Though new-school barbecue trailer LeRoy & Lewis has earned quite a few accolades since it opened in 2017 (including Eater Austin’s Best New Food Truck that same year), owners Evan LeRoy and Sawyer Lewis always meant it to be a stepping stone to a physical restaurant. After two and a half years in business, pitmaster LeRoy acknowledges, “We’ve been stuck on that stepping stone for a while. But we’re having fun.”
The delays for the physical restaurant come from wanting to find the perfect space for what the team wants to do, as LeRoy reports, as well as finding owners ready to sell. However, as they edge closer to choosing a place, he gave Eater Austin a preview of what to expect from the new location. (He is tentatively hopeful about a current prospect, though he’s not ready to share details yet.)
- The menu will expand. Though the trailer already works with whole-animal barbecue, Leroy is excited to expand this program to “make every single cut available to us.” He plans to offer daily specials and bring back dishes such as the mac and cheese-stuffed quail as part of a fully rounded dish, adding a side salad or extra sauce. (Though the trailer worked with Casper Fermentables to make Korean barbecue at the SFC Farmers Market in downtown Austin, and LeRoy thinks there’s “something to that idea,” the partnership paused this summer and it’s not currently in any of the menu plans.)
- The business will be a family affair. Leroy’s wife Lindsey already helps out with the business’s public relations, but as the new location opens, Lewis’s husband, Nathan Lewis, will join as its brewer. He is currently at Austin Beerworks, and graduated from what LeRoy called “MIT for beer nerds” (Doemens Academy and the Siebel Institute of Technology).
- The beer will be its own draw. “Nathan is extremely talented,” says LeRoy. “He’s better at making beer than I am at making barbecue.” Expect a lot of open fermentation and weiss beers that are “crushable” with barbecue. “We turn the opposite direction of trends and really try to do our own thing,” explains LeRoy.
- The truck will stay open. Fans of LeRoy’s current home Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden will be glad to know that the plan is to keep the truck open at that location.
- The space will be expansive. In addition to room for the smokers and brewery equipment, the plan is to find a space with indoor and outdoor seating. LeRoy reports that Sawyer Lewis is excited to “flex her hospitality muscles” and have more control of her surroundings. “It will be a more fully realized picture of what we want to bring to people,” he concludes, “I think we’re all really looking forward to having a roof over our heads.”