First Look Inside Barn & Company, Opening Tomorrow
Barn & Company

The owners of Hubbard Inn (Adolfo Garcia, Daniel Alonso, and David Mitria) have teamed up with barbecue expert Gary Wiviott for Barn & Company, which is set to open tomorrow in Lincoln Park. As we’ve mentioned before, this is the first time Wiviott has associated himself with a restaurant, making this a pretty big deal for local barbecue fanatics. We talked to him a few weeks ago about what he had planned for the menu, but we didn’t actually get to see the ‘que until yesterday.

Of course, barbecue is only one facet of this massive new project by Garcia, Alonso, and Mitria. Much like Hubbard Inn, it is obvious that loads of attention has been paid to the design of the space. To be sure, this is no barbecue shack. The rough, white wood on the walls shares space with massive panels of flat-screen TVs. Portraits of dressed up pigs even hang around the restaurant.

Though Wiviott was in brought in to develop the barbecue, executive chef Bob Zrenner will be in charge of the kitchen. He hopes the rest of the menu will complement the smoked meat, while also appealing to the bar side of the crowd. Menu items include turkey chili, Cobb salad, and pulled chicken quesadillas.

Zrenner is also in charge of making sure the restaurant continuously maintains quality que, and he seems to be taking the job very seriously: “We’re here for the guests; we’re a hospitality industry. But if it comes to compromising the technique and craft of barbecue just to meet volume, we won’t do it.”

That attitude partly explains why Wiviott became involved. He was able to pick out the kind of smoker he thought was best and was even able to select the specific kind of meat he thought should be used. He’s particularly happy with the baby back ribs, which he described as being 1-3/4 down. Meatier than normal baby backs, they have more of the loin left on them from the butchering process. “We’re getting a really nice rib,” said Wiviott.

Of course, we’ll have to wait to see how the critics stack this place up to the best in the city. In the meantime, check out our slideshow of the space and few of the dishes, along with the food and drink menus.

Barn & Company Dinner Menu [PDF]
Barn & Company Drink Menu [PDF]

Barn & Company, 950 W. Wrightwood Ave. Chicago, IL 60614; 773-832-4000

The new barbecue venture from the owners behind Hubbard Inn is set to open on Thursday, August 11. ​As the decorations hint, there will be a lot of pork on the menu. 
The restaurant will focus on baby back ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and chicken. 
Wiviot has written a book on barbecue and has consulted at various joint around town, but this is the first time he’s let his name be associated with a barbecue restaurant. 
Wiviott told us that the ribs are smoked for three-and-a-half to four hours at 240 degrees. After smoking, they are brushed lightly with sauce and finished on a wood-burning grill. 
The bar takes up most of one side of the restaurant. 
The Texas sausages are smoked and then quickly grilled to crisp them up. 
The owners completely redecorated the space, even installing new light fixtures. An outdoor patio will also be available. 
There are a surprising number of TVs around the space, and the owners hope to attract a large football crowd on the weekends. 
The pork shoulders are cooked at two temperatures, so that more smoke flavor can infuse into the meat. 
An enormous panel of flat-screen TVs line the western wall of the restaurant. 
Besides barbecue, the restaurant will serve a collection of burgers, salads, and appetizers. 
First Look Inside Barn & Company, Opening Tomorrow