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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Plowboys Barbeque is closing its Overland Park location, located at 6737 W. 75th Street, due to pandemic challenges, the company announced Tuesday.

Plowboys Barbeque’s founder and chief pitmaster Todd Johns and partners will still be open at two other restaurant locations at 3111 S. 7 Highway in Blue Springs and 1111 Main Street in downtown Kansas City.

“By shrinking, it’s going to help us not only survive, but it will help us thrive,” Johns said. “We’re trying to be like the panther that crouches back ready to strike and that’s what we’re doing right now — bolstering ourselves, hunkering down, trying to weather this next year that’s coming.”

Johns said the closure is due to supply chain issues, employee shortages and volatile cost of food. By Jan. 1, he expects the price of ribs to more than double.

“To have to retreat is heartbreaking,” Johns said. “We’re looking out for the business as a whole.”

The Overland Park restaurant had been open since October 2019. The proprietors said the location was a hub for feeding thousands of essential workers and families impacted by the pandemic through Operation BBQ Relief.

“By being smaller and having a smaller crew we can love on our employees more, love on our customers more and love on our business more, our facilities, communities,” Johns said. “That’s really how we’re going to succeed in this.”