Berkeley Restaurant KC's BBQ Closes After 55 Years in Business

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A much-loved Berkeley barbeque spot has suddenly closed its doors after more than 50 years in business.

KC’s Barbecue first opened its doors in Berkeley in 1968.

Now they say challenges are forcing them to close, but they say they’re a part of Berkeley and they’re hoping to do more in the future.

Longtime customer Michael King stopped by KC’s BBQ, looking forward to the tasty lunch he's gotten many times before.

“I like theirs because the meat is more tender, fall off the bone,” he said.

But instead of a good meal, he found a locked door Thursday. KC'S BBQ has closed up shop after 55 years in business.

“About two weeks ago, we made a decision to close,” said KC co-owner Kristen Davis.

Davis is a third-generation co-owner of KC’s and said hey had to consider their well-being, they added that keeping the restaurant going has been a struggle.

“With the state of the economy right now the increase in supplies and the decrease in people actually shopping and coming out had a big effect on us in the last six months,” she said.

They tried to make changes, but couldn't change enough to overcome the post pandemic and economic challenges.

“I’m a little sad to see that we had to make the decision to close something that is all I have known my whole life, all that my dad has known his whole life,” Davis said. “But honestly, it’s a relief, the brick and mortar are a monster for a lot of small businesses. People are trying to find funding and to hold onto and retain employees.”

Davis’ family has run the Kansas City style barbecue spot since 1968, starting with her grandfather. And then her father, Patrick Davis. She became part owner in 2017 when a fire damaged the restaurant and they moved.

More recently, they appeared on the show “Restaurant Impossible," that helps businesses trying bounce back.

Berkeley's KC's BBQs has suddenly closed its doors after more than 50 years in business. Raj Mathai speaks with co-owner Kristen Davis and Patrick Davis on this.

“It was great for a while and we were very hopeful that we would continue to survive all that was COVID and small business we definitely were hopeful,” Davis said.

But Davis added this may not be the end, as she believes when one door closes another opens.

“If we could get a food truck, that would be great. If we could get our sauce and seasoning in stores, that would be great. In the near future, we are going to have pop ups,” she said.

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