Kirby’s becomes KK’s BBQ

Change in ownership brings new ideas but much of the same great food
By Alexandra Cannon
Special to The Mexia News
Kirby’s BBQ has been a favorite eatery for citizens of Groesbeck, Mexia and beyond for more than 30 years. Instead of closing its doors when he decided to retire, Kirby Hyden passed the gauntlet to Kent Kendall and KK’s BBQ was born.
“I’ve been working with (Kirby) like a month and a half, early in the mornings. I’d get here for meats at 5 and then I’d go to beans at 8,” Kendall said. “I got a lot of training from him so I’m pretty comfortable with it.”
Kendall and Hyden have been friends for years, and he remembers the conversation early one morning that led to him taking ownership of the beloved BBQ joint. He had reached out to Kirby for help cooking a few briskets to take down to Houston, where he and some others would be singing for and feeding combat veterans at Camp Hope. After hearing who the briskets were for, Kirby cooked them free of charge.
“I met him up here about 6 o’clock one morning and watched him cook for a while. He said ‘I know you used to be in the restaurant business. Have you thought about getting back into it?’ I said not really, what are you talking about? He was ready to retire. My wheels started turning for about two weeks and I prayed on it and it just seemed right.”
Kendall reached out to his daughter, Caroline, about the opportunity, as she is studying business at Sam Houston State University.

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