Husband and wife team Jared and Amanda Leonard opened their first BBQ Joint in Chicago back in 2010. Eight years later, BBQ Supply Co. has grown into 7 full service restaurants in 2 states, IL and CO, a catering company, BBQ training center, and full-service event production company! Their dream to combine Amanda's love for hospitality and event planning with Jared's love for American BBQ really took off.
After nearly a year of smoking meats only on the weekends, BBQ Supply Co.’s Denver devotees can get their fix any day of the week starting Saturday, January 26th when they reopen as AJ's Pit Bar-B-Q. We were thrilled to attend the launch of their expanded and rebranded restaurant and grub down on their classic Texas style Bar-B-Q and sides.
Walking in reminded us of a vintage shop or your cool grandpa’s den with an old-fashioned fireplace, a vintage record player, and old framed photos and (fake) animal heads on the wall. Past the entry is the main dining room, a casual setting with four picnic tables, a 1,000-gallon Camelback smoker, and open kitchen.
The smell of BBQ meats greets you in the parking lot and lingers along with you home, yeah this BBQ joint is seriously smokin’. Their menu offers lots of options like hefty beef and pork ribs, Waygu pastrami (this was the standout), Waygu brisket, pulled pork, smoked turkey, smoked sausage, and smoked chicken. Leonard also owns The Budlong Hot Chicken food truck and has added the signature Hot Chicken Sandwich with Mississippi Comeback Sauce to AJ’s Bar-B-Q menu. For sides we sampled the Pit Beans made with meat drippings, Truffle Mac n’ Cheese, and their flaky layered biscuits served with an amazing herb butter & mixed berry balsamic jam.
Pit-style BBQ is a method used to create succulently smoked meats that don’t need sauce but being as they started making their own sauces years ago, they continue to supply it on every table. There’s a traditional smokey sweet and Carolina gold, along with a citrus chipotle and jalapeno – of course we tried and enjoyed them all. Leonard plans on eventually retailing the sauces and rubs and has begun offering BBQ 101 classes.
Everything on the menu is sold by the pound until they run out but aim to stay open until 9pm most evenings. In addition to awesome eats, they’ll be serving choice drinks: 5 local craft beers on tap rotation, whiskeys, and two barrel-aged cocktails. Delivery is available through Door Dash or take the light rail – AJ’s is just a block from the West Evans RTD station!
2180 S Delaware St. Denver, Colorado 80223. Open from 11am-9pm.
Words by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB Photos by Robert Castro @castro_denver