Sophie Bolich

New Barbeque Restaurant Planned for South Side

What started as a backyard catering business will soon be the newest BBQ joint on the south side.

By - Aug 9th, 2022 12:10 pm
Backyard Brother's Barbeque chickens. Photo Courtesy of Michael Hester.

Backyard Brother’s Barbeque chickens. Photo Courtesy of Michael Hester.

A new barbeque spot is coming soon to the south side.

Christopher Patton and Michael Hester would open Brother’s Backyard Barbeque at 3530 W. National Ave.

The restaurant is the latest in a series of ventures for Patton and Hester, who also own real estate together. The two have been best friends since childhood. “If you ask anybody about us, they’re gonna know that me and Chris are always together,” Hester said.

“Out of our group of friends, he’s been the chef, and barbeque just kind of ran in my blood,” said Hester, whose dad owns the north side barbeque joint, Pop’s BBQ Memphis Style, 7605 W. Good Hope Rd.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit just as the two were looking for a new project, and given their backgrounds, a restaurant seemed like the perfect fit.

Using Hester’s custom-built smoker, the two started cooking meals for neighbors in Hester’s mom’s backyard during the early days of the pandemic in 2020. They received a good response and have been operating as a catering business ever since.

Hester and Patton originally planned the restaurant for a north side location, 1742 W. Atkinson Ave., but it never opened due to problems with the building.

The process was much smoother at the new location, said Hester, and the restaurant is set to open as soon as it receives the go-ahead from the Common Council’s Licenses Committee, which could be within the next month.

Amid a sea of Milwaukee-area barbeque restaurants, Hester said his dry rubs and seasonings, which have a Mexican twist, stand out from the rest. In the interest of research, Hester and Patton have tried “pretty much all of” the barbeque spots in town “just to see what’s going on,” Hester said.

The straightforward menu offers ribs, chicken, turkey and brisket, served solo or as a dinner plate, which comes with two sides. Customers can choose from mac and cheese, greens and potato salad to round out the meal.

Brother’s Backyard Barbeque would open in the former Romo’s Silver City Sports Bar, which closed in 2014. As of late 2019, the building was planned to become the home of Pupuseria Los Angeles, but the food truck never opened its brick-and-mortar location. Developer Ryan Pattee owns the property.

The owners completed renovations and updates in the space, including painting the interior walls bright orange to match the restaurant’s logo.

The vibrant color makes the space stand out, said Hester, adding that the restaurant would be mostly geared toward takeout, but would offer at least 20 seats for dine-in.

Hester and Patton both formerly worked in sales, but recently departed from the 9 to 5 in order to focus full-time on the business. The two are already looking ahead, with plans to expand the business to a food truck.

As the restaurant’s opening draws nearer, Hester said he’s happy to be pursuing his passion.

“I am excited,” he said. “You know, it’s a lot to it, but it’s going to be all worth it.

The restaurant’s Facebook page will continue to post updates leading up to its opening. Once open, hours at Brother’s Backyard Barbeque would be Tuesday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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