Paul and Jack’s Tavern has been a staple in North Kansas City since 1948! Many people come in and ask are you Paul or Jack and our answer is “it depends on the day”!
Truth is Paul and Jack Dunbar were brothers who in 1948 decided to open a restaurant. They chose North Kansas City, at Clay and 18th Street, and we have been here ever since. When the doors opened over 70 years ago the staple food items were hamburgers, hot dogs, and the chili, which we are still known for. In case you have not tried Paul and Jack’s Chili it is a meat based chili and is dry, no tomatoes in our chili, but a layer of beans is a must. The recipe was handed down from Paul’s wife and has not been altered in over 70 years and is reminiscent of what you may have found in the days of the depression. Customers come all year no matter how hot or cold it is outside to eat our CHILI!!
In the 1980’s Paul and Jack sold their restaurant to Donald Poole, a North Kansas City native and graduate. In the era of Don and Debbie Poole the restaurant had three major renovations. The first two renovations were an expansion of what we know today as the kitchen and then the add add on of what is known today as the Hornet’s Nest. In 2003, Don and Debbie took on their biggest project yet and built the “new side” of Paul and Jack’s. Today when you walk in the front door the dining room, meeting room, bar, and game room were all new in 2003.
Don and Debbie Poole decided it was time to retire and sold Paul and Jack’s in 2007 to Mark McNelly. Mark took the booming business over and decided to make a few add-ons of his own. He took the patio out back and added a stage, party deck and about 50 tables. In the summer season, Memorial Day to the beginning of October, he started adding bands on the patio. At first it was a few times a month but as time went on we added bands every Friday and Saturday night. Paul and Jack’s has a great music venue and musicians from all over the city come to spend time on our stage!
Once again in March of 2019, Mark decided it was time to retire and sold to long time employee (who worked for both Don and Debbie, as well as Mark) Brandi Smithmier and her husband William Arrington. Together Bill and Brandi are looking to continue the traditions of Paul and Jacks while making their own mark on this wonderful establishment and the North Kansas City Community.
With all the changes that have come to North Kansas City and all the changes that are in the development stages, to make our fine city even more prominent, Paul and Jack’s will continue to be a hot spot right in the middle of all the action.
Please stay tuned for what is in store over the next several years in the North Kansas City area and the great establishment of Paul and Jacks Tavern!