A recent post on Chowhound alerted keen Austin barbecue hunters to a new spot opening soon on north Lamar near Highland Mall. Rumors started that it was going to be run by a former pitmaster from the famous Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, adding yet another high quality joint to Austin's map. Controversy ensued, and even a Cease and Desist order was issued.
Originally, a post on an Austin Texas Real Estate site said that the barbecue restaurant opening was to be run by a Mueller alumnus. Other sources reported the same rumors. Eater Austin contacted Wayne Mueller, third generation owner of Louie Mueller (and recent Texas Monthly Barbecue Fest winner), regarding the news. Mueller states:
[re:] Violet Crown Shopping Center, the answer is no. We are not moving there. A guy who use to work for me is cooking for a place looking to open in Austin... he's been using our name to gain access and notoriety so a Cease and Desist order has been sent to gag his efforts. He calls himself a pitmaster but I'd be hard pressed to call him a neophyte.
The message on the ATXRE site has since been updated, as Mueller contacted the author. Instead the barbecue restaurant opening is to be called Stiles Switch. Maybe he also worked at Per Se, learning his secrets from Thomas Keller?
Barbecue rule #137: Wayne Mueller is one of the nicest people in the state, but don't use one of the biggest names in Texas barbecue history if you don't deserve to.
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Violet Crown Shopping Center [Photo: rutlo/Flickr]