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

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.