News about 53rd St. in Hyde Park, Chicago

Jared Leonard

53rd Street’s BBQ Supply Co. to open Friday, October 13

Beating the initial projected November 1 opening date by more than two weeks, the second Chicago location of Jared Leonard’s BBQ Supply Co. will open in Hyde Park this Friday, October 13 at 12 p.m.

Occupying the previous Yusho location at 1301 E. 53rd Street, Leonard has kept the basic layout of the space while turning it into a classic American barbecue supper club with rich natural colors, exposed wood, and dark leather bar stools. His goal is for diners to have an elevated dining experience while eating comfort food.

The original BBQ Supply Co. opened in Chicago’s West Ridge neighborhood more than seven years ago, and the Hyde Park location will introduce South Side barbecue fans to Leonard’s Texas style BBQ, with slow-smoked brisket, pulled pork, spare ribs, and sausage, accompanied by sides such as truffle mac and cheese, cornbread, beans, cole slaw, deviled egg potato salad, and house-made pickles. The restaurant’s drink menu includes 16 different whiskeys and bourbons, craft beer, and two signature house cocktails. Desserts include peach cobbler, apple crisp, and house-made soft serve ice cream in rotating seasonal flavors – with “boozy” bourbon vanilla milkshakes ready for next summer.

The restaurant seats 45 people indoors, with outdoor patio dining for 20 people, weather permitting. Next year, BBQ Supply Co. will increase the size of the outdoor patio dining space with tables on Kimbark Avenue. Twenty employees, most from the immediate neighborhood, have been hired to staff the restaurant.

During the renovation of the space, Leonard, a resident of Lincoln Square, ejoyed getting to know Hyde Park better. He and his family stayed for a full weekend in September, visiting Promontory Point, the Original Pancake House on 47th Street, and A10 Hyde Park for dinner. He’s considering other projects in the area and is even looking at houses.

“There’s been a strong neighborhood response with people excited to have barbecue back in Hyde Park,” Leonard commented. “The University of Chicago’s Commercial Real Estate Operations group has been very supportive with resources and information, and we’re just excited to light the smoker and open the doors.”

BBQ Supply Co. will be open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday, and Leonard plans to add a weekend brunch in early 2018. The restaurant will be available for private events, with a full catering menu. Hours are 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The restaurant will be closed on Mondays.

BBQ Supply Co. restaurant opening on 53rd Street November 1

Jared Leonard’s BBQ Supply Co. restaurant will be opening in the former Yusho location at 1301 E. 53rd Street on November 1, 2017.

Leonard and his wife Amanda opened their original restaurant in Chicago’s West Ridge neighborhood over seven years ago, as a way for him to express his passion for hardwood smoked BBQ. The concept has expanded to include a retail space selling sauces and rubs and the city’s only dedicated BBQ school, with more than 5,000 past attendees.

The move to Hyde Park will give diners a taste of Leonard’s favorite Texas style BBQ, with slow-smoked brisket, pulled pork, spare ribs, and sausage cooked in 8,000-lb Texas smokers over a hardwood fire. The wood is so essential to the experience that Leonard brings in truckloads of quarter-split post oak logs from central Texas to provide the quintessential flavor.

BBQ Supply Co.’s menu will also feature comfort-food sides including truffle mac and cheese, custard-filled cornbread, pit beans, Texas caviar (black-eyed peas in a vinaigrette dressing often served as a dip), house-made pickles, coleslaw, and deviled egg potato salad. Desserts include banana pudding, a skillet cookie, Texas sheet cake, apple crisp, and peach cobbler.

“After opening on the far north side in 2010, we’re excited to expand to the south side in Hyde Park, and look forward to sharing our love for BBQ with the community,” commented Leonard.

“53rd Street has become a true dining destination,” said James Hennessy, associate vice president for commercial real estate operations for the University. “BBQ Supply Co. will add another great option for barbecue fans to enjoy and we’re happy to welcome them to the neighborhood."