The pitmaster at Fox Bros. BBQ is part of the team bringing the Vietnamese-style barbecue pop-up Pho Cue to Glenwood Park.
Julian Wissman and Brian Holloway plan to launch their brick-and-mortar location in April 2021 at 925 Garrett St., in a space previously occupied by Festivals Jerk Chicken Grill, with neighbors including Kevin Gillespie’s Gunshow and recently-opened Vesper Bar.
The pair launched the pop-up last August. Pre-pandemic, they served their food primarily at music and beer festivals, but since April have popped up at A Mano in Old Fourth Ward and Smith’s Olde Bar in Ansley Park.
Wissman, who previously worked for Melissa Cookston’s barbecue company before joining Fox Bros. BBQ, “fell in love” with making barbecue in his backyard, “with a prop smoker from Home Depot and wood chips,” he said.
When it came time to launch their pop-up, the pair partly decided to focus on Vietnamese preparations so they could use the name Pho Cue.
It also helped that Wissman’s wife is Hmong, with her family’s tribe originating in Thailand and Vietnam.
“We were able to use some of her family recipes, and put a dash of us in them,” he said.
Many of the menu items from the Pho Cue pop-up will be featured at the brick-and-mortar, including pho with brisket, banh mi with a choice of pork, brisket and mushrooms, and smoked wings with sauce options including lemongrass pepper and hot buffalo. The eatery will also offer several specials, as well as a full bar.
Wissman, who will stay on as the pitmaster at Fox Bros. for another month or two, said he and Holloway will continue to pop-up with Pho Cue while working on building out their new space.
While the pair aren’t “knocking down walls,” they have to install a smoker and an external pit. Once open, the space will seat about 25, including outdoor patio seating. Pho Cue will also offer takeout and delivery, and will host other chefs looking to promote their own pop-ups. With plans to offer lunch, dinner and late-night hours, Wissman said the hope is for Pho Cue to be “an industry spot,” where those in the restaurant industry can come after they get off of work.
Wissman said he and Holloway, who previously managed food trucks, started talking about a more permanent home for Pho Cue in March, around the time COVID-19 shut everything down. While he said the vision for the restaurant was altered slightly, they’re hoping to open Pho Cue with most of their original plans intact.
“We definitely have to pivot,” he said. “But that’s one of our strong suits. We’re really creative people, so when the pandemic hit, it gave us an outlet for that.”
Scroll down to see the pop-up menu for Pho Cue:
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