New BBQ Joint

Passionate pitmaster finds a new home for barbecue joint with Hill Country vibe

Passionate pitmaster finds new location for BBQ joint with homey vibe

Pinkerton Barbecue Heights exterior
This building on Airline will soon be home to Pinkerton's Barbecue. Photo by Eric Sandler
Grant Pinkerton Barbecue
Pinkerton plans to live above the restaurant for the first year or so. Grant Pinkerton/Facebook
Pinkerton's BBQ Barbecue
Pinkerton has developed a cult following for his low-and-slow, Central Texas-style barbecue. Courtesy photo
Pinkerton Barbecue Heights exterior
Grant Pinkerton Barbecue
Pinkerton's BBQ Barbecue

When it comes to barbecue, River Oaks' loss is the Heights area's gain. 

Grant Pinkerton, the passionate, 26-year old pitmaster who's made a splash at pop-ups and the Houston Barbecue Festival, has found a new home for his barbecue joint.

After his plans to open in River Oaks fell through due to an inability to secure sufficient parking, Pinkerton went on the hunt for a new spot. Pinkerton's Barbecue's new home will be at 1504 Airline, a second-generation restaurant space that's been home to various Tex-Mex, Italian and barbecue concepts before. 

"When we got in there and started looking around, it had a lot of potential to turn into a nice, homey barbecue space as opposed to a market style. It looks like a house from the '30s," Pinkerton tells CultureMap "We took a trip out to the Hill Country and took a bunch of pictures of buildings. We're really going to try to turn it into a Main Street square-type building."

Freed from the requirements of building a restaurant from the ground up, Pinkerton hopes that he can make the necessary cosmetic changes to the space quickly and be open in three months or so. Until then, he plans to host pop-ups in the parking lot to introduce himself to his new neighbors. 

Although his restaurant's opening has been delayed, Pinkerton says he's staying busy with catering and developing some non-barbecue recipes. "There will definitely be a chef’s special that’s just something I want to cook," he says. "I’ve been cooking a lot of Creole stuff." 

Thankfully, parking won't be a problem this time. In addition to the restaurant's 17 spaces, Pinkerton says he has obtained permission from the valve and seal company next door to use their 80 spaces at night and is working to secure additional space nearby for lunchtime.  

While the location's proximity both to downtown and up-and-coming restaurants like Foreign Correspondents and Morningstar served as the primary motivators for his decision, Pinkerton notes that the space has a second-story, 1,000-square foot apartment. 

"For the first year, I can be on top of it and pull off periodic cat naps," he says. "It’s going to be real nice when someone has a problem at 3 am. You can just roll out of bed."