Popular San Antonio BBQ joint closes its doors, opens at new location this weekend

“Our goal is to adapt and thrive,” says owner Adrian Martinez.

Smoke the Restaurant old exterior and BBQ platter (Adrian Gomez)

SAN ANTONIO – After four years of delivering BBQ on the East Side of Downtown San Antonio, Smoke the Restaurant is closing its doors and moving down the street.

The venue and BBQ restaurant, like most restaurants around the country, has been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Owner Adrian Martinez expressed in a Facebook Live video earlier today that a business known for bringing people together in close quarters is no longer a thriving business model.

“We’ve gotten over a ton of stuff in the past few years,” said Martinez. “The fact that our space is so large, our rent is $20,500 a month (before utilities).”

According to Martinez, the business has only been able to utilize twenty percent of the space in recent months. The three attached bars and upstairs venue have become financial liabilities since the start of the shutdowns.

The new location, 501 East Crockett, comes with much lower rent and more freedom to create a space that represents the brand and culture Martinez and crew have built in the past few years in San Antonio.

With this new location, Martinez said, “Our goal is to adapt and thrive.”

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The new location will be operational starting as soon as this Friday.

3-D rendering of Smoke the Restaurant's new exterior

The restaurant plans on offering its popular curbside special this weekend at the new location that includes one-pound of brisket, two sausage links, two jumbo smoked chicken quarters, one pint of potato salad, one pint of charro beans, pickles and onions and BBQ sauce for $24.99.

BBQ Platter from the Smoke the Restaurant with pickles and onions

The new space will offer 8,000 square feet of dining space and outdoor entertainment.

“Plenty of room for social distancing,” says Martinez.

The outdoor addition is estimated to be open to the public in late September of this year.

3-D rendering of Smoke the Restaurant's new outdoor venue

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About the Author:

David Elder is the host and executive producer of the food and travel show Texas Eats on ABC KSAT 12 and NBC KPRC 2.