Very excellent new-school barbecue truck LeRoy & Lewis finally found a location for that long-awaited restaurant: far south Austin. It’ll be found in the Garrison Park neighborhood at 5621 Emerald Forest Drive, set to open later this year.
With the new space, the Eater Austin Award-winning food truck of 2017 will expand its core barbecue menu, courtesy of co-owner and pitmaster Evan LeRoy. This means new dishes making use of whole animal butchering alongside popular ones like beef cheeks, cauliflower burnt ends, avocado-topped barbacoa, and cheddar cheesecake. Also new is the bar that will serve wine (including bottles to-go) and beer.
The address will also include a dedicated retail area for LeRoy & Lewis’s pantry products like bottled beet barbecue sauce, salt-and-pepper mix the Dalmation rub, and the Hog hot sauce. It’ll also have packaged barbecue, plus it’s where people will pick up larger preorders.
Rounding out the LeRoy & Lewis team are co-owners and partners director of operations Sawyer Lewis and Nathan Lewis, along with co-owner Lindsey LeRoy.
The space will be designed by design and architecture firm OPA Design Studio, brand design studio Helms Workshop, and interior design company McCray & Co. It’ll function as a counter-service space with lines most likely. There’s also going to be a private event space and there are plans to film future videos for the truck’s New School BBQ-U series.
Opening this physical restaurant had always been planned from the beginning when the team opened the truck in 2017. Originally, they had been looking for locations in the Hill Country, but decided on far south Austin instead because, “we all have such a love for South Austin, making it our home and home base for the food truck,” says Sawyer Lewis via a statement, “so to be able to bring this space to live [...] to our own neighborhood is a dream come true.”
As always planned, LeRoy & Lewis’s original food truck parked at Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden will remain open. While the team originally set out to brew its own beer with the new restaurant, it won’t happen at the Emerald Forest Drive space. However, there are plans to open a new brewpub “in the future,” according to a rep. (Nathan Lewis had been pegged to become the restaurant’s brewer).
Before opening LeRoy & Lewis, LeRoy had been the founding pitmaster campus restaurant Freedman’s, which he left in 2016 before it shuttered in 2018. Sawyer Lewis had been the general manager of the also-now-closed restaurant Contigo before starting the truck. They also opened a fry spin-off truck Mama Fried also in far south Austin in 2021.
Update, 10:35 a.m.: This article, originally published at 9:45 a.m., has been updated to include details on LeRoy & Lewis’s brewing goals.