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Last February, chef and pitmaster Corey Cash abruptly closed his small Williamsburg barbecue joint Cash Only BBQ after a dispute over rent and leasing. At the time, he vowed to open a new, larger location after the setback. Now he's following through on his promise with the forthcoming Southbound, a new barbecue restaurant and bar in Gowanus, Brooklyn.
"Southbound is a direction, it's a destination, and it speaks to where I'm from and where I'm headed," Cash said. "It just sounds natural, and it sounded right."
He has plans build out Southbound in two phases. First, he'll be opening an extensive bar with, "Derby cocktails and Southern country club cocktails," craft beer, wine, and barbecue bar snacks. Cash says he's taking inspiration from places like Noormin's Kil, a whiskey and grilled cheese bar in Brooklyn. The bar area will fit about 75 people between the "garage" and "garden" spaces.
The menu at the Southbound bar concept will be similar to what was served at Cash Only BBQ in Williamsburg, with favorites like the brisket melt, wings, mac 'n' cheese wraps, and Cuban sandwiches. This will be good news to the fans of Cash Only BBQ who miss the joint and want more of Cash's creations.
For the second phase, he'll be developing the restaurant space, which will fit another 42 people. Cash says he's still developing the menu for the Southbound restaurant, but wants it to feature barbecue specials and Southern food that expands on his previous ideas.
While Southbound will become the new physical hub for him, Cash says he will continue competing under the Cash Only BBQ brand and use it for pop-up events.
"It's still going to be a pop-up concept, and I'm working with a couple of bars on their food programs too," Cash said. "Every time I do a competition, every time I do a pop-up, Cash Only BBQ will be a thing."
He says he might also use "Piggie Smalls," the too-cool-for-school pig on his Cash Only BBQ signage as the logo for Southbound.
Cash says he will open the first version of Southbound at 181 14th St. in Brooklyn most likely in mid-June, but the fourth of July at the absolute latest, given barbecue and booze's central role in Independence Day activities. "If I have to pull catering permits to be open on the fourth of July, I will," Cash said.
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Here are the top BBQ and food stories in the New York area this week:
A few big changes to report on the much-anticipated new joints from Hometown Bar-B-Que’s Billy Durney. First, instead of the planned Hometown Deli in Industry City, it will instead become a second location of Hometown Bar-B-Que in the same area, with a few deli-inspired items on the menu as well as barbecue favorites. Second, Red Hook Tavern will shift slightly to a “more general tavern menu.” Both restaurants were supposed to be open last year, but have continued to see delays for various reasons including utility issues. I fully expect a summer opening for both joints at this point.
Mothership Meat Company, the new Queens barbecue joint from the team behind John Brown Smokehouse, got a visit from Eater NY’sRobert Sietsema, who says you should skip the sides but absolutely should try the “chili, brisket, and beef shoulder.” (For the record, I like the cheesy corn but agree the sides need work.)
A new location of Mighty Quinn’s is heading to Long Island City, Queens, but the franchisee Mike Dolan has yet to settle on where he wants to open. QNS reports he is “still deciding whether he wants to cater to the corporate clientele in Queens Plaza or Court Square or whether he wants to chase a trendier location along Vernon Boulevard.”
A curated list of the best barbecue joints in New England recently caught my eye. It runs through a recommendation in each state, including Bear's Smokehouse in Connecticut, Blackstrap BBQ in Massachusetts, and Smokehouse Cafe in Rhode Island. (Road trip anyone?)
Mike’s BBQ, one of the top joints in the Philadelphia area, needs art for its barren walls. So it started offering free barbecue sandwiches to those who bring in framed art related to Philly.
Here are the top BBQ (and related) food events coming soon to the New York metro area:
May 18: The World’s Fare 2019 at Citi Field in Queens will be taking place again soon. More than 100 vendors will come together and unite through authentic food, drink and music curated by the city’s leading culinary advocates. Buy tickets here.
May 18-19: Harlem's food and the people who make it are waiting for your taste buds during The Harlem Stroll. This ticket gives you access to an unlimited walk around tasting of 20+ of the best restaurants in Harlem, including Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken. Buy tickets here.
May 30: Don’t miss Rib King NYC 2019, the first barbecue event curated by NYC BBQ. This all-you-can-eat-and-drink event in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is produced by Food Karma Events and will be a celebration of beef and pork ribs with more than 10 pitmasters and chefs from NYC, including Cash Only BBQ, Hill Country, Izzy’s, Mable’s, Morgan’s, Pig Beach, and more. Buy tickets here.
June 8: The NYC Bacon and Beer Classic 2019 will take place at the Brooklyn Mirage and will celebrate two of the best things in life: bacon and beer. Over 50 local restaurants will be serving bacon-inspired dishes and local breweries will be pouring over 100 craft beers. Buy tickets here.
June 21-23: The Saratoga Balloon and BBQ Festival will take place in, you guessed it, Saratoga, New York. The event will feature BBQ from six national vendors, and there will also be draft beers from New Belgium Brewery, spirits from Black Button Distilling, and more. In addition to BBQ, there will be hot air balloon launches, live entertainment, a kids zone, a festival marketplace, and more. More info here.
July 5-7: Just after the fourth of July, the I Love BBQ and Music Festival 2019 will be revving up in Lake Placid, New York. This is a large event that attracts barbecue enthusiasts from all around the Tri-state area. Not only are there Kansas City Barbeque Society competitions happening on-site, but there are also lots of food and drink vendors for the public to eat and drink well while watching lots of live music. More info here.