Food & Culture

Chuck’s Hop Shop Owner Partners on New Barbecue Spot

Welcome Barbecue Smith, heading soon to Maple Leaf

By Chelsea Lin September 13, 2017


Is there a better pairing than beer and barbecue?

Is there better news than a beer-and-barbecue shop opening in your neighborhood?

No. And no.

I’ll admit that I’m perhaps overly enthusiastic about the opening of Barbecue Smith—the new restaurant partnership between industry newcomer Jason Jacobs and Chuck’s Hop Shop proprietor Chuck Shin. My ‘hood, Maple Leaf, doesn’t exactly have a surplus of wonderful, walkable restaurants and bars. So when the Coa space at Roosevelt Way NE and NE 80th Way closed a few months ago, I started eagerly anticipating the sort of place that could open just blocks from home. Then, they moved in a huge custom smoker. And then I found out that Shin was involved. (Cue fireworks.) 

The two owners are longtime friends—Jacobs says he was one of Shin’s first regulars at the original shop—but Jacobs has been a plumber the last 15 years, barbecuing at home in his free time. Now he’s the acting pitmaster of the restaurant, which will hopefully be open in the next few weeks. He’s mostly self-taught, though he was a plumber on Jack’s BBQ in Georgetown when it opened, and has since buddied up with owner Jack Timmons, who helped Jacobs hone his brisket recipe. Before you find out the hard way: He’s not even from Texas. (He grew up in Edmonds.)

But still, Shin swears Jacobs’ barbecue is first rate. “My dad is a pretty old guy, and even he says it’s the best chicken he’s had in his life,” Shin says, laughing. The secret, Jacobs says, is in the brine, which leaves the chicken moist and flavorful throughout. His ‘cue, Shin says, doesn’t need sauce—though they’re making a slightly sweet and a spicy variety in house—but still has a touch of sweetness from the combo of applewood and hickory wood used in the smoking process.

Besides chicken, Jacobs will be making the requisite brisket, plus pork ribs, pulled pork and once-a-week beef ribs, plus specialties like smoked meatballs stuffed with mozzarella and smoked salmon sliders. He’s hoping to add a weekly steak night and try out some reverse searing technique. Sweet tea will always be available—for free!—and sides will be pretty standard: coleslaw, mac ‘n’ cheese, collard greens, black eyed peas and (perhaps most awesomely) Shin’s mom’s kimchi. Plates will be around $15, but you will also be able to buy meats by the pound.

Of course, no place of Shin’s would be complete without an impressive beer program. The back of the space—built like an old house—will be a bar area with seats for 15 to 20, offering 27 mostly local beers on tap. Some of those beers will be collaborative projects made through Chuck’s Hop Shop like the recent Stoup Brewing Coastal Confusion IPA.

There have been a couple of soft openings to try out the grill, and they’re hosting a fundraiser for Hurricane Harvey victims on Sunday, September 17. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here—not many are left, so get on it if you’re interested. For a final opening date, follow along on Facebook. I’ll see you opening week.

Follow Us

What’s All the Fuss About? 

What’s All the Fuss About? 

Let these Seattle-area restaurants take the Thanksgiving cooking reins

The countdown kicks off earlier each year. Turkey window decals peck at the heels of the skeletons. Soggy brown leaves lay scattered across roads, sidewalks, and yards. From misty blue mornings to frigid evenings, we hear you, nature. It’s time to eat, drink, and be merry. If you’re looking to remove the stress from your…

Five Things to Eat in November

Five Things to Eat in November

No need to wait for the holiday spread. Make every meal as comforting and celebratory as the feast ahead.

So often around this time of year, our attention turns to the holiday feast — the giant bird, abundant sides, and numerous pies — such that we forget how everyday meals can be regular opportunities to treat ourselves. Family-owned restaurants are returning to classic recipes and bringing a sense of comfort and ease to our…

Eat Your Vegetables

Eat Your Vegetables

Make the most of seasonal produce with these recipes

The parking garage is under a vitamin shop, across the street from an apartment complex. It’s trash pickup day so the garbage cans are stinky and overflowing. A few crows bounce through puddles in the alley, waiting for me to pass so they can get back to doing whatever it is crows do when no…

Westfield Southcenter launches Restaurant Row

Westfield Southcenter launches Restaurant Row

The mall is in the midst of a culinary upgrade

Get ready for Restaurant Row at Westfield Southcenter. The entire north side of the Tukwila shopping center has established a new dining district. Dubbed “Restaurant Row,” the emerging culinary hub is introducing several new concepts, beginning with Mr. Dim sum this winter. Gen Korean and another new concept will open later next year. Each restaurant…