At press time, the owners of Ox Lot 9 (428 E. Boston St., Covington, 985-400-5663; www.oxlot9.com) were set to open the barbecue restaurant Smoke BBQ (1005 N. Collins Blvd., Covington, 504-907-3985; www.smokebbqcovington.com) on Aug. 1. Ox Lot 9 chef Jeffrey Hansell, who cooked at Luke and Commander's Palace, and his wife, Amy, who is the general manager at the fine dining bistro, which opened last year inside the Southern Hotel, expected Smoke to pass final inspections.
The restaurant can seat 40 people in the dining room and 25 people on a shaded, wooden deck outside. The restaurant is significantly more casual than the fine dining experience offered at Ox Lot 9, but the owners say it will be a step up from casual barbecue places.
The team came up with the barbecue concept with the help of Ox Lot 9 sous chef Nate Meharg, who grew up barbecuing with his father and grandfather. He'll helm the pits at the spot and says he plans on sourcing all local ingredients.
"Everything will be made fresh, in house, from scratch," Meharg said in a prepared statement. "The rubs are made in house. The sauces. We're using local wood, no charcoal."
Meharg draws barbecuing techniques from all over the South. There's Texas-style 12-hour brisket, St. Louis-style pork ribs, pulled pork and vinegar-based Carolina sauce, rib tips and Alabama-style white barbecue sauce, among other items. Sides include macaroni and cheese, Southern-style greens, coleslaw, potato salad and baked beans. Pastry chef Breanne Kostyk will offer ice box pies, root beer floats and malts.