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National BBQ Month 2024!

It's National BBQ Month, and we're gearing up for a month-long celebration of all things smokin', grillin' & the lifestyle that is BBQ. We know you love it, so let's dive into what makes it so special and why we're just as obsessed with it as you are.

A Quick Trip Down BBQ Lane

It all started 15 years ago with a road trip through the southern states of America. We were on the hunt for the best BBQ, and boy, did we find it! From Texas to Tennessee, we met legendary pitmasters who showed us what it really means to BBQ. It's not just about slapping meat on a grill; it's a lifestyle, a community & most importantly a whole lotta fun.

Visiting a Pitmaster in Texas

The Smokin' Masters

Speaking of fun, let's talk about our pitmasters. These guys (and gals!) are the real deal. They're the heart of what we do, working their magic to create those prestige smoke rings and that fall of the bone meat. At Hickory's we say, "Not all heroes wear capes; some wear aprons" and these BBQ heroes are here to make sure you leave wanting more!

The Heart of Hickory's

Now, let's talk smokers. During our BBQ journey, we stumbled upon Ole Hickory & Southern Pride Smokers - the best of the best in the BBQ world. Shipped straight from Tennessee & Missouri, our smokers are our pride and joy! Smokin' 24 hours a day, 364 days a year (we give them a day off for Christmas day!), filling the air with that delicious smoky aroma that makes your mouth water as soon as you walk in the door.

Want to see them up close? Just ask for a smoker tour on your next visit. Our team is always happy to show them off, and you might even get a sneak peek at what's cooking.

Pitmaster at the Smoker for National BBQ Month

The BBQ Lifestyle

If you have been to the Southern states, you’ll know BBQ is serious business. It’s more than just a plate of food, it’s a way of life.

One of the first places we visited was Black’s Barbecue in Lockhart, Texas - one of the oldest family-owned barbecue restaurants in the state and an institution for BBQ fans. Outside there’s a sign that reads “Open 8 Days A Week. We were inspired by their passion for southern hospitality & their love for smokin’, so along with ideas and inspiration we brought home this phrase. Our smokers never stop and if we could eat BBQ & welcome guests 8 days a week we would!

Blacks BBQ Texas

Our annual road trips are special to us in many ways. We learn more and more from every visit, from new exciting flavours to creative concepts and styles. During our trips, we were blown away by the generous open hearted spirts of the Southern States - it's the way of life that we we brought back home to our restaurants.

We love to share our experiences with you, so be sure to keep your eye out for pictures from our road trips around the restaurant! You'll get a glimpse of the places we visited, the amazing BBQ we enjoyed & some very familiar faces.

Southern Sippin'

The inspiration for our outdoor verandas came from the charming porches in Charleston, where it’s practically the law to sit in the shade with a cold drink and watch the world go by. We wanted to bring that relaxed vibe to you, so come down this weekend, grab a cocktail, and enjoy some time on our veranda. With the weather finally on our side, there's no better way to spend your day.

If you're more into the bar scene, we've got you covered. For sports fans, it’s not the perfect seat unless there's a TV in sight, right? Our bar is the ultimate spot to catch the latest sporting events, especially during NFL season. Whether you’re a die-hard football fan or just in it for the fun, grab a seat, order your favourite drink, and enjoy the game with us!

The Southern States wouldn't be complete without the sweet sounds of country music. Our carefully curated playlist brings the authentic sounds of the South to your table. Like what you hear? Check out our Spotify playlist!

A Taste of the Smokehouse Story.

19 trips, 70 towns, 18,000 miles & countless ideas – you could defiantly say we have sipped & eaten our way around the Southern States. Check out some of the inspiration we’ve brought home, if you're looking to try something new this National BBQ Month…

Pappy’s Smokehouse, St Louis

In St. Louis, at Pappy’s Smokehouse, we learned the art of making pulled pork the right way when we had the privilege of meeting Mike Emerson. During a visit to Pappy’s Mike shared his valuable insights on smoking techniques. It turns out that the term "rump" has different meanings in the UK and the US—quite the mix-up! But thanks to Mike's guidance, we figured it out and have kept that lesson on our menu ever since.

Home Team BBQ, Charleston

A place with a legendary 35-seat bar where we first sipped The Game Changer.  Their sweet & refreshing rum-based cocktail inspired us to create our own version. Now a staple on our menu & perfect for summer sippin’.

The Game Changer Cocktail for National BBQ Month

Cardinals Baseball Game, Missouri

In 2010, when we tucked in to mac 'n' cheese unlike any we'd tasted before, we just had to bring it back home. Our menu features our own version,  like the Hog Mac 'n' Cheese - BBQ pulled pork, jalapeño sausage, and crushed pork rinds. Then there's the fan favourite, 3am Mac 'n' Cheese - buttermilk chicken, bacon crumbs, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Or if you're just into the classics, we've got you covered there too!

Kreuz Market, Austin Texas

Texas, the BBQ capital, has inspired us in countless ways. Our trip to Kreuz introduced us to the smoker room of our dreams, as big as a sports hall. The legendary Pitmaster Roy Perez, our BBQ hero, gave us a tour and shared invaluable tips on smoking meats that we still use today on all of our Smokehouse dishes.

Pitmaster Dwight & Roy Perez

Every stop on our journey has added something special to our menu. Come by and taste the stories for yourself.

National BBQ Month is the perfect excuse to celebrate everything we love about BBQ. So come on in, grab a cold drink to accompany your BBQ and let us look after you with some good old Southern hospitality! We can't wait to see you.

Keep an eye out all May long as we continue to bring you news, views & all things BBQ!