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Pioneering barbecue restaurant neighboring Minute Maid Park shutters

Pioneering barbecue restaurant neighboring Minute Maid Park shutters

Jackson St. BBQ
Jackson St. BBQ has closed. Jackson St. BBQ/Facebook

A barbecue spot familiar to Houston Astros fans and downtown regulars has put out the pit. Jackson St. BBQ, which has been a fixture near Minute Maid Park since the Astros Opening Day in 2015, announced its shutter via a social media post.

“Between Covid and the Astros need for additional parking we are ‘turning out the lights, the party is over,’ the Facebook post reads. Thanking fans and patrons for their support, the post reminds readers that they can enjoy barbecue at Greg Gatlin’s eponymous — and popular — draw, Gatlin’s BBQ.

Why the nod? Gatlin partnered with Reef chef Bryan Caswell at Jackson St. The pairing was a hit: CultureMap noted that while barbecue fanatics typically order meat a la carte, the jalapeño cheese biscuit packed with burnt ends is so good that it should have everyone opting for sandwiches.

Those concerned for the Jackson St. team members can take heart: the post adds that the entire staff (including “the lovely and gregarious Ms. Evelyn”) will man upcoming concepts helmed by Jackson St. owner Bill Floyd: El Real in the downtown tunnels (1100 Louisiana St.) and Real Agave Lounge, the tequila bar on 1100 Louisiana St. (street level). Floyd’s wine-fueled Porta’vino concept — the original is a familiar sight on Washington Avenue — has also opened in The Woodlands.

Ahead of the curve in terms of development, Jackson St. was a pioneer of sorts in downtown barbecue. “We are totally sold on downtown,” Floyd told CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler in 2014. “Now with the Super Bowl and the increase in residential property, I think downtown is going to catch on.”

Indeed, downtown did catch on. No word yet on the barbecue restaurant’s fate: industry rumors have Jackson St.’s 8,000-square-foot space transforming into stadium parking. For a while, however, it was a home-run destination for all things ‘cue.