Work is under way on a new barbecue restaurant in one of the vacant spots along Blaize Avenue in the Depot District.
BBQ Depot is expected to open in a month or two in the renovated space previously occupied by Sideways Sports Bar & Grill. The awning is up and signage should be installed shortly.
Owner Jim MacPhaille said, “We’ve looked for tenants, trying to get some type of business back there. Now COVID is making it even harder for businesses to open. We’ve been talking about a barbecue place for years so we decided to go ahead and do it ourselves.”
MacPhaille also plans two other restaurants in some of the units he owns in the mostly empty Depot Row. One restaurant will serve Northern Italian dishes and the other will feature a French menu.
MacPhaille recently hired chef Bernard Carmouche, an Emeril alum who was Lagasse’s corporate chef, to run the kitchen at 200 North Beach, which is expanding to include an oyster bar. “He was Emeril’s right hand man and trained in Nice, France, with him,” MacPahille said of the chef.
Carmouche is working on the concepts and menus for the new Depot Row restaurants and is building a team for MacPhaille’s local restaurant group.