Hometown Brew and Ribs
Farther up Main St., Phil and Jennifer Tolliver opened their Smokehouse 52 BBQ the week after Valentine's Day. "We want everything to tell a story in this place," says Phil, who stayed overnight in the space "quite a few times" to ensure that renovation of the former Chelsea Market space stayed on track.
A livestock gate greets customers near the front entrance, and barn walls and beams from the mid-1800s have been added throughout--all from local farms. A hand-hammered copper bar and a spectacular chandelier in the ladies' room are just a couple of the unexpected surprises in the 4,600-square-foot space. The couple preserved the ornate tin ceiling and installed a rustic dark wood floor, doing everything themselves except for the plumbing and electrical work. "We're going for a welcome and warm feeling, like a family barbecue," Phil says.
"Nowadays you have to have the whole package to succeed," says Jennifer--"the food, the service, and the restaurant itself." The Tollivers say they've worked hard to put those elements in place, and although their focus is barbecue, they'll also offer steaks, salmon, and vegetarian options.
Smokehouse 52 BBQ, 125 S. Main, 562-2565. Sun.-Thurs. 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11:30-10 p.m.