Barbecue legend Myron Mixon doesn’t plan to check out the local ’cue before he opens his first Chicago restaurant, Myron Mixon’s Smoke Show (3801 N. Clark St., no phone yet), four blocks from Wrigley Field next month.
“I don’t eat at barbecue places; I just eat my own,” says Mixon.
The world champion BBQ pitmaster and mayor of Unadilla, Georgia, with three cookbooks and several BBQ-themed TV shows says he’d rather not risk going to places with subpar BBQ. But Chicago has long topped his list of cities to open a restaurant—partly because he can feed a lot more people here (some 2.7 million) than in his hometown of Unadilla, whose population is around 3,700.
“It’s easier to make money where a lot of people live,” he says. “Chicago’s also a great food town—always has been. People here like all genres of food. Great steaks, Italian, seafood, and we are fixin’ to bring great BBQ.”
The team’s been working on the restaurant buildout since February. The 200-plus-seat joint will specialize in—you guessed it—BBQ prepared using Mixon’s proprietary smokers. Dishes will include brisket, pulled pork, pig wings (shanks), Brunswick stew, and “cupcake chicken” (skin-on thighs molded in cupcake pans and smoked). Some nights, the kitchen plans to bring in whole hogs. On the side, expect BBQ peach baked beans and Mixon’s loaded baked potato salad. Simple desserts include banana pudding, peach cobbler, and blackberry cobbler.
“It’s a straight BBQ restaurant where you sit down and enjoy the BBQ and watch the pitmasters work,” Mixon says. “If you want to eat something other than BBQ, you better eat somewhere else.”