Colorado-style Smokehouse BBQ opens in former Pizza Hut in Winter Park |

Colorado-style Smokehouse BBQ opens in former Pizza Hut in Winter Park

The Smokehouse BBQ owners in Winter Park. Mike Hardman and Nigel Conners. (Michael Patrick is not pictured)

Three local men opened the Smokehouse BBQ in Winter Park during President’s Weekend: Nigel Conners, Michael Patrick, and Mike Hardman.

Hardman, 26, has been in the restaurant business for 10 years.

“About three years ago I set out to be a master at BBQ, and I thought it would be a good model for a restaurant in a resort town,” he said.

As the pit-master, he creates all the recipes and rubs. Conners and Patrick specialize in working the front of the house.

BBQ is popular among families because there is something for everyone on the menu, said Conners.

“Our menu is affordable for a family.”

Every region has their own way to make BBQ, Hardman said.

“We mesh together every region’s style of BBQ to create a Colorado-style BBQ, keeping in mind the organic scene.”

Behind the restaurant, just out the kitchen door, is a smoker, kept at 250 degrees using untreated apple wood. All rubs and sauces for the BBQ are homemade, created from the basic ingredients, Hardman said.

“We have a good location and price point,” said Conners. With a strong local following for lunch with the “workers lunch” for $8.95 offered Monday through Friday, they have an affordable, great product that both visitors and resident will like.

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