Navin’s BBQ will open in the old Guerrilla Street Food space off South Grand this spring
The former Guerrilla Street Food location in Tower Grove East will soon be home to a new concept. Navin’s BBQ is slated to open at 3559 Arsenal St. in late May or early June, as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Navin’s BBQ started as a weekly hobby for owner Chris Armstrong, who began experimenting with smoked meats to hone in on his barbecuing process after being furloughed twice from his job as a regional sales manager for a Texas-based craft brewery. “Neighbors caught onto it, and they were telling their friends, so it grew into this opportunity to take the ticket and open a legitimate restaurant,” Armstrong said.
Meats on offer will include sliced brisket, smoked turkey, pulled pork and chicken, along with a few varieties of burnt ends. The menu will feature nine sandwiches, including one vegetarian and one vegan option. Armstrong said it was important to him to showcase that barbecue doesn’t have to be just meat, it can include veggies too. There will also be smoked wings, meat by the pound and sides like coleslaw, mashed potato salad, pinto beans, collard greens and mac and cheese.
“There’s not going to be a bar where people can watch the game, so to speak,” Armstrong said, adding there will be a few draft and canned beers available. “It’s going to be, kind of, you come in, enjoy your time, meet and talk with people, then head out.”
While growing up in Texas and Kansas City, Armstrong found a lot of his favorite barbecue restaurants had a “gas station feel” to them. That and a movie called The Jerk set in a St. Louis service station and features Steve Martin playing a character named Navin are the inspiration for the atmosphere at Navin’s BBQ. “I’ve always had this idea in my head that if I was opening a barbecue restaurant I would want to rehab an old fuel station, gas station or car garage,” Armstrong said. The vibe will be reminiscent of an old gas station, and Armstrong hopes to one day expand and be able to rehab one of these derelict buildings.
Although he has not yet realized his dream of renovating an old fuel station, he’s pleased with his location. “I love the South Grand business district,” Armstrong said. “It’s a high-traffic, high-volume area with a lot of great restaurants and a great community that supports the dining scene.”
About half of the 1,000-square-foot space will be allocated to the dining area, which seats 25. A patio seats an additional 15 to 20 people. Carryout orders will also be offered, and Armstrong plans to partner with delivery apps like GrubHub and UberEats. Navin’s BBQ will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (or until sold out) Thursday through Saturday. A website, navinsbbq.com, should go live in the coming days.
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