ribs at salt + smoke photo courtesy of salt + smoke

Salt + Smoke is opening a location in St. Louis’ South County later in 2024

Popular St. Louis barbecue joint Salt + Smoke is slated to open its sixth St. Louis-area location in South County later this year, as reported by St. Louis Magazine. The new eatery will be located at 4130 Rusty Road, in a heavily frequented area near I-55 and Lindbergh Boulevard. Salt + Smoke South County will find its home in a former O’Charley’s restaurant, which closed last year.

Salt + Smoke owner Tom Schmidt calls the renovations at the eatery “a down to the studs” project with interior improvements that will not only reflect the Salt + Smoke brand, but also increase capacity in some areas. Although it’s early in the process, the Salt + Smoke team is aiming for a late summer or early fall opening.

With locations throughout St. Louis – Delmar Loop, Hampton Avenue, Ballpark Village, St. Charles and a newly opened Ellisville location – Schmidt said the forthcoming South County eatery will fill a much-needed gap.

“Geographically, it’s a bit farther from some of our other locations, but through our online ordering and delivery data, we could see that we were getting tons of online orders from the region,” Schmidt said. “We looked at [the data] and thought, we’re really not serving this part of the community at all, and we should fix that.”

In terms of the menu, Schmidt said customers can expect to find favorite menu items like smoked wings, white cheddar cracker mac, beef fat fries and pimento cheese toasted ravioli, along with brisket and pulled pork sandwiches and St. Louis cut ribs.

“We really love what we’ve built, and we want that to be a consistent experience,” he said of the menu.

And for those who appreciate a spirit alongside their barbecue, there will be a vast selection of whiskey available, along with other spirits, cocktails, beer, wine and some NA options.

When renovations of the 7,000-square-foot South County restaurant are complete, there will be room for about 150 guests in the main dining room, with a dedicated space that can host events or private parties of up to around 100 people. The space will also have bar seating, and Schmidt said that area will also undergo some reconfigurations that will almost double its capacity, making it able to accommodate 15 to 20 people.

There are also plans to put in an outdoor patio that will seat 50. Although the current building footprint doesn’t include a patio, the renovation plans include putting in double French doors that will open to the outdoor seating space, which is currently a landscaped area.

Ultimately, when it comes to any expansion for the company, it all comes down to not only serving up their award-winning barbecue and the location, but also maintaining the experience that their customer base has grown to expect.

“We’re always looking and figuring out how to grow effectively and meaningfully,” he said. “We’re serious about investing in communities and we want to get it right.”