- No rest for the weary: Chef/owner Ronnie Killen mopping the floor.
- Chef/owner Ronnie Killen goes to work.
- Samples were handed out to patient guests in line.
- The interior just before the doors opened.The long line is visible through the windows.
- The pièce de résistance.
- Bun B with the Killen's staff.
- A view of excited customers as they headed in.
Throngs of patient fans waiting to get a taste of Ronnie Killen's acclaimed 'cue descended upon Killen's Barbecue on its opening day this past weekend. After the weekend before last turned out to be another pop-up inside the new space, this past Saturday marked the first official day that the establishment was fully operational. And it was a busy service. On Saturday alone they sold out of brisket, beef and ribs by 3:45, going through approximately 1,500 pounds of meat on that one day alone. Crowds have steadily grown over time since Killen first started hosting barbecue pop-ups at his high-end Pearland steakhouse well over a year ago. Local meat lovers have become familiar with the long waits associated with these cookouts. Add to that the allure of seeing Killen's reverse-flow pit in action and the recent announcement that Underbelly's Patrick Feges would be the pitmaster, and the excitement doubled. Feges has been garnering a small following of his own with barbecue pop-ups he's hosted at Anvil and with some catering orders he took for some Super Bowl fans; he still plans on opening his own barbecue place one day. For now he'll be honing his skills in Pearland with the help of the famously large crowds, which would train anyone in a matter of days.
Expect this 1950s' school cafeteria-style space to be full for most of the first few weeks it's open. Business hours are 11 a.m. to whenever they run out of meat every day except for Mondays, when they'll close to rest and re-stock. Up next for Killen is CK Steakhouse which he plans to open with Hubcap Grill's Ricky Craig, and the recently announced inside-the-Loop barbecue spot for which he's partnering with famed restaurateur and Reef owner Bryan Caswell. For now, Killen plans on maintaining his focus to not merely surpass Houston 'cue institutions, but to "overthrow Franklin from being the king of barbecue." Here, take a look at the opening day frenzy of smoke-filled excitement:
· Killen's BBQ [Facebook]
· All Other Killen's Posts [-EHOU-]
· Ronnie Killen Updates Us on His Permanent Barbecue Spot [-EHOU-]