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Four American Royal winners will get to operate downtown restaurant

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The American Royal Barbecue contest coming up next month is known to crown some barbecue champs and give them a boost in street credibility.

But this year, four lucky winners will actually get their own place on the street, a chance to run their own barbecue restaurant in the Power and Light District.

People from Power and Light and the American Royal didn't want to speak on camera until the official announcement next week. But they did tell us that the venture called the American Royal Barbecue Restaurant would move into the old Genghis Grill on Main Street that's been closed for more than a year now.

The four winners will each have three months to operate the restaurant, rotating throughout 2014.

It's a partnership between American Royal and the Power and Light District, but American Royal said P&L will front the costs for the restaurant space, plus equipment, staff and food.

The four competing chefs will come up with lunch and dinner menus and oversee the restaurant. They'll be expected to live in Kansas City for the three months they're running the place. They'll earn $600 a week and, at the end of next year, the most successful of the four will earn a $25,000 prize.

People walking on the P&L streets and neighboring business owners said they are excited about the buzz such a different concept could bring to the Power and Light District.

"Bring something else in, kind of promote Kansas City a little bit more I think would be good, would help a lot and bring more locals in too I think," said visitor Terri Gimlin.

"Just having something a little bit different down here, to kind of infuse the barbecue culture into the Power and Light District is going to be a great thing for Kansas City, because we have so many tourists that come through this area that want to know where the great barbecue restaurants are and we're having to send them a few miles away, so it's going to be a nice thing to have it right across the street," said Randall Schneck, the general manager of The Garment District.

Chefs or teams wanting to apply need to:

  • Fill out a written application.
  • Enter in the 2013 Oklahoma Joe's Open BBQ Contest held during The American Royal World Series of Barbecue.
  • Create and prepare a meal for six including ribs, brisket, another meat and two sides.
  • Pay a $50 entry fee.

The meal will be served to a panel of judges Friday Oct. 4 and the winner will be announced the following Sunday at the Oklahoma Joe's Open Contest Award Ceremony.

The partners hope to make this an annual part of the American Royal Barbecue contest every year from now on.

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