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Austin’s Beloved LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue Opens its Long-Awaited Restaurant

The team behind the popular BBQ food truck unveils their first brick-and-mortar, serving smoked meats and smiles

L&L Meat Tray with Wine_Photo by Jessica Attie
Photo by Jessica Attie

In the heart of South Austin, the aroma of smoked meats intertwines with the soul of the city, as LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue, a beloved local barbecue institution, embarks on a new chapter with the opening of its first brick-and-mortar establishment on Stassney Lane. 

Transitioning from the humble food truck that has graced the lot of Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden since 2017, this expansion marks a significant stride for the barbecue joint renowned for its innovative “new school” approach to traditional barbecue. 

“We went into the trailer wanting to open a restaurant very quickly. No one wants to stay a food truck forever!” says co-owner and pitmaster Evan LeRoy. “We had big ideas about doing a brewpub, but the timing was never right. We’ve gone through so many spaces, and this space just felt right.”

Photo by Jessica Attie

“New school barbecue” served in South Austin

The South Austin location holds special significance, with the co-owners’ families — LeRoy’s wife Lindsey, operations manager Sawyer Lewis, and husband Nathan — residing nearby. LeRoy, the pitmaster behind the smoker, can also trace his barbecue journey back to his childhood roots in the area, where his passion for the primal art of open-flame cooking was ignited by his dad.

Having worked in fine dining in New York and serving as the opening pitmaster for Freedmen’s in 2012, LeRoy found his true calling in the rich tradition of Texas barbecue. By championing the ethos of “new school barbecue,” LeRoy prides himself on sourcing meat responsibly from local purveyors. The embrace of his Texas and Mexican heritages, as well as influences from Southeastern barbecue, Asian ingredients, and German culture, imparts a distinctive flavor to LeRoy and Lewis’s offerings, creating what LeRoy describes as “an eclectic blend, but authentically Austin.” 

A celebration of community

To LeRoy, barbecue is more than just food — it’s a celebration of community, so the excitement surrounding the new brick-and-mortar location was palpable, not just for the extended menu and expanded hours, but for the unique space that promised to elevate the dining experience. Collaborating with OPA Design Studio, Helms Workshop, and McCray & Co., the space seamlessly blends nostalgic old school barbecue vibes with LeRoy and Lewis’s new school brand of hospitality.

Photo by Jessica Attie

Featuring a partially open kitchen that allows patrons to witness the barbecue magic unfold, the new space adopts a traditional cafeteria-style ordering system. With reclaimed wood, dark brick, brown leather, and pops of color, the restaurant’s design bridges the gap between the old and the new, much like the innovative approach to barbecue it represents. There’s also a lounge that the team is calling “cosmic cowboy on LSD” with funky furniture, spacey art and a huge covered patio (with, thankfully, both fans and heaters) that overlooks the barbecue smokers, bringing an interactive element to the dining experience. A bar with snacks offers additional ordering options and a cozy spot for enjoying beer, wine, or frozen beverages. 

“We’ve never had a beverage program,” Lewis says. “We’ve created a fun, simple, but thoughtful, menu of beverages that will pair well with the food. We want people to come in and have a great time, all the time.”

What’s on the menu?

The new toys and resources that come with the brick-and-mortar venture allow the team to execute a menu they’ve long envisioned. This menu features familiar dishes like beef cheeks and sausage, complemented by an expanded roster of burgers, tacos, scratch-made sides, and desserts, as well as some new favorites.

LeRoy and Lewis BBQ
Photo by Jessica Attie

“I’m most excited to show guests our sliced beef options — that’s what barbecue is,” LeRoy says. 

The team is taking the barbecue experience to the next level with an additional dedicated retail area for pantry products, including barbecue sauce, rubs, and merchandise. Butchering a whole cow in-house adds a unique touch, with the skull decorated by local artists and displayed in the space.

The food truck contiues

The LeRoy and Lewis truck will continue to operate at Cosmic, but the new brick-and-mortar location promises to be a hub of flavor, innovation, and community. With its vibrant design, expanded menu, and commitment to sourcing locally, it’s evident that Leroy and Lewis is just getting started. 

The restaurant is set to open on February 28. Learn more at