Ryan Lane and business partner and chef Michael Cameron wanted to bring Kentucky-style Southern hospitality to Windsor. So they opened Proof BBQ & Booze.

It’s in the former premises of Harry’s Diner, but the old cafe’s iconic car park spot is virtually unrecognisable. The rockabilly character has been erased, replaced with classic Bentwood chairs and warm timber. Leather bucket bar stools are intended for settling into, and the generously proportioned bar is a testament to Lane’s many years working in some of the city’s best boozers – most notably The Gresham, which he managed for six years.

In true Kentucky style, “food, drink and snacks” means hard-to-find whiskey and craft beer helping down a bunch of Southern staples: smoked meats, shrimp grits, burnt-end chilli beans and mac’n’cheese. “Pitmaster” Cameron smokes all his meats on-site using ironbark and fruit woods. The menu includes beef brisket, beef short rib, half and full racks of pork ribs, and half-chickens served with Alabama sauce. Vegetarian options include salads, a portobello-mushroom burger and watermelon ham.

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Updated: December 21st, 2020

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