BBQ wars? Mitchells & Butlers to launch Smokehouse concept on Hickory’s doorstep

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BBQ wars? Mitchells & Butlers to launch Smokehouse concept on Hickory’s doorstep

Related tags Orleans Smokehouse Mitchells & butlers Greene king Hickory's BBQ Pub & bar

Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) is launching its first new concept since Miller and Carter with a brand that will see it go head-to-head with rival Greene King.

The pub and restaurant group will open the first Orleans Smokehouse in Solihull on 19 February.

Described as ‘paying homage to the spirit of New Orleans’, Orleans Smokehouse promises ‘generous portions’ with BBQ food cooked using American smokers that keep a regulated air temperature between 107˚C and 109˚C ‘over a carefully curated combination of hickory, mesquite and oak wood’.

Menu items will include crispy shrimp tacos, full racks of ribs; smoked brisket; king prawn po-boys; and burgers.

The new brand looks to be pitched squarely against Hickory’s Smokehouse, the BBQ restaurant brad that Greene King purchased in October 2022​ with plans to grow it into a national dining chain.

The Solihull restaurant will be located a few miles from a new Hickory’s Smokehouse, which will open in Earlswood in Solihull on 26 February.

In a comment to the Morning Advertiser,​ a Hickory’s spokesperson said: “They do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and so we’d like to wish M&B all the best with their latest venture.

“They’re perhaps 15 years late to the party - our first road trip was in 2009, and we’ve been back every year since. Seems strange to limit yourself to one state when you can celebrate all the Southern States. Either way we’re looking forward to trying their take on New Orleans classic’s like crawfish and beignets.”

A spokesperson for M&B said that the timing and location for its first Orleans Smokehouse was based on a number of factors.

“Mitchells & Butlers is proud to be launching Orleans Smokehouse, inspired by Old Orleans one of our famous historical brands.

“The decision on where to invest is a complicated decision, taken over a long period of time, based on the location of potential sites from our existing portfolio, the suitable demographics in a local area, the cost of the investment, planning constraints and many other factors. Solihull is a great location which met our criteria and was ready for investment.”

Related topics Restaurant Openings Casual Dining

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