Food

This barbecue restaurant is one of the country’s best. Now it’s quietly opening in Miami

Brooklyn’s Hometown Bar-B-Que, named one of the country’s best barbecue spots in the country, is opening a Miami location Sept. 19.
Brooklyn’s Hometown Bar-B-Que, named one of the country’s best barbecue spots in the country, is opening a Miami location Sept. 19.

One of the country’s best barbecue restaurants in New York has arrived in Miami in the most un-New-York fashion: quietly.

Hometown Bar-B-Que, which helped revitalize Brooklyn’s Red Hook district and regularly draws hours-long lines that snake around the building, will open a second location in the Allapattah Produce Center Sept. 19, its owners announced on Instagram.

Pitmaster Bill Durney, a Brooklyn native who learned the art of barbecue under Wayne Mueller of the family-run Louie Muller Barbecue in Taylor, Texas, has been working on this restaurant since at least March. It is at the edge of an upcoming eight-acre project that aims to makeover the produce market in the largely Dominican neighborhood, according to a Miami Herald story.

Bill Durney
Bill Durney, who has drawn national acclaim for his central Texas style barbecue, will open just his second location, in Allapattah. The restaurant opens Sept. 19. Carlos Frías cfrias@miamiherald.com

Durney, who said he has turned down countless opportunities to open other Hometown locations over the last six years, said a 10-minute meeting with one of market’s owners, Jeff Weinstein, a former banker who worked in Coral Gables, turned into a five-hour tour of Red Hook. Before he even landed in Miami, he said he knew he wanted to do business with Weinstein — and that was before he saw the potential of Allapattah’s market as central to the neighborhood’s resurgene.

“By the time I drove up, I knew. It didn’t take but two seconds for me to know this was the space,” Durney said. “I was in the car on the way back to the airport when I called my wife and told her, ‘We’re opening a restaurant in Miami.’ ”

Hometown helped usher in a wave of succulent barbecue in New York when it opened in 2013 and was part of Red Hook’s revitalization. At Brooklyn’s Hometown, Durney uses traditional barbecue techniques with flavors from the New York melting pot, from Jewish to Korean.

“The meat falls apart on eating, as it should, and is both intensely peppery and slightly sweet. It’s served on a butcher-paper-lined metal tray, with accoutrement in paper cups, but this is a meal which requires neither sauce nor niceties,” The New Yorker wrote of the original location.

Durney appears to be following the same model in Miami.

He teamed with landowners Weinstein and Robert Wennett in Allapattah, just west of I-95 from Wynwood, which real estate developers have dubbed the next hot area. Later this year, the Rubell Family Collection, whose private art exhibition space sparked Wynwood’s transformation, will move into a lavishly converted industrial space in Allapattah.

Durney sees a lot of the same potential and blue-collar Brooklyn spirit in Allapattah.

“I’ll never forget my first day there driving up and immediately knowing I was in,” Durney’s Hometown restaurant posted on Instagram. “There was even a train that crossed directly in front of our building as we got there and that sealed the deal. It was Brooklyn! And although it looks and feels a lot different than our beloved Red Hook, the edgy industrial setting and the incredible community of people in Allapattah reminds me of home and the hard working folks that made Red Hook so special.”

Miami barbecue fans will be happy to know standing in an endless line won’t be the only way to feast on Hometown’s famous barbecue.

The restaurant will have walk-up counter service at lunch, starting at 11:30 a.m. but also will accept reservations for dinner through the app Resy. It also will seat walk ins “until the meat runs out,” the restaurant wrote.

Hometown Bar-B-Que

1200 NW 22nd St., #100, Allapattah

Miami Herald food editor Carlos Frías won the 2018 James Beard award for excellence in covering the food industry. A Miami native, he’s also the author of “Take Me With You: A Secret Search for Family in a Forbidden Cuba.”
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