Dogtown recently got its first smokehouse. Hogtown Smokehouse debuted in July and fills a niche in the neighborhood as its only barbecue restaurant, serving smoked meats, sandwich specials and more alongside a full bar.
The concept comes from co-owners Rico Lange and Chris Muich, two St. Louis natives who met while working at the recently closed Southtown Pub, where they took care of its barbecue catering operations. Lange previously owned and operated the now-shuttered Patch Tavern in South City. At Hogtown Smokehouse, the duo puts their years of hospitality experience to the test, with Lange serving as the front-of-house manager and Muich heading up the kitchen.
“I knew I was capable of running a restaurant and that Chris had the food knowledge, so we decided to go into business for ourselves,” Lange says. “I grew up two streets away from here and thought, ‘Dogtown needs barbecue.’”
Hogtown Smokehouse fills an approximately 1,000-square-foot space that stood vacant for 25 years. Approximately 35 can be seated inside, with additional capacity on a back patio. Muich also has a background in construction and contributed his skill set to renovations. New floors were installed throughout, and a bar was built for the front room, outfitted with reclaimed wood and subway tile.
“We wanted to make it a place you could get a happy hour drink, watch the game and get some good barbecue without it being a sports bar,” Lange says. “Everything’s fresh every day.”
Quick service is available at the counter during the day, while full service is available in the evenings for dinner. The menu begins with appetizers including dry-rubbed chicken wings, candied bacon and Frito pie made up of corn chips topped with cheese sauce, beans, pulled pork, Cheddar, sweet barbecue sauce, spicy ranch, onion and peppers.
The bulk of the menu is a selection of dry-rubbed meats smoked slowly with cherry wood, available on trays served with bread and a side, as sandwiches on hoagie-style buns or by the pound. Choose from pork, honey-glazed turkey, thick-sliced corned beef, brisket, sausage, a half chicken and a cider-brined pork steak. St. Louis-style ribs are also available.
Sandwich specials include rotating selections such as the Hot Hogtown with brisket, pork, G&W sausage, pickled sweet pepper slaw, cheese sauce, sweet barbecue sauce and crispy jalapeños on Texas toast. Salads are also available including the house option with greens, your choice of dressing, cheese, onion, cherry tomatoes, eggs, croutons and pork, brisket or turkey.
To pair with the fare, Hogtown Smokehouse offers four housemade sauces: the D “OG” (original), sweet, spicy and Hog Juice, a vinegar-based sauce. Side options include creamy slaw, mac ’n’ cheese and mustard potato salad. From the bar, choose from a selection of canned and bottled beer, whiskey and wine.
Hogtown Smokehouse is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11am to 10pm.
Hogtown Smokehouse, 6301 Clayton Ave., Dogtown, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.899.0550, hogtownsmokehouse.com