Gates, Ollie, Sr. (Ollie Walter Gates, Sr.) (July 3, 1931- )
- Existence: July 3, 1931-
Ollie Gates, Sr. is a Black businessman and restauranteur, known widely for the Gates Bar-B-Q restaurants that have contributed to Kansas City’s reputation for quality barbecue. After graduating from Lincoln High School in 1949, Gates first attended Maryland State College before returning to Lincoln University and earning a degree in engineering. After serving two years in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, he was discharged as a 1st Lieutenant. After his father’s death in 1960, Gates took over the running of the family barbecue business, expanding to several locations across the Kansas City metro area. He is also credited with a strong push to modernize the restaurant, standardizing customer service and kitchen practices, even starting a barbecue university he named “Rib Tech”. Gates Bar-B-Q eventually became one of Kansas City’s most famous barbecue restaurants. In 2021 Gates was inducted into the American Royal Barbecue Hall of Fame.