Top Austin barbecue joint fires up new brick-and-mortar and beer garden
The women of La Barbecue are on the move. Owners LeAnn Mueller and Ali Clem announced that their barbecue hot spot, consistently rated among the city's and nation's best, will be relocating to its new permanent home at 2401 E. Cesar Chavez St. in May, just a few blocks from its current space.
The move allows La Barbecue to offer fans a lot more than just its famed brisket. Along with an outdoor dining room and beer garden, the new spot offers space for collaborations, special pop-ups, and perhaps the most exciting addition of all: beer and wine.
On tap for the brick-and-mortar is a beer collaboration with a local brewery, as well as a permanent home for Red Rocket Wiener Wagon, the hot dog pop-up Mueller and Clem launched during the pandemic. Though it won't erect (sorry) a permanent Red Rocket space, the wiener wagon will make monthly appearances.
"Over the past nine years, we've just always [been] on the go," says Mueller, whose parents owned the storied Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor. "I want it to have a beautiful neighborhood vibe."
And it's a neighborhood the pair knows well. La Barbecue, which launched in 2012 as a trailer in South Austin, and moved to the east side in before eventually landing on East Cesar Chavez Street in 2014. In 2017, the operation rolled a few blocks down the road to Quickie Pickie, where it runs out of a side-window and still commands lines around the block during non-pandemic times. Like all of its iterations, Mueller says the La Barbecue crew will continue to work with local artists to give the space "its own unique flair."
The move also represents a natural progression for Mueller, who wants to pay homage to her parents, Bobby and Trish, with the new restaurant.
"I grew up working in their place and not ever wanting to do barbecue," Mueller says with a laugh. "But now I have the opportunity to make it a place my parents would want to go to."
Everyone can check out the new brick-and-mortar beginning in May, when La Barbecue opens in the former Monger's space. Until then, you can get your barbecue fix Wednesdays through Sundays at La Barbecue's Quickie Pickie outpost.