Local family-owned West Berkeley restaurant KC’s BBQ reopens after year of rebuilding

Doug Smith/Staff

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KC’s BBQ, a family-owned restaurant, reopened this June after a fire that damaged the original location last year.

Kristen Davis, owner and operator of KC’s BBQ, said the staff was devastated after the fire and held two fundraisers for a relocation.

“We are very grateful to be able to rejoin the Berkeley community and super grateful that we are open again,” Kristen Davis said.

KC’s BBQ, which was originally named KC’s Bar-B-Que, was opened in 1968 by Kristen Davis’ grandfather. It was eventually passed down to Kristen’s father, Patrick Davis, in 1987.

The restaurant’s 50th anniversary event on March 4, 2017, titled “50 Years in the Making,” was turned into a fundraising event and held at St. Columba Catholic Church. Once a new location was found, the Davis family nominated Kristen Davis to be a co-owner with Patrick Davis.

The first fundraiser, held during the last week of February 2017, took place across the street from the original restaurant location. During the fundraiser, community members bought barbecue foods, according to Kristen Davis.

“A lot of people from all over came out and helped us,” Kristen Davis said. “All of 2017, we searched for a new location in Berkeley. It was important to us to stay in Berkeley — it has a really special place in our heart.”

The restaurant’s design hasn’t changed much from the previous location, according to Patrick Davis. He added that some photographs of the old restaurant were saved from the fire, and the new location’s design is based on those salvaged pictures.

Patrick Davis added that the restaurant got a new smoker, which is used to smoke meat. The new location also has an outdoor patio, according to Kristen Davis, who said it would allow customers to enjoy the Berkeley view.

“We got a nice new place. We are enjoying an influx of new and old customers,” Patrick Davis said. “Older ones are finding out this new place and coming back.”

According to Kristen and Patrick Davis, the menu also hasn’t changed much, though Kristen Davis did note that some items have new names, and the restaurant now offers a breakfast menu on weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kristen Davis also added that the restaurant now serves beer and wine, which it didn’t originally serve at the old location.

Patrick Davis said it was “exciting” to be at a new location. He added that KC’s BBQ is a “welcoming” place for friends, family and those wanting to eat Southern barbecue.

“It feels good to be a staple in the Berkeley community and be a restaurant that people eat at and enjoy,” Kristen Davis said. “We are glad to be open again.”

Contact Suryan Bhatia at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @BhatiaSuryan.