A local barbecue restaurant opens its first Boston location today

The Smoke Shop is bringing "City Q" to Boston.

The 1st Place Rib Plate with pimento mac and cheese and cornbread at The Smoke Shop.
The 1st Place Rib Plate with pimento mac and cheese and cornbread at The Smoke Shop. –Dina Rudick/Globe Staff

The award-winning chef behind a 2016 Cambridge barbecue restaurant is opening a Boston location this week.

Chef/pitmaster Andy Husbands will start serving barbecue at The Smoke Shop in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood on Wednesday at 11 a.m.

Husbands, who also runs Tremont 647 in the South End, has been part of a competitive barbecue team with fellow Boston pitmaster Chris Hart since the 1990s. The duo’s team, IQUE, has won dozens of Kansas City Barbecue Society championships, hundreds of barbecue ribbons, and in 2009 became the first team from the Northeast to ever win the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue.


Husbands only opened the first Smoke Shop in Kendall Square about 17 months ago, but he said in a phone interview earlier this fall that expansion was always part of the plan.

“We had a firm grasp of what to do and how to do it,” Husbands said. “Our plan was that if the first Smoke Shop was good, and we were hitting our goals — mostly customer satisfaction — that we’d try to expand.”

Husbands said he feels lucky to have found a location in Fort Point, a neighborhood he frequented as a young chef attending loft parties in the ’90s. The neighborhood has changed, but Husbands said those differences play to The Smoke Shop’s strengths.

“We can reach all types of people in Fort Point,” Husbands said. “Barbecue transcends. We see this all the time at Kendall. We’ll see a group of guys in suits, next to a family in shorts, next to a couple on a date. Everybody understands barbecue.”

Chef Andy Husbands eating one of his award-winning ribs. —The Smoke Shop

The Fort Point restaurant, which seats 180, has a similar interior and menu as the Cambridge location, with six large-screen TVs on the wall, more than 200 American whiskeys behind the bar, and barbecue platters featuring St. Louis ribs, pulled pork, slow-smoked brisket, burnt ends, and more dotting the menu. Some of the new touches for the Boston location include a private dining room that seats 16 people, and menu items like bar popcorn in flavors such as Creole caramel and rosemary and sea salt, a line of ever-evolving “City Q” sandwiches like the Seaport hot chicken sandwich and the Carolina Cubano, and soft-serve ice cream with toppings like house-made magic shell and praline.


Husbands is also excited about the Fort Point location’s range of draft beer, something that the Cambridge spot lacks. A press release announcing the restaurant’s opening cites beers like Veridian IPA from Banded Horn Brewing Co. in Maine, Revival White Electric Imperial Coffee Stout from Rhode Island, and Jack’s Abby House Lager from Framingham. Husbands said that he hopes to have his Fort Point/Seaport neighbors on the drink menu, too.

“We definitely plan to have our dear friends Trillium on the menu, since they’re just down the street,” Husbands said. “And our good pals at Harpoon, as well.”

The Smoke Shop is open daily starting at 11 a.m. It closes at 1 a.m. Sundays through Wednesdays, and 2 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.

343 Congress St., Fort Point; thesmokeshopbbq.com