Barbecue in Boulder, by way of Kansas City

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Okay, so this one, I did not expect.

For quite a while after Kevin Taylor shut down the Boulder outlet of his Prima brand -- the one in the big, lovely space at 1801 13th Street, in the One Boulder Plaza development just spitting distance from the site of the Boulder Farmers' Market -- I wondered who was going to take over the spot. Granted, the One Boulder project had suffered some fairly serious setbacks, losing restaurants that should've been slam-dunks, and for a time, it just seemed as though Boulder itself had reached its carrying capacity for upscale eateries.

During that time, the ex-Prima space was being used to host private parties for moneyed Boulderites, and was dark more often than not.I figured it would be picked up by some young chef out looking for a first location--a place to fail in, more or less, but in which to fail gloriously. 

If asked, I would've laid money on some greenmarket operation, something that would truly take advantage of all the fresh produce and what-not being hawked virtually right outside the kitchen window. What I didn't expect?  A barbecue restaurant. 

But that's just what moved in three months ago -- a second location of The Rib House (the eight-year-old original is in Longmont), basically a straight-up K.C. rib shack brought to the area by Kansas City natives Tracy and Merry Ann Webb.

And I could not be more thrilled. Because now that I think about it (and have tasted it) a bit more pork and smoke and soul might be precisely what Boulder needs.

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