BBQ News

Popular Austin barbecue joints face new cooking restrictions

Popular Austin barbecue joints face new cooking restrictions

La Barbecue
Austin barbecue joints may have to cut down on the smoke.  Photo courtesy of La Barbecue

KVUE — People living near some of Austin's most popular barbecue joints are asking the city to make them cut down on the smoke.

Two businesses are receiving the most complaints from a handful of neighbors: La Barbecue in East Austin and Terry Black's Barbecue on Barton Springs Road.

Citing health and quality of living concerns, Austin District 3 Council Member Sabino Renteria says he's trying to do something to cut down on the smoke by drafting a resolution to require restaurants and mobile food vendors to install smoke scrubbers, a system that cuts down on smoke emissions.

"No one should be smoked out of their house," said Renteria.

Acclaimed pitmaster John Mueller owns John Mueller Meat Company in East Austin. If the resolution passes he could be forced to spend thousands of dollars on a smoke scrubbing system, even though he has received no complaints from nearby homeowners.

"You can look over there and you don't see any smoke coming out and we're full blast right now," said Mueller.

He estimates a smoke scrubbing system could cost between $15,000 to $30,000. Mueller says he understands the neighbors' concerns but wants the city to deal with it on a case by case basis.

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