PAOLA — Carl Clinton is bringing his award-winning barbecue to Paola with the opening of Papa C’s BBQ Bar & Grill.

Although he’s still waiting to schedule an official grand opening, Clinton did a soft opening Friday, Jan. 4, by inviting community members on Facebook to stop by his new restaurant at 807 S. Silver St.

Local residents will know the location as the home of Darrel’s Last Resort, but Darrel and Elaine Brocker closed their bar Dec. 22 and began leasing the building to Clinton to open his bar and restaurant.

Clinton said he wanted to maintain a familiar atmosphere inside the restaurant. The pool tables, bar and TVs still greet patrons.

But now visitors can also enjoy a taste of Clinton’s barbecue, which he has perfected over the years by participating in barbecue competitions in Greeley, Paola and other locations.

At those events he’s usually representing the Paola Eagles with the team name “Good Ol’ Boys and Gals BBQ,” but he’s now embracing his new “Papa C” persona.

The initial menu is a simple one featuring pulled pork, ham, turkey, brisket and combo sandwiches, along with rib and taco entrees and sides such as baked beans, coleslaw and potato salad.

Clinton said he’s hoping to expand his menu to include fried foods and classics such as burgers once the kitchen renovation is complete with the installation of a hood.

He recommends that people try his brisket, which has won awards in the past. He also recommends the sweet, hot sauce which starts out sweet and then slowly transitions to a hot taste.

Clinton plans to keep his kitchen open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with the bar staying open as late as 1:30 a.m. depending on demand.

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