Really exciting Texas barbecue pop-up Barbs B Q is opening its own restaurant this year. It’ll be found at 102 East Market Street in Lockhart starting sometime in March.
Barbs will offer Texas barbecue staples with the personal touches from the team: co-owners Chuck Charnichart, Alexis Tovias, and Haley Conlin. There will be pork ribs with lime zest and brisket with Mexican spices, along with lamb chops and an array of sausages.
Charnichart, who is from South Texas and had most recently been a pitmaster at Fort Worth barbecue restaurant Goldee’s, which is reflected in the sides that they’ve had at pop-ups, such as cacti pico de gallo and the green spaghetti (pasta with a creamy poblano sauce). They’re proud of the bread they will serve, made with spelt flour and a cinnamon swirl.
Desserts have included Abuelita chocolate pudding, concha bread pudding topped with tres leches cream (made based on a recipe from Conlin’s grandmother). Beverages will include cucumber lemonade as well as Big Red, Dr Pepper, and other go-to barbecue drinks.
The trio met working together at an Austin barbecue restaurant in 2017, and then they all worked at various barbecue restaurants and trucks throughout the state, including Micklethwait Craft Meats in Austin and Goldee’s. But they wanted to work on something on their own and decided to start hosting their own pop-ups with the hopes of eventually opening their own place. The name is a play on the name of fans of rapper Nicki Minaj, Barbz.
They’ve had pop-ups at Goldee’s, where they’ve made items like choriqueso sausages, lapsang beet barbecue sauce, and pineapple upside-down cobbler. “After some successful pop-ups, we realized we couldn’t wait any longer to have the freedom of our own place and to finally share our food,” Conlin writes to Eater over email.
“Lockhart is undoubtedly the epicenter of Texas barbecue, and it has always been our goal to end up there,” Conlin writes. In fact, they found the location when they participated in Texas Monthly’s BBQ Fest World’s Fair — their tent was across the street from the East Market Street address in the square.
Through the counter-service restaurant, they plan on experimenting and having fun with future dishes. There will be indoor and outdoor spaces for dine-in purposes. In the beginning, the restaurant will be open only on Saturdays, but they’ll expand later. Everything will be available starting from the opening hour until everything is sold out.
Currently, they’re working on remodeling the building on their own, and they plan on hosting pop-ups and other events until the for-real opening date.
Lockhart, often referred to as the barbecue capital of Texas, includes venerable barbecue restaurants like Kreuz Market, Smitty’s Market, Black’s Barbecue, Chisholm Trail BBQ, and many others. And just semi-recently, Austin-based Terry Black’s Barbecue opened a location in Lockhart, which is interesting considering that Terry co-owners Mark and Mike Black left the family restaurant of Black’s Barbecue due to a disagreement.
Barbs’s restaurant neighbors include Old Pal, Chaparral Coffee, Little Trouble, Commerce Cafe, and many others.