Fort Worth barbecue pop-up master opens first restaurant near TCU
A Fort Worth barbecue concept that started as an underground pop-up has found a permanent location in a building with a recent checkered past.
Dayne's Craft Barbecue will set up the smokers at 2000 W. Berry St., in the building that recently housed Americado, the troubled Mexican restaurant and food hall, which closed for good in January.
Dayne's first began in January 2018 as "Dayne's Underground Barbecue," a home-based pop-up from barbecue aficionado Dayne Weaver. Positive response from neighbors, friends, and family as well as the encouragement of his fiancee, Ashley Hays, persuaded Weaver to grow his hobby into a business.
Dayne smokes the meat and manages advertising; Ashley cooks the sides and handles the finances.
At their new location, they'll combine barbecue restaurant with family- and pet-friendly hangout, including a 3,500-square-foot outdoor space equipped with a seating area, games, and stage for live music.
"We want it to be an experience," Dayne says. "We want it to be a place where you can get great barbecue, have a beer, see people you know, hang out for a while."
The menu will include all the barbecue fundamentals: prime brisket, pork ribs, pulled pork, turkey, and housemade sausage. Sides include street corn in a regular version or dusted with Flamin' Hot Cheetos, loaded red potato salad, and mac and cheese. There will also be a daily featured meat, from burnt ends to beef ribs to specialty sausages.
In step with the popular slow-and-low cooking method, all meats will be smoked over post oak, on indirect heat pits, via a pair of locally built offset smokers.
Americado had a sadly volatile history during its two-year run, changing menus and concepts several times. What started as a Mexican restaurant with different serving stations evolved into a food hall with various vendors; it closed in January.
"The people who ran Americado are not involved," Weaver says. "This is going to be a barbecue restaurant, plain and simple."
Meat will be sliced and served on the spot, while customers waiting in line watch. After ordering, customers can grab a seat in the dining room or on the patio.
Craft beer, wine, and cocktails will be available, too. The restaurant will also offer a bar menu, made up of small plates, such as chips and guacamole and brisket tacos.
They're redoing the layout, replacing Americado's individual serving stations with additional seating and a single ordering area.
"It's a pretty modern building — big windows, two garage doors that open to the outside," Weaver says. "We're going to promote community — people getting together, eating together, making a night of it. We want TCU students, hipsters, and cowboys coming here to get barbecue, and no one feels out of place."
They're planning on opening in the fall, hopefully September, and will be open Thursday-Sunday with a full menu and full bar; there's a kickstarter campaign to get them in gear. Until then, Weaver will continue to host pop-up events around town. On April 13, he's hosting a "Meat and Greet" pop-up event on the grounds of the new location, with family activities, live music, and food.