Rib Shack Smoke House showing gratitude through ‘Love 4 Barbecue’

Omaha's Rib Shack Smoke House is thanking community members with "4 the Love of Barbecue."
Published: May. 4, 2023 at 5:34 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Rib Shack Smoke House at 108th and Q Street is all about serving food from the heart.

“The baseline of the mention is to spread love and kindness through food,” said owner Jackie Robbins.

It was her husband Malcolm’s need for a heart transplant that brought them from St. Louis to Omaha.

After a successful surgery in 2020, doctors advised the Robbins to stay close. Without prior plans to move to Omaha or deep ties to the city, they made it work.

“We connected with some family and friends that got us connected with the landlord and that’s how Rib Shack came about,” Robbins said.

It’s been just over two years since Rib Shack started serving up things from fried fish to brisket. But, their journey came with its share of challenges and tragedy.

“We’ve been in survival mode just trying to open during the pandemic. We lost our son the second year.”

Despite the setbacks, the Robbins are pushing forward with gratitude. One of their ways of showing it is giving back to the community with their first “4 the Love of Barbecue” event.

“It’s just a good fellowship time. Food, music, games for the kids, face painting. We’re just going to have a good old fun time,” said Robbins.

They’re also offering free resources like eye and health exams. In their short time in Omaha, the Robbins have made strong community connections with places like Heart Ministry Center and Open Door Mission. They’ll be part of the event, too.

“4 the Love of Barbecue” will be held on Sunday, May 7 from 12-4 p.m. at Miller Park.

The Robbins are welcoming donations like cases of water, hot dogs and hamburgers and watermelon. They’re also in need of volunteers to serve.