Two Scotts Barbecue looks to fill an industry gap with new traditional Southern BBQ joint

Scott Luecht can describe the menu for he and co-owner Scott Hartmann's new Two Scotts Barbecue in two words (give or take one adjective): well-executed and simple. 

Luecht and Hartman just closed on the 1,000-square-foot building and former home to the Root Beer Stand drive-thru at 536 Leonard Street NW last Friday, with plans already underway to completely gut and remodel the interior. 

“Essentially what we're going to do is keep the bones of the structure - the roof and the outside brick and everything - and we're going to gut the inside and give it a slightly more modern feel,” he says. “If you've ever been to a barbecue place in the South, we want that feel, but we don't want you to stick to your seat when you leave kind of thing. It's clean, it's a little bit modern, but in reality it's all about the food.”

What kinds of well-executed, simple items can you expect to see on the menu at Two Scotts Barbecue? First of all, Luecht says they’ll have a permanent menu with all of Southern barbecue’s “usual suspects”: pulled pork and chicken sandwiches, quarter chicken, brisket and St. Louis-cut rib. 

“We really want to focus on the smoked meats and just offer the best in town,” he says. “All of your usual suspects as far as traditional southern barbecue with the weekly specials where we're going to try something a little more exotic, or entertaining, if you will.”

The menu will also feature made-from-scratch side dish staples like potato salad, coleslaw, mac n’ cheese, and tater tots with root beer on-tap and in bottles for sale – an homage, Luecht says, to the buildings predecessors at Root Beer Stand.

With Mitten Brewing Company and Long Road Distillery across the street from the site of the future Two Scotts Barbecue, Luecht says he and Hartmann figured there were plenty of options for adult beverages, and thought a root beer tap would not only be a nice change of pace, but a nice gesture, too. 

“We also want to keep with the whole Root Beer Stand theme and we really want to have some locally crafted root beer,” he says. “Honestly, I love a beer with almost anything, but with smoked meat there's just something about a nice, sugary, flavorful drink.” 

Luecht and Hartmann hope to eventually convert the parking lot space behind the building into a raised patio for outdoor dining, though demolition on the building's interior has yet to begin at this time.  

In the meantime, the pair will continue working with architect Bryon Speed on the new design and Willink Construction Company to make it happen. Right now, Luecht estimates Two Scotts Barbecue will be officially open for business sometime after the holidays. 

“We're two simple guys and what we want to do is just make really good food and that's the focus of our restaurant, which is to make simple, quality, smoked meat,” he says. “We feel like there's a shortage of it around town so we're here to supply that need. We’ve seen the success and see how great the West side can be with its response to new businesses and desire for new things and we’ve really come to love it here.” 

Written by Anya Zentmeyer
Images courtesy of Scott Luecht
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