Sugarfire Smoke House and Hi-Pointe Drive-In are serving up something new under a new name.
The team behind the St. Louis-area barbecue and burger joints has announced its first ghost kitchen concept will debut Thu., Sept. 17. KC Bones will offers smoked spare ribs and fried chicken wings, all bone-in as the name suggests. The menu will be offered exclusively for delivery through DoorDash within a 10-mile radius of Downtown St. Louis.
While the pandemic has made ghost kitchens a particularly popular concept, especially in St. Louis, co-founder Mike Johnson says that KC Bones has actually been in the works since January. Not only does it give Johnson the chance to experiment with things that aren't typically on his menus, but it can also be a boost to the bottom line for his restaurants and for Sugarfire franchisees.
"These are things that our out-of-town franchisees can do in other states," he says. "It's to help everybody in the whole company, all over."
KC Bones offers spare ribs as opposed to the baby back ribs that are common in St. Louis-style barbecue. The ribs tend to be larger and are served in a peppery sauce after being hickory smoked and then finished over all-natural Ozark charcoal. Wings will be available starting at six at a time up to 50 per order, and come in familiar flavors like Buffalo, garlic-Parmesan and even a Nashville hot. For sides, the kitchen offers fries, onions rings and mac 'n' cheese, plus a chocolate chip cookie for dessert.
And KC Bones is just the first of what will most likely be several ghost kitchen concepts from the team. Johnson says that next on the menu will be a taco concept from one of his longtime chefs, where he'll serve up fried al pastor and birria tacos with fresh corn tortillas. Johnson also hopes that the taco concept will join his other restaurants with a brick-and-mortar location down the road.
"It's so exciting," he says.
The lifespans of each ghost kitchen concept are still undetermined. While each may run for just a few weeks, some may even happen concurrently, but for now, hungry customers will have to wait and see.
KC Bones, kc-bones.com