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Iowa City barbeque restaurant expands to North Liberty


Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack in North Liberty. — photo by Zak Neumann

North Liberty residents have something extra to celebrate this holiday season. Last week, Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack opened its third location, and this time it’s in their neck of the woods.

Since the early days in 2005 at their flagship eastside Iowa City location, owners Jack Piper and James Adrian have expanded operations to include a downtown Iowa City spot opened in fall 2016, and now a North Liberty location.

“Until we started driving out to North Liberty regularly, we didn’t realize it was 45 minutes to an hour round trip from our eastside location,” explained Piper. “We’re a family-oriented business, and half of our nighttime business has been the mom and dad on the way home picking up dinner. Now hopefully North Liberty families can pick up their Jimmy Jack’s on the way home, because before that wasn’t a possibility,”

Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack in North Liberty. — photo by Zak Neumann

The newest Jimmy Jack’s location will feel comfortable and familiar to longtime devotees of the restaurant. Some of the decor from the other locations has been carried into the new one; diners can still appreciate Piper’s father’s tools on the walls, but the team has made a point to insert a bit of flair and fun into the North Liberty space. Playful design elements like the plaid flooring in the bathrooms and hand-painted wall signage keep things light, and the patio dining overlooking a pond promises to be a popular choice when the weather turns this spring.

The North Liberty Jimmy Jack’s will offer the same menu long favored by customers along with the addition of a few new items. With the launch of the new location, the restaurant has rolled out a small selection of salads to cater to those seeking slightly lighter fare–choose from the Barbeque Ranch Chicken Salad or a Fatty Brisket Blue Cheese Salad. All three locations will soon offer craft beer on tap and in bottles, as well as choice house wines and a charming sparkling wine in a can.

Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack in North Liberty. — photo by Zak Neumann

The expansion of the Rib Shack empire continues beyond the walls of their three restaurants; Piper and Adrian hope to sell their small-batch barbeque sauces and rubs in local grocery stores within the next year. The restaurant currently produces their four regional sauces in-house and plans to increase production at their eastside smokehouse to accommodate retail sales.

Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack at 745 Community Drive in North Liberty is open 11 a.m. to 9 pm., Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack in North Liberty — photo by Zak Neumann

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