As I walk around, I can almost smell the brisket and ribs. I’m still in a construction zone for sure and nothing is on the pit – but I have eaten a few plates of ZZQ, so I know what’s in store this March and I can hardly wait.
Alex Graf, co-owner of the soon-to-be-open Texas craft-barbecue restaurant, is giving me a tour of the new space she’s envisioned and constructed with her husband, Chris Fultz. The couple, both architects, have really watched this dream evolve from the ground up. The space, all 3200 square feet of it (plus 800sf smokehouse), is located on the corner of Highpoint Avenue and Moore Street in Scott’s Addition.
Graf tells me everything about how they got here has been organic. Just born out of a love for barbeque and Texas rock and roll – hence the name: ZZ Top + barbecue.
She is beaming with pride and excitement as we walk around.
If you’re a small business owner and you’ve opened a brick-and-mortar, you know this feeling in the days before opening. It’s a combination of Christmas and waiting for the stork to arrive. And it’s a feeling that only happens once as you start to see all your hard work come together.
It is apparent a lot of hard work and thought has gone into the new construction. It feels like I’m in Austin and that’s because Graf and Fultz have deliberately added many central Texas touches. Like cattle murals and rustic light fixtures, metal signage, woodwork and even newly planted trees that are nods to the Lone Star state. But perhaps the biggest import is Dave Sines, a Texas-based artist who specializes in metal sculpture, who has been living with the couple as he constructs large metal tables, the woodshed and ranch-style gateway for the outdoor patio.
If you tuned into ZZQ during its pop-up days at Ardent Craft Ales then you know the couple just had one smoker nicknamed Max. Now, the new outdoor smokehouse has three with the addition of Maevis and Mazzy (like Mazzy Star) and they are impressive pieces of art but will soon be impressive barbecue beasts that diners can eye as they sit in the outdoor gravel patio.
Inside, ZZQ will have a full bar serving specialty cocktails designed by Richmond bar master Derek Salerno and of course craft beer will be on tap with some good ole fashioned bottles of Lone Star.
If you’re there to eat – and you better be, you’ll get in the corral and order up at the counter. Brisket, ribs, pulled pork sausage and sometimes chicken will be up on the menu along with homemade sides. You’ll then grab one of the 170 seats to sit and dine or carry it out and head over to Ardent if you like, because the two old friends will still share an open fence line.
Graf says they want ZZQ to be eclectic but friendly and definitely a neighborhood destination. After all, the whole undertaking has involved other Scott’s Addition and Virginia businesses: Trent Corporation, Karnes Coffey, Sky Interiors, Daniel Rickey Furniture, Surface Architectural Supply, Polosko, Legacy Ironworks, Bruin Design, Eco Supply, Glen Glass, Nils Westergard and PB & J.
Eventually, bands will be invited to perform in the patio that’s already wired for musicians. But for right now – the focus is still on opening the doors. An announcement is expected to come this week on that grand opening date.
Once operating, ZZQ will be closed Monday and Tuesday. Open Wednesday and Thursday until 9:00pm.
Friday and Saturday until 10:00pm, Sunday from 11:00am-6:00pm.
A final message from Graf to the ZZQ fans, “Tell them we love them and can’t wait to feed them.”