Our Story


Q39 is Kansas City BBQ with a twist. Innovative, chef-driven, competition-style barbeque are just a few ways to describe our full-service restaurant in Kansas City. Whether we’re grilling for six judges or sixty customers, we don’t take shortcuts; expect fresh ingredients, sliced-to-order brisket straight from the smoker, Certified Angus Beef burgers ground in-house daily, and wood-fired grill plates served from flame to table. Our customers come for the Q, stay for the craft-cocktails, and return for the service.

Award-Winning History

Rob Magee found a passion for cooking at an early age and took his skills to the highest level with a degree from the acclaimed Culinary Institute of America. While working his trade in some of the finest kitchens across the country, Chef Rob made a point to honor the tastes of whatever region he was in. In 2000, he moved to Kansas City to work as an Executive Chef for Hilton Hotels. In his spare time, he became obsessed with mastering the art of KC barbeque and assembled a competition barbeque team called the Munchin’ Hogs.

This was no ordinary side hustle; for over a decade the Munchin’ Hogs ascended to the highest level of competitive barbeque in events across the country winning dozens of local competitions and national championships and receiving numerous accolades and honors along the way.

New Kid on the block

Fast forward to 2014, Chef Rob’s dream became a reality when he and his wife Kelly opened Q39 in Kansas City’s historic Midtown neighborhood, the area’s first chef-driven, open scratch kitchen barbeque restaurant—and it was a hit. 

There was lots of barbeque in Kansas City but there was nothing like this; the pursuit of perfection from a classically trained chef creating competition BBQ from scratch. In 2017, they opened a second location in Overland Park, KS. Since opening, Q39 has become well-known to KC natives and travelers from all over the world as one of the city’s best barbeque restaurants.

After a 5 1/2-year journey with colon cancer, Chef Rob Magee passed away in November 2021. Chef Rob’s legacy lives on in the work of Executive Chef Philip Thompson.

Legacy lives on

Chef Philip Thompson joined the Q39 team in 2022 to continue Rob’s passion for competition-quality, chef-driven BBQ. He brings outstanding leadership and culinary skills, coming from years of working abroad in fine restaurants. Similar to Chef Rob, Chef Philip is a classically trained chef and spent 15 years as an executive chef at Hilton Hotels.


Culinary Career Kicks-Off
Chef Rob graduated from the Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park, NY)
Magee Meets KC
Chef Rob is the Director of Food and Beverage and Executive Chef for Hilton Hotel at Kansas City International Airport
BBQ Championship Heritage
Munchin’ Hogs enter the competition BBQ scene
Q39 Midtown Opens
The first Q39 opens on Kansas City’s beloved 39th Street
Q39 South Opens
Q39 expands with a second location in Overland Park
Leaving His Legacy
Chef Rob passes from colon cancer
A New Era Begins

Chef Philip joins the Q39 team to carry on Chef Rob's legacy

Trophy Case

The Munchin’ Hogs competed and earned dozens of awards over the course of a decade. That’s a lot of championships!

Kansas City Barbeque Society Annual National Awards

Jack Daniels World Champion Barbeque Invitational

American Royal Barbeque Contest

Notable Accolades

Since opening in 2014, Q39 has received an abundance of awards, accolades, and recognition from the media, along with appearances in national and local news.


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