weekend entertainment! To sum it up, Paul and Jack’s is reminiscent of a famous bar in Boston “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”.
The staff greets patrons at the door saying “Welcome back Bill”, and knows most orders before folks ever sit down… and if you like your fries extra crunchy, you need to order them ‘Sal Style’. (Sal is a favorite regular and famous for Sal’s Philly Cheese Steak that’s on the menu!)
Recently, I was given the opportunity to meet the new owner of Paul and Jack’s… Brandi Smithmier. As a foodie and a lover of Philly Cheese Steaks I was excited for the opportunity. I’ve worked with many business owners on some really cool projects, but this was different. Paul and Jack’s is a true institution woven into the cloth of North Town. And Brandi is a big part of that story, spending most of her adult life working at, or involved in, the business.
As I was working with Brandi on her SBA loan, I would visit her at the restaurant. Everyone that walked in knew her. At their annual customer appreciation event, people were flooding in. Brandi, and her husband Bill, maneuvered through the chaos directing staff and making sure that everything was in place. You could tell she had quite a few of these under her belt.
During a recent visit, she raced over to a young lady holding the cutest little girl (her sweet little eyes were amazing!) and swept that little girl into her arms and began to parade her around the tavern. You would have thought she was Brandi’s, but she was the daughter of one of her employees.
Snake Saturday (another North Town tradition) is just around the corner. All sorts of folks will visit Paul and Jack’s for Sal’s Philly Cheese Steak, a green beer, or maybe for one of my favorites the Southwest Chicken Salad. It will feel very similar to last year, with the same family welcoming everyone through their doors. I don’t know much about the original owners, Paul and Jack… but I do know that their legacy is in good hands… congratulations Brandi!