When it comes to barbecue in Texas, few places match the reputation of Austin’s Franklin Barbecue. But since late August, the restaurant has been closed.

“The gist of it was that we had a fire,” says Aaron Franklin, owner of Franklin Barbecue. “And it was the wrong kind.”

But on November 21, the restaurant will fire up its smokers once again. Franklin says the team will ease back into business this week, and hopes to return to full capacity the week before Christmas.

After the fire destroyed the restaurant’s pit room, Franklin Barbecue employees were left with a lot of time on their hands. Since the restaurant’s closure, Franklin says the team has helped out at a number of benefit events for victims of Hurricane Harvey. And although they aren’t currently working at the restaurant, he says employees are still getting paid.

Franklin, however, hasn’t had much time off. As the restaurant’s general contractor, he’s had his hands full since the fire. Franklin’s team has also been working on another project too: backyard pits for home cooks. They’re hoping to start selling 600-pound barbecue pits next summer.

“They’ll fit three briskets, and it should last you about 100 years,” Franklin says.


Written by Rachel Zein.

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