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Topeka’s offerings of outdoor music venues is dismal, to say the least. While a handful of bars offer outdoor music spaces (and we thank you), Topeka truly lacks a larger outdoor venue space inside the city limits (think Kansas City’s Crossroads). That is, ‘til now.

Bill Brading and Lee Browning, co-owners of Bill’s Diner, 2134 N. Kansas Ave. have been serving delicious down-home American cuisine to Topekans for the past five years. Last year however, the partners decided to capitalize on the unused land that lies behind the diner and turn it into a music venue for bands all around the area.

A handful of concerts were produced last year with much success, but that was just a warm-up for this season. Almost half of the season is already booked with a multitude of musicians gracing the outdoor stage (hand-built by Lee) along with delicious barbecue (secret rub hand-created by Lee) and beverages of the alcoholic and non-alcoholic persuasion. If you visited B+B Backyard’s concert area last year, you might remember that it didn’t have the capability to protect the crowd from the beaming hot Kansas sun or the rain – but with an oversized tent and reconstruction of the barn to  facilitate an indoor crowd, that is no longer a concern. Additionally, they now have a full outdoor bar to serve drinks and a trailer that they serve their BBQ from, “It’s really taken off and grown” says Lee.

“I would like to be the most well-known outdoor venue in Kansas,” exclaimed Bill when asked about future plans. This isn’t a pipe dream, as people are already traveling from out-of-state to come see the venue and experience its charm. Bill and Lee have worked hard to bring us something fresh and new, so make sure you take a moment and enjoy it this summer. Concerts are scheduled every weekend with a jam session on Sunday nights. Find their full calender at BBBackyard.com or on their FB page B&B Backyard. If your band is interested in playing at this unique venue, call Bill or Lee to set up an audition at 246.6348.

by Jesse Matheis | April 2015

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