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Since opening in 2015, 1911 Smokehouse BBQ has been consistently named one of New Jerseys’ top BBQ restaurants. Its founders, brothers Maurice and Reggie Hallett, have not only perfected a style of slow cooking they describe as a cross between North Carolina and Memphis-style BBQ, but also the perfect recipe for success: great food and drink, a warm, yet festive vibe and a strong commitment to the community. Even during the pandemic, when they could not bring customers into their popular West Front Street restaurant, their catering and takeout businesses were booming.
An extensive menu that includes more than two dozen sauces and a number of vegan options in addition to ribs, wings and brisket, plus an array of inventive and traditional sides. Popular events like “First Fridays on Front Street” block parties and ample outdoor seating on the back patio have also made Smokehouse a “go-to” spot for locals and out-of-towners.
In recent months, Smokehouse hosted a suit drive to benefit the Father Center of New Jersey, and also teamed up with local organizations to encourage vaccination. The Halletts also have a long history supporting the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) and Meals on Wheels with regular deliveries of food.
“We love this community and do all we can to give back,” says Reggie. This includes supporting other businesses and initiatives to boost downtown Trenton. One of the earliest merchants to sign up for TDA’s own Love Local Gift Card, Smokehouse is also one of the program’s staunchest supporters, and that’s because it’s really been working for them.
“The Love Local Gift Card program has brought a lot of new customers to 1911 during these trying times. Supporting local small businesses supports local jobs. Over 90 percent of our employees live locally, so dollars spent here are recirculated in the community,” adds Maurice.
Of course, once new customers try Smokehouse, they can’t wait to return. The food consistently lives up to its reputation. From black bean empanadas to brisket chili, fried chicken sandwiches to California salads with salmon, fried rib tips to smoked wings, there is truly something for everyone on the menu.
Be on the lookout for the new 1911 Smokehouse BBQ Food Truck! It’s coming to an event near you.