Five-time world champion barbecue pitmaster Myron Mixon is opening a restaurant in Hoboken this fall.
In partnership with Eric Cohen and Steven Coven, owners and operators of Sushi House in Hoboken for 16 years, Mixon will open Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster Barbeque at 618 Washington St. to serve up dry rubbed barbeque beef, pork and baby back ribs that are smoked in-house fresh daily.
Meal delivery services like GrubHub and Uber Eats changed the restaurant industry that Coven and Cohen got into with their sushi spot, with 30% of profits going toward those services, Coven said.
“I know the restaurant industry is a hard business. Most people would lose their minds. I said ‘the restaurant business isn’t what it was unless I can get in with the right partner,’ ” Coven said. He wanted people to seek out the restaurant themselves, not just order online. The partners knew Mixon was it.
Hoboken has just one barbecue joint at the moment: House of ‘Que on Sinatra Drive. Hamilton Pork is pretty close, too, on 10th Street in Jersey City.
But Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster Barbeque is different for an obvious reason, Cohen said.
“Award winning competition style barbecue. Nobody could claim that. Nobody has five world championships, 200-plus grand championships, hundreds and thousands of awards. Myron’s been doing this since he was a little kid at 9 years old. When we decided on barbecue, there was one person only [we were considering],” Cohen said.
The fact that there are so few, the men said, means it’s the type of market you want to get in as a business owner. Mixon said it “sure beats [the competition of] the 800 barbecue restaurants near Atlanta,” the barbecue market he grew up in.
Mixon learned the art of barbecue from his father, who owned a barbecue joint in his small Georgia hometown and put Myron to work at a young age.
“He didn’t start me out to train me to be a world famous pitmaster, he started me out totin’, fetchin,’ getting’ because I was his son and I was free labor. That’s how you start, that’s how you start learning,” Mixon said. “As a 9-year-old going into teenage years, there’s a lot more I would rather be doing. But even under protest as a kid … you learn. As I got older, I wanted to show him I knew what to do.”
“After I got the age where I could do things the way my dad wanted them done and could please him … most kids out there wanna please their parents. He was very hard to get a pat on the back from, but whenever I would do something and impressed him, he would let me know,” Mixon said. “That made me want to get not only the accolades from him, I wanted to impress the people I cooked for.”
The senior Mixon passed away unexpectedly in 1996 when he was 56 and junior Mixon was 32. But that’s what allowed Mixon to compete in barbecue competitions—his father never would’ve stood for it. Competing was a different type of work, but his dad didn’t see it that way.
Where there’s smoke, there’s BBQ
All barbecue, all the time, Mixon has his hand in several smoky projects. He’s the executive producer and host of “BBQ Rules,” host of “Smoked,” and star of two other hit shows “BBQ Pitmasters” and “BBQ Pitwars” on Discovery’s Destination America. He is also the author of The New York Times bestselling cookbook “Smokin’ with Myron Mixon: Recipes Made Simple, from the Winningest Man in Barbecue” (Random House, May 2011), “Everyday Barbecue” (Random House, May 2013), “Myron Mixon’s BBQ Rules” (Abrams, 2016), “BBQ&A with Myron Mixon” (Abrams, 2019), and “Myron Mixon: Keto BBQ: Real Barbecue for a Healthy Lifestyle” (Abrams 2021).
He’s run a barbecue school since 2007, teaching 7,000 students a year their way around a smoker—Coven and Cohen took it, too—and was inducted into the Barbecue Hall Fame in Kansas City in 2013. In 2018, he was awarded the Carolyn and Gary Well “Pioneer of Barbecue” Award by the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue.
Two awards stand out to him as his most memorable since starting competition barbecue in 1996: His first of five world championship trophies was earned in 2001; and the year after his father died, he won the Big Pig Jig in Vienna, Ga. just miles down the road from where he grew up and where his father taught him the art of barbecue.
“Winning in my hometown, where my dad was born and raised and died, was probably the most memorable of my championships. I know a lot of folks will say ‘you won five worlds!’ … but it was great for the folks on my team to be there for those, but winning that championship in 1997, the year after my dad passed and the year I started competing, it was probably my most memorable,” Mixon said.
The Hoboken location of Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster Barbeque is the banner’s second location after one in Alexandria, Va. in the D.C.-Metro area. The 55-seat outdoor/indoor restaurant will be open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Opening day is set for late September or early October and will be announced in the coming weeks.