Bygone Kansas City Restaurants: Joe’s Barn

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Joe’s Barn was a long running family style restaurant in Stanley, Kansas, a suburb in the southern KC metro. It looked like a barn. Was it a barn? Might be worth researching its origin story for a larger update. Joe’s Barn was a popular restaurant among Kansas Citians and it comes up whenever I ask people which are restaurants they miss.

Joe’s Barn was a large red barn structure with a huge parking lot, just on the northeast side of downtown Stanley, Kansas. The building was incredibly spacious inside with the capacity to host dozens of families, if not a hundred. Joe’s Barn had a weekly all-day buffet on Sundays. The big attraction was their “family style” or “country style” dinners. These typically featured broiled steaks, chicken, broiled ham steak, and fried shrimp. I recall the food as being fine. It was a popular destination for decades.

I vaguely remember eating at Joe’s Barn at least once when I was a pre-teen or teenager, probably having been taken there by my parents. This could have been in the late 1970s. But I’ve been by the restaurant thousands of times, as I went to middle school across the street and later Blue Valley High School just down the street. As a teenager, Joe’s Barn was off the radar, other than being an obvious building, because I saw it as a weekend destination for family dinners.

I know that a few, or maybe a lot more, of my high school classmates worked at Joe’s Barn during their teen years. It was one of the biggest employers in the Blue Valley School District.

What do reader’s remember about the restaurant?

“Great atmosphere and food for out-of-town kid.”

“My grandfather worked as a cook and manager for Joe’s Barn and Joe’s Bar B.Q. off of State Line Road and Blue Ridge Blvd. I remember most of these restaurants as well, like Patrikio’s. It was my favorite for Mexican food and few ever knew of it. I also lived in that area as a kid growing up as my grandfather worked for Joe’s Barn and Joe’s Bar B.Q. around that same time. I also frequented Stephenson’s and was really sad to see it go. Most good things come to an end and in these cases, they did come to an end, unfortunately. I also ate at Harry T’s and liked it as well. I worked for U.S. Sprint security back in the day and we’d always have our office parties at Harry T’s. Great memories!! Thanks for sharing this!”

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