Major Barbecue Expansion

Is bigger better? Top Houston barbecue restaurant plans move to massive new location

Is bigger better? Top BBQ restaurant plans move to massive location

1 Texas Monthly BBQ Festival September 2014 Greg Gatlin
Pitmaster Greg Gatlin will relocate Gatlin's BBQ to a new location on Ella in 2015. Photo by Eric Sandler
Texas Monthly 10 Houston Plates May 2013 Fatty Brisket at Gatlin’s BBQ
Gatlin's BBQ is known for its excellent ribs and stellar sides.  Photo by © Cedric Angeles/Food & Wine June 2013
Gatlin's Barbecue Houston cars outside restaurant
At 4,200 square feet, the new location will have much more room than the Heights original. Photo by Eric Williams/GooglePlus
Gatlin's BBQ lady with barbecue
Mary Gatlin's smiling presence adds to the welcoming atmosphere at Gatlin's. Gatlin's BBQ
1 Texas Monthly BBQ Festival September 2014 Greg Gatlin
Texas Monthly 10 Houston Plates May 2013 Fatty Brisket at Gatlin’s BBQ
Gatlin's Barbecue Houston cars outside restaurant
Gatlin's BBQ lady with barbecue

Looks like 2015 will be a busy year for Greg Gatlin. The celebrated pitmaster of Gatlin's BBQ in the Heights already has plans to open Jackson Street Barbecue with fellow St. Thomas alum Bryan Caswell of Reef. In addition, he will relocate his restaurant, which was selected by Texas Monthly as one of the state's 50 best barbecue joints, to a new location on Ella. 

  Located at 3510 Ella, the space is part of a newly constructed shopping center adjacent to Private Mini-Storage.  

Currently, Gatlin's only has about 700 square feet of space for interior seating that's supplemented by about a dozen picnic tables on a covered patio. The new space will be 4,200 square feet, according to an article in the Chronicle. Located at 3510 Ella, the space is part of a newly constructed shopping center adjacent to Private Mini-Storage. 

One secret to Gatlin's success is the way its meat blends both Central Texas and East Texas. Alongside brisket, Gatlin's serves pork ribs that are some of the best in Texas thanks to their sweet and spicy seasoning; Gatlin's dirty rice is also among the best side dishes at any Texas barbecue joint.

The new space means less standing around waiting for a table or having to split a picnic table with strangers, but it doesn't address the biggest problem with dining there. That would be the sometimes half hour wait to receive food after ordering it. Hopefully, the larger space also brings speedier service. 

If all goes according to plan, Gatlin's will relocate in May, which means the spring will be jam-packed. According to Reef co-owner Bill Floyd, Jackson Street Barbecue should be open near Minute Maid Park in time for the start of baseball season.