St. Louis is no stranger to barbecue, but being in the shadow of smoking giants such as Kansas City and Memphis has made some in our area forget that the city has its own style of barbecue that it can be proud of.
Dr. Gurpreet Padda, one half of the team behind Hendricks BBQ in St. Charles, is looking to restore that pride. Padda, along with Hendricks’ chef, Chris Lee, went all over the United States, traveling to more than 100 barbecue joints, from "little dives no bigger than a postage stamp ... to massive restaurants in Texas," Padda says, to explore what others were bringing to the table and set Hendricks apart.
“What we do with all of our restaurants is look at what others have done and make sure we bring something to St. Louis that’s world class,” says Padda, who, along with his business partner, Ami Grimes, is behind Sanctuaria Wild Tapas, Diablitos Cantina and Cafe Ventana.
“I lost my meat virginity to barbecue,” says the one-time vegetarian Padda. “I’m enamored with extraordinary barbecue, and I can’t wait to bring St. Louis-style barbecue back, because it’s been missing for too long.”
Hendricks had originally planned to open last year, but a water main break in the Waterworks building where they’re located stymied the plan just 10 days before the soft opening. Now, Hendricks is all set to open at 4pm on Thu., Aug. 30, according to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page, facebook.com/hendricksbbq.
The restaurant itself has two levels, and as such, will have two distinct components. One half will be Hendricks BBQ, which will serve its St. Louis smoked fare and also have two separate banquet facilities, while the other half will be an area known as Moonshine Blues Bar. “We feel that vodka has reached its capacity,” Padda says. “There’s a lot of potential in moonshine.”
Hendricks will offer varieties of infused moonshine behind the Moonshine Blues Bar, all of which will be made for them by North Carolina-based distilleries that follow Hendricks proprietary recipes. They are also planning for live jazz or blues music.
Hendricks BBQ, 1200 South Main Street, St. Charles, Mo., 636.724.8600, facebook.com/hendricksbbq