Andy Husbands, of Tremont 647, Sister Sorel, barbecue circuit, and cookbook fame, will serve his award-winning barbecue come mid-May in his new brick-and-mortar. Smoke Shop is nearing the end of renovations in the former Tommy Doyle’s space to house 110 seats plus another 40 on the outdoor patio. The venue will also offer live music Thursdays through Sundays with artists crooning classics the likes of Johnny Cash and Hank Williams.
Smoke Shop will serve the barbecue standards like pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and beef ribs (on Saturdays), but they will also offer modern twists on classics like brisket with Korean vinaigrette, kimchi, and fermented pepper mayo, or a smoked fried chicken with Thai flavors, mint, and sesame aioli, or the Korean wings with a soy glaze, and gochujang ranch dressing. Additionally, Smoke Shop will introduce a novel idea to the world of barbecue – seasonality and locality. Husbands is passionate about altering side dish options according to what’s available and bursting with flavor.
“Barbecue is the only true American cuisine,” Husbands said before slapping on a big disclaimer that this is solely his opinion. “Barbecue is something that came out of necessity. Sharecroppers would put ripe meat over a smoldering fire while they worked all day in the field and when they came back, they had pulled pork. It became an unbelievable cuisine.”
A longtime competitor in the barbecue circuit, Husbands and his IQUE team Pitmaster Chris Hart have won the blue ribbon for brisket in Kansas City and the 2009 Jack Daniels World BBQ Championships.
“I am thrilled to introduce the Smoke Shop to Boston,” Husbands said. “It has been a lifelong dream of mine to open a barbecue restaurant, and I’m very excited for guests to enjoy modern competition-style barbecue that’s enhanced with all-American hospitality. I believe everyone should be treated the way you treat your grandmother, and that’s the kind of experience you’ll be able to expect here.”
Husbands is also committed to providing an “homage to really old American traditions,” and that includes whiskey production. Smoke Shop will offer 100 American whiskeys on the menu because, much like barbecue, he explained, the ratio of corn (what the animals eat), oak barrels used for aging (wood used to smoke the meat), and other tasting notes (rubs and sauces) drastically affect the taste and texture.
If you want to sink your teeth into some Smoke Shop ribs before the restaurant opens, the Kirkland Tap and Trotter in Cambridge will host a preview night on April 25 with Husbands and Whistle Pig. Tickets are available here.
The Smoke Shop is located at One Kendall Square, in Cambridge. For more information visit thesmokeshopbbq.com.