After spending the last two and a half years as a mobile catering outfit and farmer’s market favorite, Smokin J’s BBQ will bring its barbecue home to Poway, debuting its first restaurant this weekend in Old Poway Village with the grand opening scheduled for Saturday, December 14. The company was launched in 2017 by pitmaster Jeremy George, who has worked in restaurants since his teens, including a barbecue restaurant in Virginia. George, who runs Smokin J’s with his brother Joshua, a five-time Paralympic medalist and six-time world champion in wheelchair racing, went to college in St. Louis, Missouri, and his style of smoked meat is closest to Kansas City barbecue.
The new Poway eatery is adjacent to Smokin J’s beef provider, Filhart Beef, which gets its meat from a family ranch in Michigan. At just 625-square-feet, the space is small, but there are picnic tables out front and plans to take over the adjacent storefront which will have more dedicated seating. Out back, wood smokers will run day and night, turning out fresh batches of barbecue at lunch and dinner. The menu ranges from brisket, pulled pork, burnt ends to baby back ribs, smoked chicken, mac n’ cheese, Cajun fries, and fresh-baked cornbread. New additions include smoked and fried pork belly, collard greens, and slow-cooked smoked beans. George’s signature barbecue sauce is based on a vegetable blend that has been smoked for hours.
Initially operating on Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., the restaurant will feature rotating specials, include a rib of the month and seasonal items like smoked duck and smoked turkey. Hours will be extended when their expansion into the next door space is completed in March and a full breakfast menu will be added.