Just Black
No Frame

Indigo Kitchen

modern soul / bbq

No Frame
The Original

Birth of the cool


The major player in the food culture of Kansas City is barbecue, loved by the area’s natives like Lance’s dad. Mr. Knowling prided himself on knowing all of the neighborhood places featuring great “Q” – those spots that would not be found on a “barbecue map.”

During his years in the east, Lance longed for those memorable flavors and harbored a dream of opening a “little bbq spot,” the kind that Pop would have taken friends to.

Like many modern chefs, Lance evolved from classical structure to more and more personal elements in his design and creation of dishes. Meanwhile, over the course of the 1990s, diners evolved to wanting excellent food without formality. The convergence was perfect for the development of a business plan in winter 2000-2001.

Lance worked on his original logo, nick-named “grill guy,” while pondering a name befitting his vision of a very cool barbecue spot. Mom noted that the word “smoke” or “smokehouse” was most strongly associated with KC establishments. The former seemed a fit with the word “indigo,” already chosen for its ability to conjure the feel he wanted: cool … jazzy.

Jazz greats of the 20th century loved KC as a center for sharing their talents, collaborating with each other, and enjoying barbecue. From this set of concepts and history, Lance wanted to draw “cool smoke.”

The final business plan with architect’s plans launched in Q2-2001.

On Lance’s birthday in 2002, the little barbecue spot that Pop would have loved opened its doors.

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Twitter bird

Dear Friends:

Indigo Kitchen Montclair will be closing its doors

April 28th.

We are actively seeking a new location in Montclair.

Our catering operation will continue from our South Orange kitchens, so we’ll still PARTY with you!

Chef Lance has exciting new launches under development, so stay tuned for updates and posts to:


Lance Knowling


or call 973.632.7898 for our catering

Thank you for your 10 + years

of patronizing Indigo!

We look forward to serving you again soon.