“I’ve been wanting to do barbecue since 1984,” says Luther Saulsberry, pitmaster at Luther’s BBQ at 130th & State Line. Photo by Kathy Feist
Murray’s Becomes Luther’s BBQ
By Kristin Vaughn-Petersen
Murray’s Tables and Taps, located at 12921 State Line Road, closed July 2 for a major overhaul. When it reopened July 20, more than the appearance had changed.
The former Irish/American restaurant is now Luther’s BBQ, complete with a newly installed Ole Hickory wood smoker in the kitchen and a more rustic, industrial look in the dining area.
Owner Pat Murray shared some of the background on the transformation. He owned a barbecue restaurant for 13 years (1997 to 2010) with locations in Lawrence and Manhattan, Kan., and at the Hy-Vee at 123rd and State Line Road. It was called Pat’s Blue Rib’n Barbeque, Murray says, noting the play on words in the name.
Murray worked with award-winning pitmaster Luther Saulsberry as a consultant for the Manhattan store back then. Saulsberry, who worked for 24 years at Quigley’s in Leawood, had recently become available. After tossing around the idea of reopening a barbecue restaurant, the two formed a partnership.
Now you’ll find Saulsberry in the kitchen serving up racks of ribs, burnt ends and smoked meats with just a drizzle of barbecue sauce.
Luther’s BBQ serves a full barbecue menu along with homemade side dishes. The specialty is burnt ends, but Murray is keeping some of the same items from his former menu such as salads, burgers and sandwiches. His daughter Katie Murray Dubin remains as the general manager.
As for the established bar business? In all likelihood Murray will bring back live music once he settles in. He definitely wants to keep his previous customers, stating, “This is my background and I really look forward to pursuing this now that I have the right person to do it with.”