When Gary and Cindi Parker moved from Austin, Texas to Gig Harbor 20 years ago, they had a tough time finding Central Texas barbecue.
Gary Parker wound up buying an offset smoker so he could make it himself. Eventually, he upgraded to a Lang smoker from Georgia.
He smoked meats for friends and family in his backyard and for tailgating parties for his son John’s car races.
John now owns Gig Harbor’s Accuracy Automotive and his dad is about to start a second career as a professional pit master.
With retirement from Intel looming, Parker faced a question about what the second act of his career would look like. He thought if he was going to keep working, it ought to be something he’d enjoy doing every day. If it wasn’t eating barbecue, then it would have to be making barbecue.
BBQ2U is the name of his restaurant, and, if all goes as planned, it will have its grand opening Friday (March 2). The Gig Harbor restaurant is across the street from Uptown Gig Harbor in the same shopping complex as Ace Hardware.
The self-contained smoker located inside his restaurant will burn post oak or mesquite hard wood, supplemented with local alder or fruit wood as needed.
Coming off that smoker will be brisket simply rubbed with salt and pepper like it is in Central Texas, said Parker.
The rest of Parker’s menu will pull from other barbecue styles, such as Carolina pulled pork and St. Louis cut ribs. Parker also plans to serve smoked chicken and turkey. For sides, he’ll serve fried okra, beans, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, potato salad and banana pudding ($3 to $10 in three sizes each).
His opening menu lists meat-by-the-pound ($8 to $20) as well as one-meat combo plates with two sides ($11 to $12). He’ll also serve sandwiches ($6 to $9). He’ll serve tea and fountain drinks, plus beer by the bottle or can. Texan transplants will love that they’ll be able to drink Shiner Bock with their brisket and ribs.
The restaurant will be casual with ordering at the counter and diners finding their own tables.
The 2,800-square-feet restaurant will seat about 40 people. The restaurant will be open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: 4814 Point Fosdick Dr NW, Gig Harbor
Info: 253-313-5656 or facebook.com/BBQ2U
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. daily
Opening: Official grand opening March 2.