A barbecue-based dining and entertainment venue of epic proportions is gearing up for a mid-September debut in East County. Located just a 20-minute drive from downtown San Diego in the Flinn Springs community of El Cajon, North Park’s popular Grand Ole BBQ has a new 15,000-square-foot domain. With the backing of hospitality group Social Syndicate (The Local, Wonderland Ocean Pub, The Rabbit Hole), local pitmaster Andy Harris, who founded the original Grand Ole BBQ y Asado, has built his dream come true, transforming a former biker bar into a family-friendly space to showcase his Central Texas barbecue, which ranges from the house specialty brisket to smoked turkey breast and hot links.
Calling it “the biggest smokehouse west of Texas”, Harris and his crew will continuously run a suite of smokers and grills to feed the nearly 400-seat venue, which spans a dining room and cocktail bar designed with mid-century modern elements, including a 1960s jukebox and vintage pinball games, and a sprawling backyard stacked with picnic tables, firepits, and its very own live music stage. Harris, who worked in the music industry before getting into food, will be booking everything from classic country acts to folk musicians every weekend.
Besides barbecue, the restaurant will serve a full lunch and dinner menu that includes prime steaks, flattop-grilled burgers, house-smoked salmon, salads, and more. The kitchen, led by Ami Cisneros (JRDN, Pacific Standard Coastal Kitchen) will also cook up bar snacks, ranging from Frito Pie to smoked bone marrow, as well as weekend brunch plates including brisket tacos and biscuits and gravy. Cisneros will also oversee an in-house bakery, which will create a variety of pies to be served with homemade ice cream.