A pop-up restaurant in Leicester has been so successful that
now it’s to become a permanent venue on the city’s dining scene.
The Smokehouse opened above the O bar in Braunstone Gate for
four weeks towards the end of last year. The exciting culinary concept brought
a unique style of Southern-American inspired smoked food to Leicester and
received rave reviews.
It re-opened its doors in February as a pop-up as a result
of popular demand.
Now owners of The
Orange Tree Group, who run the O bar, have decided that The Smokehouse will
become a permanent fixture in the area, after receiving so much positive
“Customers have really voted with their feet, so we’ve opted
to keep The Smokehouse open, which we hope will add to the regeneration of
Braunstone Gate and the West End area,” said Orange Tree Group director Ben
“We’ve been delighted to hear how much customers have
enjoyed eating at The Smokehouse, and so pleased that they have continued to
support this new venture, which we feel is something unique on the Leicester
dining scene.”
Chef Liam Watson has developed a menu that includes a range
of smoked food, created using an authentic grill imported from the States, with
some meats smoked for up to 14 hours.
So far, he’s served up more than 1,200 main dishes, or ‘big
smokes’ as they are referred to on the menu. Fourteen-hour pulled pork has
proved to be the most popular main dish listing.
As far as side dishes go, mashed potatoes topped with garlic
and chive butter has proved a winner with customers tucking into almost 400
portions. And when it comes to puddings, it’s the sticky toffee and maple
pudding served with salted caramel bourbon sauce which has been most popular.
A selection of craft beers is being served up to complement
the dishes. 
Liam has now been joined by a sous chef in the kitchen after
the decision was made to keep The Smokehouse open permanently.
“The Smokehouse is a new concept for Leicester and I’m
really pleased that the feedback we’ve received from diners has been so
positive,” said Liam, who has experience of working in rosette standard
The news that the venue is to become permanent coincides with
Westival – the music street festival taking place on Sunday May 4th on
Braunstone Gate. Organised by pubs, bars, restaurants and businesses in
the West End, it is being held for the first time and aims to encourage crowds
to the area. It will feature stalls, bands and other entertainments, and has
been funded through Leicester City Council’s Gateway Improvement Scheme.
will be running a Smokehouse stall at the event, selling a selection of
favourite dishes. He will also be at Leicester’s Summer Food and Drink Festival
at Leicester Market on 25 May.
The O bar is part of the independent Orange Tree Group of
pubs and bars in Leicester, which also runs The Orange Tree in High Street, The
Lansdowne in London Road, and The Basement in Wellington Street. It also
operates The Orange Tree and The Kelso in Loughborough, as well as The Orange
Tree in Nottingham.
The (Pop up) Smokehouse @ The O bar received a string of
rave reviews when it opened first time round.
Leicester food blogger Tim Burke said: “Here was very good,
down-to-earth flavour-led food at fair prices…You should try it while it’s
here. I’m certainly going back.”
Customer Emma Rees said: “Outstanding food and brilliant
service – tastiest food we’ve eaten in ages.”
Customer Emily Horwill said: “The food was AWESOME! Really
good value for money.”
Customer Karen Cheesman said: “Had a meal here last night,
one word FANTASTIC!!”
Comments shortly after it opened in February included the
“I think that the American barbecue theme worked perfectly
here, the concept was a very good one and the food tasted wonderful.” Blogger
Toby Elkington at Flavoursome Feast.
“The braised beef burger really stole the show.…who knew
beef could melt like that with deep and exciting smokey flavours.” Blogger
Harriet Ruff at The Sunnier Side Up.
“My absolutely favourites were the melting pulled pork
chilli con carne with sour cream and the heavenly mash.” Blogger Emily, from
Recipes and Reviews.
“As the good quality vanilla ice-cream started to melt into
that sauce I was reflecting there was no more pleasurable experience available
in Leicester that night.” Blogger Tim Burke from www.riponia.wordpress.com
The Smokehouse is open from 6pm Tuesday to Saturday. For
bookings, telephone 0116 255 8223 or to find out more, visit
Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR www.perfect10pr.co.uk