Restaurants / Openings

The Secrets of Houston’s New Truth BBQ — Including How to Avoid the Long Lines

Unique Design Blends Country and City Like No Other

BY // 02.07.19

We have discovered the secret to avoiding ridiculously long lines at Houston’s new, wildly popular Truth BBQ. Make your visit to this Valhalla of smoked meats midweek when skies are threatening a downpour. Our drop-by on Thursday, as the cool front barreled into town, revealed a fully manageable wait.

But parking was near-impossible. Take Uber or Lyft.

Our quick pass-through Truth was actually to snap photos of the interiors when fully occupied by happy diners. Construction Concepts sent over images of its design/build endeavor earlier in the day lauding a design that “redefines the traditional BBQ joint experience into a hand-crafted and custom designed space that perfectly blends country and city like smoke and brisket.” Alas, as in all architectural photos, these were absent of humanity.

This, of course, allowed for the design features to reign paramount in the photos. And, indeed, with all the focus on barbecue and giant slices of homemade cake, one might overlook the myriad special details that combine to create the unique space. This was no throw-down/build-it-quick project. It was a carefully planned and executed re-imagining of previous tenant J. Black’s space under the guidance of pitmaster Leonard Botello and his fiancé, Abbie Byrom, who were hands-on in the creative process.

“I have been a long-time fan of Truth BBQ in Brenham,” says Joshua Weisman, owner of Construction Concepts. “And I wanted their first Houston location to be anything but ordinary, but still keep that same feeling of visiting your favorite BBQ joint.”

With that as the goal, custom fabrication was required throughout the restaurant including butcher block counter tops, a hand-built 20-foot beer trough, the tin ceiling in the private dining room, steel and wood tables, and corrugated tin throughout. One of the more charming elements of the interiors is the hand-laid mosaic tiles that spell out Davy Crockett’s famous quote, “You may go to hell and I will go to Texas.”

“The original road side location has all the charm of Texas BBQ,” Weisman says. “They wanted to make sure that wasn’t lost by having the pit room tucked away outside or behind a kitchen wall.”

Thus, Construction Concepts designed and manufactured custom steel windows that look into the pit room from both inside and outside. As Truth BBQ pitmaster Leonard Botello told PaperCity, everything will be the same as in the original in Brenham, except that it won’t be.

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