A local barbecue joint that started as a food truck is rolling out at Wheat Ridge.
Terry Walsh, owner of Rolling Smoke BBQ, opened in July at 7100 W. 38th Ave. But planning to open a fourth place. He said he bought the 1,900-square-foot building, formerly home to Right Coast Pizza, on Monday for $850,000.
“It was part of a plan to buy a building,” Walsh said. “Going forward, this is what we want to do in locations we open in the future. It was in our best position in terms of price, and we like the fact that it is a standalone building. Long term, we control our rents. want to be able to.”
Rolling Smoke’s new location will include Centennial, Central Park and Golden as well as a booth in Red Rocks.
Walsh, 44, developed a love for barbecue after growing up in Oklahoma and moving to Kansas City over the weekend. He first worked as an account executive at Lehman Brothers, then moved to Denver in 2002 and started cooking barbecue for friends in his backyard.
“When Lehman Brothers went bankrupt in 2008, I lost my job, and then I got a job at DirecTV for three years, but they took over the entire department,” Walsh said. “I was tired of the corporate world. I was tired of starting all over again. So I took my break and decided to open Rolling Smoke. ,
They started Rolling Smoke in 2014 as a food truck that still operates catering events, with a restaurant as the end goal. In 2017, they opened a food stall inside Stanley Marketplace, and the following year they opened their first brick-and-mortar restaurant at 7470 S. University Blvd. in the century. Last year, he opened another food stall within Golden’s new food hall, The Golden Mill.
Walsh said Wade Williams, who started part-time at the food truck, is now an operating partner of the business and runs operations at The Golden Mill.
“I want to expand, so that my staff continues to grow,” Walsh said.
Walsh said the most popular items of Rolling Smoke are ribs, brisket, and charred ends. A meat plate with two sides costs $14. The meat is smoked using pecan wood, giving it a nutty flavor.
Walsh said he plans to invest about $300,000 in the renovation of the new Wheat Ridge location. They took out an SBA loan to help fund the project, and have hired Patrick McMichael with Track Architecture to design the space.
He plans to add some smokers to the patio, expand the bar menu, and add more happy hour options, including BBQ Nachos.
Broker David Schneider with Axio Commercial Real Estate represented Walsh in the deal, and John Livaditis with Axio represented Right Coast Pizza.
Although Walsh was already looking for a new location, he said he was inspired by the business’s ability to bounce back from the pandemic.
After losing the catering business, Rolling Smoke sales were slightly less than $1 million in 2020 compared to 2019. But he said he’s growing back, because barbecue does well with takeout.
“Catering is coming back in a big way,” Walsh said. “We have never seen so many event requests before, because everyone has been rescheduling plans for the past two years.”
This story was reported by our partner BusinessDen.
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