Up in Smoke

Barton Springs barbecue joint slapped with lawsuit over too much smoke

Barton Springs barbecue joint slapped with lawsuit over too much smoke

Terry Black's Barbecue brisket pit smoker
Neighbors of Terry Black's Barbecue on Barton Springs Road are suing the restaurant. Courtesy of Terry Black's Barbecue

KVUE — Several homeowners living behind Terry Black's Barbecue on Barton Springs Road have filed a lawsuit over the smoke from its barbecue pits.

Terry Black's co-owner Mark Black said he was blindsided. "We got an email this morning [stating] that they filed a lawsuit, and we had no idea," he said.

Terry Black's on Barton Springs opened last year, and while customers may love the brisket, neighbors living on Daniel Drive hate all the smoke. "You don't smell ribs, it's a campfire," said homeowner Guy Watts in an interview with KVUE in April. "When I go get my paper I know where the wind is because I can smell the smoke." Watts is the attorney who filed the suit, listing 15 total plaintiffs.

The suit states, "Terry Black's Barbecue lights its fires early in the morning and burns wood approximately 15 hours a day, seven days a week." It goes on to state that, "Defendant Terry Black's has created a private nuisance and committed negligence against the Plaintiffs."

However, Black said they have been working with the neighbors for quite some time, and in April and May they installed a smoke scrubber system to cut down on the smoke.

"We spent thousands of dollars improving our system and there is less smoke," Black said. "You can tell by just looking at the stacks. If you look at the stacks now compared to how it used to be, we've made major improvements."

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Read the full story and watch the video on KVUE.com