For three years, Brand BBQ (@BrandBBQ, 2824 W. Armitage Ave.) has called the west side of Logan Square home. Located across from the Tastee Freez (@TasteeFreez, 2815 W. Armitage Ave.), Brand became a neighborhood legend thanks to creative concoctions such as the burnt-ends mac and cheese and pulled pork tacos. Then one day last winter, Brand closed its doors with little to no warning and little explanation, leaving many neighbors confused, heartbroken and hungry.
In an equally unanticipated move, this August Brand BBQ flipped the lights on a bright new sign and once again opened its doors for business. I stopped in last week to get my macaroni and meat fix and to chat with part owner Alex Gorecki. He explained that Brand shuttered for a few months to focus on three vital tasks: obtaining a license for the Brand BBQ food truck, getting licensed for alcohol (they were formerly BYOB) and to update the concept and menu.
The new Brand BBQ will have two menus: one rotating menu for dining in that includes locally sourced, experimental items and a truncated takeout menu with items that will hold up during the delivery process. “For dining in, we want to focus on the ‘twist’ food. Everybody here is a self-proclaimed gourmet chef,” Gorecki says. “We love the idea of experimenting … of having neighbors come in to see what’s on special that night.”
One example of that experimentation is the smoked chicken bruschetta, a concoction that Gorecki describes as “out-flipping-rageous.” The new menu addition is comprised of locally baked french loaves sliced thin and toasted and topped with smoked chicken, red onions, cheddar cheese and the house spicy barbecue sauce. Old favorites that are coming back include the Brand fries, sweet potato fries and the burnt ends sandwich.
With liquor license in hand, Brand also is hoping to become something of a local watering hole. “We want it to be fun. The beer is cheap, the atmosphere is awesome and relaxed, and the kitchen is open late,” Gorecki says. They’ll have a few rotating drink specials throughout the week, including $1 PBR cans every day of the week and $1 cans of Tecate, Miller High Life and more on Thursdays. On Fridays, they plan to offer $2 cans.
For a full look at the Brand BBQ dine in and take out menus, visit brandbbq.com.