Smoked on High Barbecue Co. Opens in the Brewery District Next Month
When Columbus native Max McGarity started the Buckeye Back Ribs food truck, he’d already imagined the brick and mortar his barbecue business would one day become. Smoked on High, coming to the Brewery District next month, is pretty much it.
“I wanted to have a neighborhood barbecue joint,” he said, “that’s kind of what I’ve always dreamed about — just a local place where people can come and enjoy really good barbecue.”
The spot he found used to be a law firm, but before that it was a home. “To shine the attributes of the original home,” McGarity refurbished the historic staircase, uncovered and sealed the brick walls, and tore out the carpet to reveal pine plank floors.
Guests will come in through the patio out front, and line up down the hallway that passes the stairs. From there, they’ll order Chipotle-style and enter the dining room. The staircase leads to office space and bathrooms at the moment, but the upstairs will soon be used for banquets and events. McGarity added he would ultimately like to make it a speakeasy down the road. For now, though, downstairs is where the main dining happens.
Described as Central Texas-style barbecue, the menu features Ohio-sourced briskets, pork spare ribs, and hot wings.
“Nothing that we do is easy, because barbecue is really hard,” McGarity said, “but, we try to keep it simple. Good smoked flavor on good quality meat.
McGarity has a full liquor license but will only serve beer to start.
Following a series of soft openings, Smoked on High will open on August 9, about a year behind schedule. Built in the 1870s, the building at 755 S. High St. qualifies as historic, meaning a whole lot of obstacles for McGarity. With the typical restaurant-starting roadblocks and the process of changing the building’s usage while maintaining its historical character, the project took much longer than planned.
The location was worth it, though. In search of a building with a neighborhood feel, the old house with a front patio “fit the bill perfectly.” And it sees walking traffic from both German Village and the Brewery District, “a solid community where everyone is out and about,” he said.
“And it’s on High Street, which is like the lifeline of Columbus.”
Smoked on High will operate Wednesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., or until they sell out.
For more information, visit their Facebook page.