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During the latter half of 2013, rumors of the location of the next Sugarfire Smoke House touched all parts of the compass. It’s now official and the winning coordinate is NW: store #2 will be on 3150 Elm Point Industrial Drive in north St. Charles, just down the road from New Town.
“There’s no BBQ anywhere in the area,” noted Mike Johnson, who will co-own the business along with Sugarfire’s head chef, David Molina, as well as Charlie and Carolyn Downs.
Sugarfire's been on fire since the day the doors opened, cranking out pulled pork, brisket, and crack pie (below), as well as catching accolades (in this case, worldwide) for niceties like the Government Shutdown Sandwich (below), a creation Johnson gave away gratis to furloughed workers during the government shutdown ("hundreds of them," he noted, "and I'd do it again)."
The 50-seat former Chuck-A-Burger in St. Charles is retro, it’s funky, it looks like it’s been there forever; in other words, great bones for the perfect BBQ joint. If Johnson and Company can transform newish a strip center restaurant into a place that looks 20 years old (below), this will be a simple conversion. Johnson says it will still take 90 days to scuff up and tone down what was most recently a Reynold’s Roadhouse. He added that since the new location will be a bit more out in the country, it may end up looking even funkier than the original.
There building can accommodate 50 seats inside plus additional seating on a patio. There are also 20 “curb service” parking spots left over from old the Chuck-A-Burger days (a former location is a right), a feature that will be retained, so if you want to tear into a slab of baby backs and a side of sublime sweet potato salad in your car (above)--or just a smoked turkey sandwich (Nelly’s nomination for “The Greatest Thing I Ever Ate” in St. Louis, below)--have at it.
Camped in the cozy confines of your auto, one of Molina’s award-wining double cheeseburgers (a proprietary mix of chuck, brisket, and boneless short rib) would certainly be in order as well, even though such high-falutin’ extravagance may rile the ghosts of Chuck-A-Burgers past. Take the risk, but make sure the car heater’s working: Sugarfire St. Chuck is slated for a late February opening.
And we're told there's another Sugarfire--a licensed arrangement--on the way.
Food photos above by Kevin A. Roberts.