The quality of barbecue available to Katy residents is about to improve considerably. Roegels Barbecue will soon open its second location in the west Houston suburb (20702 Katy Fwy #1a, Katy).
An exact opening date depends on successfully completing final inspections. If everything goes smoothly, the new Roegels could open as soon as this weekend, owner Russell Roegels tells CultureMap. (Update: It opens on Saturday, February 5.)
Roegels Barbecue has earned considerable praise since owners Misty and Russell Roegels ceased operations as a Baker’s Ribs franchise and began operating under their own name in 2015. The original location on Voss made Texas Monthly’s list of the state’s top 50 barbecue joints in 2017 and earned an honorable mention on the even more competitive 2021 list. They’ve also earned the respect of their peers, who’ve dubbed Russell “The Commissioner.” Many of those colleagues turned out for a recent invite-only preview of the Katy location.
Opening a second location in Katy has long been in the couple’s plans, and the former Cowboy Chicken space provided them with the right opportunity. Most of the renovations focused on adding a bar and installing the proper smoker and other equipment necessary to serve barbecue. Fletch Sheridan will serve as the new location’s general manager and pitmaster, which will allows Russell to remain focused on Voss.
Powered by a wood-fired, rotisserie-style smoker made by A.N. Bewley Fabricators, the Katy location will offer the same core menu as the original along with specials such as Roegels signature Reuben sandwiches on Thursdays and new menu items like smoked and fried pork belly bites and smoked and fried chicken wings. Fan favorite sides like loaded mashed potatoes and Texas caviar will be available, as will Misty Roegels’ bourbon banana pudding.
While the food will be familiar to Roegels fans, the beverage offerings will include cocktails and spirits for the first time. At the preview party, Misty Roegels provided diners with a first sip of cocktails such as a margarita, Moscow Mule, and Old Fashioned.
“We have the bar which is not Russell, that’s straight Misty,” Roegels says. “I’m good at being the guinea pig. [The rest] was all her.”
Expanding is risky, of course, particularly during a time when restaurants are facing increased costs for raw materials and battling supply shortages. Growth also presents opportunity as only Brett’s Barbecue Shop provides the area with the same quality of barbecue that Roegels serves.
“I’m nervous. I’m not going to lie to you. I’ve been in such a comfort zone on Voss for the last five years,” Roegels says. “I am confident with our people. My main fear is, we’re not the cheapest place around . . . In today’s world, some people shop costs.
“I’m excited, too. Any time you go into something like this you don’t know what people are going to think. You can’t please 100 percent of the people, but hopefully we can please most of them.”
For now, Roegels will be open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday. Days of operation may increase once the restaurant has hired and trained additional staff. Mostly, Roegels says he’s taking things day-by-day.
“We’ll see what happens. We’re not playing by any rules,” he says. “I like flying by the seat of my pants. It’s worked out well for me for almost 50 years.”