Henry Perry

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Barbecue, Garment District, Jazz era, trolley-barn BBQ


Illustration by Jimmy Grist www.jimmygrist.net
Illustration by Jimmy Grist


Henry Perry was a Tennessee native who sharpened his culinary chops in steamboat kitchens before arriving in Kansas City in 1907.  He sold his special smoked meats out of a stand in a Garment District alley, catering to the swell of factory laborers in what was then the second-largest garment district in the nation.  Perry’s popularity grew and he spent the Jazz Era catering to Kansas City’s most notorious in a trolley barn on 19th and Highland.  His protégées would go on to open Kansas City’s barbeque staples Arthur Bryant’s and Gate’s.