Big Bam’s Burgers, downtown Shawnee mainstay, closes following death of owner Joe Bacarro

Big Bam's

Joe Bacarro, the owner of Big Bam's Burgers in downtown Shawnee, died last week and the restaurant he opened in 2006 has permanently closed.

Big Bam’s Burgers, a fast food restaurant that has been a mainstay in downtown Shawnee for the past 14 years, has permanently closed after the owner, Joe Bacarro, died Friday.

The restaurant, located at 5930 Nieman Road, announced its closure the next day, Saturday, Sept. 18 on Facebook, thanking customers for their support.

“It’s been an exciting ride, and we have loved being a part of Shawnee, but we have served our last burger,” staff wrote. “Bam has retired and has gone fishing.”

The post generated dozens of comments and shares as “Bammers” shared memories and well wishes.

According to an obituary published by Overland Park-based Johnson County Funeral Chapel and Memorial Gardens Bacarro opened Big Bam’s in June 2006, fulfilling his dream of owning a restaurant.

“Joe loved to entertain people. He always had a story, so many stories to tell, a recipe to share and U2 playing on the radio,” the obituary reads. “His sarcastic humor made you shake your head and laugh, always laugh. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends and all who knew him.”

Big Bam's
“It’s been an exciting ride, and we have loved being a part of Shawnee, but we have served our last burger,” staff wrote on Facebook.

The obituary says Bacarro was born in Lodi, Cal., in 1970 but moved to Johnson County and graduated from Blue Valley North High School. He then went on to receive a degree in Business Administration from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

Bacarro was 51 years old.

He is survived by his son, Austin, mother, Carmen and sisters, Liz Bacarro and Anna Saplis, the obituary says.

A celebration of life is set for noon Saturday, Sept. 25, at Johnson County Funeral Chapel, 11200 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the Cathy Barber Culinary Arts Scholarship at Johnson County Community College.