New carryout restaurant in Mundelein to serve Texas barbecue

  • A carryout-only barbecue joint is planned for long-vacant space in Mundelein. Smokin' BBQ on 45 should open next month in the Hawley Lake Plaza at 428 N. Lake St.

      A carryout-only barbecue joint is planned for long-vacant space in Mundelein. Smokin' BBQ on 45 should open next month in the Hawley Lake Plaza at 428 N. Lake St. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 1/17/2020 1:36 PM

A new carryout-only barbecue joint is expected to open next month in Mundelein.

Smokin' BBQ on 45 has taken over a storefront at 428 N. Lake St. in Hawley Lake Plaza. The restaurant's sign already is above the door.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The space previously had been home to In and Out BBQ. In and Out opened in 2016 to rave reviews from customers but closed about a year later, village officials said.

In and Out's predecessor, Hong Kong Chop Suey, moved out in 2012, relocating elsewhere in town.

Ahead of the opening, Smokin' BBQ owners Danita and Lee Ward were awarded a $4,503 grant from the village board on Monday to improve the kitchen's plumbing, electrical system and ventilation hood. The cash came from Mundelein's Business Incentive Grant program, which aims to help local businesses or commercial landlords improve the appearance of their properties or replace old signs.

The Wards briefly spoke to trustees about their plans for the eatery before the vote. Questions focused on the cuisine more than the plans for the grant.

Lee Ward described the menu as Texas-style barbecue. Entree items will include ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork, turkey legs and hot links, the Wards said.

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"We love to smoke and grill," Danita Ward told the board.

Several trustees seemed eager to place an order.

"I can't wait to try this," Trustee Dawn Abernathy said.

Trustee Kerston Russell asked if the couple brought samples to the meeting and joked that he was "deeply disappointed" when told there were none.

Smokin' BBQ on 45 initially will limit its hours to weekends, the Wards said. They hope to expand to weekdays within a year.

This isn't the first culinary venture for the Wards. They've operated Da Kitchen Catering Co. in Palatine since 2009, village documents indicate.

Smokin' BBQ on 45 will join several other restaurants in Hawley Lake Plaza, including Subway and the Eating Hub.

Smokin' BBQ on 45 is the 10th Mundelein business to receive a village grant this fiscal year. Grants have totaled $73,497 so far.

The grant program has a $75,000 budget this year.

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