A local BBQ store is celebrating their opening by smoking a whole alligator

Photo Courtesy of Proud Souls

Proud Souls, a barbecue retail store, has partnered up with local pitmaster Richard Fergola to open its first location in the barbecue capital of the world.

In addition to selling an extensive variety of barbecue equipment, the store will also offer competition barbecue classes taught in the store’s kitchen. Proud Souls already has two locations in Colorado, but the Northland Kansas City location (8648 N. Boardwalk Ave. KCMO) provide a unique experience with the collaboration of Fergola. You might recognize him better from his brand name, Fergolicious BBQ, under which he sells barbecue rubs and has been featured on Food Network’s Chopped: Grillmasters. His expertise, forged by his competition background, will be seen in the KC flagship store as he teaches barbecue classes fit for all levels of barbecuing.  

Proud Souls is celebrating with the new store with a bang, a grand opening in which Fergola and a handful of other Food Network personalities will smoke an entire fifty-two-pound alligator. The grand opening begins at 9 am on March 4 with Craig Verhage, otherwise known as the Barbecue Ninja, taking charge of the gator, stuffing its tail with chorizo, smoking it for about four hours, and turning it into tacos for guests to enjoy. This isn’t Verhage’s first rodeo, “he’s probably cooked about seventy alligators,” says Fergola. 

The KC Fusion Drill Team will perform at 2 pm and will be followed by the alligator coming off the pit. Festivities will go until 5 pm and include raffling off a Chief’s themed Yoder Cimarron smoker (a brand exclusively sold at the Proud Souls KC location) valued at $17,500, lots of sampling, and free demos on pizza, chicken wings, smash burgers and more.

According to Fergola, Proud Souls is offering something entirely unique to our barbecue-obsessed city. “It’s such a well-rounded group of individuals. Not only are they good at the retail piece as far as business goes, but they also cook barbecue. We have some of the best competition cooks in the world on our team,” says Fergola.

Check the Proud Soul KC’s Instagram post below for more details on the grand opening. 

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