Backfire BBQ set to open Monday in the Legends

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Get your motor running and get out of the driveway -- Backfire BBQ cranks it up in the Legends on Monday, December 7, at 7 p.m. for a Grand Opening Party.

It's biker theme is the vision of Steven Schussler -- the restaurateur behind Rainforest Cafe and T-Rex Cafe --  built around the Orange County Choppers brand. The motorcycle company's founder, Paul Teutel Sr., is slated to help kick-start the festivities on Monday. He's also said to be bringing the film crew from his family's hit reality show, American Chopper.

The experience at the 9,000-square-foot restaurant will begin with the two custom built choppers rotating on top of two water fountains outside. The blue neon signage continues into the interior, with dimmer switches to mute the lights. With 14 flat-screen televisions and close to $1 million in NASCAR and motorcycle memorabilia, there's a lot to see once you're inside.

The menu was designed by Chicago-based Levy Restaurants, a

group that runs food service operations at Arrowhead

Stadium and the Sprint Center. It features a variety of barbecue wings (Atomic, buffalo, Chinese and Thai flavored) and an eclectic mix of starters, including fried green tomatoes, chipotle deviled eggs and queso dip.

In addition to blue cheese burgers and bacon cheddar burgers grilled over hardwood coals, there's the Vintage Veggie Burger (grilled Portobello mushroom, provolone and cilantro pesto) and the KC Rocker Reuben (smoked brisket, slaw, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing on Texas Toast).

But the focus is on barbecue options from the smoker, which Schussler

maintains is the largest indoor smoker in the state of Kansas: ribs,

brisket, pulled pork, and chicken, along with the traditional sides

(mac n'cheese, corn bread, and smashed potatoes).

"Middle-class America loves sophistication. This is not a peanuts-on-the-shell type of place," says Schussler. "It's shining chrome and phenomenal food. It takes a big set to open a barbecue place in a barbecue town."

This is the first in what Schussler plans to be small series of specialized franchises. He puts the number at "less than 10."
 
"I wanted to build a classy restaurant that showed what I know that people from all walks of life like the feeling they get from the open road," says Schussler.

On Monday, he gets to show Kansas City, Kansas, exactly what that looks like.

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