Friday night at 5 p.m. Minnesota BBQ Co. finally opened its doors in Northeast to a line of barbecue fans that stretch around the building and down the block. The take-out spot is the newest venture from the Travail collective and overseen by barbecue fanatic, Kale Thome. The chef has been honing his menu and brisket technique for years leading up to this moment. On the menu were brisket, ribs, chicken, mac and cheese, creamed sweet potatoes, aged jalapeno vinegar sauce, and more. From the moment doors opened until the last piece was sold, fans were lined up and patiently waiting. At 7:16 p.m. the inventory was wiped out, just over two hours after opening the doors.
Minnesota BBQ Co. began as a pop-up and an obsession for the Thome. It was announced back in the fall of 2017 that the barbecue stand was in the works, but only just opened this past weekend. The small stand includes custom metal work, in addition to a made just-for-them smoker.
It’s another success for a restaurant group that’s racked up accolades and sell-out restaurant reservations. Travail first began in 2010 as a small chef-owned and operated restaurant, one of the first to do away with servers. Instead all the chefs cooked, served, and brought the good times from the kitchen out into the dining room. Years later, including a record-breaking crowdfunding campaign in the early days, Travail is moving to yet another, bigger location and it’s Pig Ate My Pizza is also on the move into a larger space. Right now there’s a residency happening in a Minneapolis restaurant.
The second night of business, there was more meat and it took just a bit longer to sell out. By Sunday they seemed for find the right supply to demand groove, with the line finally dying down. For now, that’s the only way to get these dishes, but eventually Minnesota BBQ Co. hopes to set up an electronic ordering system and delivery to nearby Fair State Cooperative Brewing’s taproom.
Minnesota BBQ is open Wednesday through Sunday.