Earlier this week Eater Austin reported a war of words starting to smoke about a new barbecue restaurant opening and their ties with Louis Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, Texas. Someone related with Stiles Switch BBQ and Brew, opening soon in the Violet Crown Shopping Center on North Lamar, contacted Eater with some clarifications and news about their opening.
Catherine Stiles, wife of owner Shane Stiles, says that the restaurant is a collaboration with her husband Shane, lead pitmaster Lance Kirkpatrick, and general manager James Jackson. Shane was born and raised in Taylor and has had a life long admiration of the barbecue greats. He regularly ate at Louis Mueller, and that's how he became acquainted with Kirkpatrick. Jackson hails from Elgin, and appropriately worked at the famous Southside Market.
As for the man at the center of the controversy, Lance Kirkpatrick worked under Bobby Mueller for close to nine years. Stiles says Kirkpatrick still has a good relationship with the rest of the Mueller family.
Austin website Scrumptious Chef reports:
When John Mueller left his grandfather's barbecue joint in Taylor Texas in 2001, John's dad, Bobby, hired Lance Kirkpatrick as a helping hand [...] Kirkpatrick had some big shoes to fill as John Mueller was Bobby's right hand man and had been in the family business since way back in the 1970's. Lance started at the bottom, trundling wood, cleaning the restaurant and what have you til he finally was trusted enough to actually cook.
When Bobby Mueller passed in 2008, Kirkpatrick's time at the famous barbecue house turned out to be well spent as he stepped into the role of pit boss, a position he would hold til he decided to open a "fancy" restaurant around the corner from Louie Mueller's called Mimosa's in the spring of 2010.
Mimosa's closed, and Kirkpatrick now has his new project, Stiles Switch. "We are not trying to piggy back on the Mueller name. We are doing our own thing. In no way are we trying to use the name as a tool for promotion. It's more of just a 'resume' point for Lance," Stiles tells Eater. "The partners have such a respect for the tradition, and hope to create a fun, nostalgic tribute to Texas barbecue legends."
On the story behind the name, Stiles shares with Eater:
Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, named after the historic 1800s I. & G. N. railroad stop Stiles Switch, Texas, is also namesake of the owner Shane Stiles. Shane's inspiration for Stiles Switch BBQ is derived from his admiration of the Texas BBQ Legends he was raised on growing up in Central Texas. Stiles Switch plays tribute to these Texas "greats" by assembling a passionate team with decades of industry experience. Stiles is focused on setting the bar high with his "no corners cut" methods of preparation and selection of quality product.
Stiles Switch BBQ and Brew is looking to open in the next 30 days, pending the usual final permitting from the City of Austin. They hope breathe new life into what used to be a hub for Austin back in the 1950's, "one slow smoked brisket and cold brew at a time."
"Let the food speak for itself."
· Stiles Switch BBQ and Brew [Official Site]
· BBQ Beef: Burn the Mueller Family & They'll Smoke You [EATX]
· New Barbecue,Stiles Switch From X-Louie Mueller Pit Boss Lance Kirkpatrick [ScrumptiousChef]
· All Barbecue Coverage on Eater Austin [-EATX-]