Unique barbecue restaurant to open in Strasburg

Blue Ridge Barbecue, a pit barbecue operation will be opening its doors in the former home of Holy Moly Donuts in Strasburg in August. Greg Mignot, an upstate New York transplant with local ties, will be offering his unique take on the southern staple with partner Katrina Leith.

“The barbecue sauce we make is homemade barbecue sauce,” he said. “I have a North Carolina sweet sauce recipe from my grandmother, and Katrina also has a homemade sauce from her family – her grandfather gave her his sauce recipe. We’re going to offer several different sauces… A lot of the places I’ve tried around here are not like my barbecue.”

The former owner of a successful poultry business, Mignot said he’s always wanted to open a barbecue restaurant. Before making the decision, Mignot made his barbecue for cookouts and fundraisers.

“This is what I really want to do. Feed people make people happy and bring people together,” he said. “I’ve barbecued for a long time. I’ve always wanted to do a barbecue restaurant but never had the time to do it. Everything came together so we could get one in, and I’m pretty excited to have barbecue in Strasburg.”

Mignot’s operation centers around his 250-gallon, dual wood-burning commercial smoker. He said his barbecue incorporates different aspects from all the best barbecue hotspots – namely Saint Louis and the Carolinas. The smoke he uses to flavor his offerings are just as diverse.

“Certain meats require certain woods. I blend things that I’ve (seen done) over the years,” he said. “A lot of people down here use oak, which I don’t use much. Cooking beef, you’re going to want to use oak and maybe a little cherry wood, maybe some hickory or mesquite – different cuts call for different things. You want your pork to have that good finish so you’re going to use some hickory or apple wood on that maybe with a little pecan so you got that nice full pork flavor. The key to pit smoking is knowing your temperatures and wood combinations. It’s going to be a little different.”

Mignot said Blue Ridge Barbecue’s menu hasn’t been released yet but will include chicken halves and quarters, beef brisket, pulled pork and ribs – baby back, spare and beef varieties.

Woodstock native Katrina Leith will manage customer service and other front-of-house operations.

“We both had the same idea of wanting to do a restaurant,” she said. “He came up with the barbecue and I kind of ran with it. It’s a good idea, there’s nothing like it in Strasburg and we just blended our ideas together and we both want the same thing as far as supporting the local community. After I ate his barbecue, it was a definite yes.”

Leith also explained that Blue Ridge Barbecue hopes to offer delivery service within a month of opening.

“I have not heard of any other barbecue places that deliver, but the food should hold up fairly well, we have the heated packs for pizza delivery and we’re going to be looking to get something like that for ours. We’re going to try to start delivering within a month after opening – kind of get a feel for what we need on the inside before we do.”

Mignot said that he hopes to make his barbecue joint a Strasburg institution.

“Hopefully we can build here,” he said. This area of Shenandoah County is known for loving barbecue. Here in Strasburg, everyone likes barbecue and I hope we can do well and make it larger and employ some people. We’ve got to walk before we run but I’m looking forward to a prosperous business.”

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com