A new truck for 'Q
"We do straightforward, West Texas-style barbecue," says Jack Fortune, owner of Barney's BBQ (in the Union Square Shopping Plaza, 5085 N. Academy Blvd., barneysbbqcos.com). "We're not fancy at all. For our brisket we use 50 percent salt and 50 percent black pepper. We let the meat and smoke stand on its own."
Fortune previously worked 18 years in the car business before opting for a change, and his wife A.J., who helps out, retired from the Air Force after 20 years. Jack concedes he has no culinary training but has long been a "home barbecue guy."
On the truck he smokes a hickory, cherry and mesquite mix (for 14 hours) with a Cookshack Fast Eddy pellet smoker capable of holding 100 pounds of meat. He makes only one barbecue sauce, with brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, apple cider vinegar, black pepper, salt, cumin and Worcestershire. "You don't have to get complicated with this stuff," he says, adding that his pork sees only the same salt and pepper plus a little garlic, onion powders, and paprika for color.
Spice heads can request a habanero powder addition and Jack says he'll soon introduce an espresso-based sauce. He also house-makes a basic slaw, plus a mix of kidney and pinto "Cowboy Beans" kicked up with brisket drippings, burnt ends and jalapeños among other inputs.
Barney's opens at noon (daily but for Mondays) and serves until sellout, which can happen within an hour, Jack says.
Pour some sugar on me
The genesis of The Pour House Lounge (2030 S. Academy Blvd., 573-5199) starts with DJ Silky Smooth. His real name is Rich Perea, and he's 63, having rocked the turntables for 42 years professionally: to be clear, not hip-hop scratching, but DJing a good mix of classics and contemporary music at bars and special events.
His son, Rich Jr., basically said, "Pops, you have a good following, so why not make money for yourself instead of all the bars?" That was eight years ago, when Jr. operated Jalapeño's Hot Spot in Pueblo. (He says it was successful, but closed after a year due to the landlord wanting the space back.)
Sr. finally came around to the idea and now spends many evenings hosting at the Pour House. Jr. works the bar when he's not at his day job of the past 25 years at Colorado Springs Utilities — or when he's not coaching Mitchell High School's boys basketball team.
Jr. says their intent with the Pour House is to keep prices very affordable and accessible. During Pour Hour, Bud Light drafts are only $1, and during regular hours, craft and import beer bottles (32 available) top out at $3.50. "We want to be a spot where someone can get a cheap beer and hang out and listen to music," he says, also noting a jukebox where guests can hook up their phones and play music free.
For food, the Pereas have kept things simple with basic brats and hot dogs, nachos and pizza.