Shayne McCallum has been busy this year. He’s opening a second iteration of his Footscray burger restaurant, 8bit, in Melbourne’s CBD this month. On top of that, he’s working on a new barbeque restaurant and beer garden in Footscray, Up in Smoke, which will open in January.
While Melbourne’s hardly short of American barbeque, it’s something we haven’t seen much of in the west yet.
“We didn’t want to go down the whole ‘yee-ha’ route, with bullhorns on the walls and Texas number plates,” McCallum says. “Up In Smoke will be far more accessible than the stereotypical American barbeque joint – a modern and casual alternative.”
Partnering with Alan Sam (the previous owner of Captain Melville), McCallum is transforming a car park into a front courtyard to seat 70 people. The space will also have a smaller, secluded area and a window to the side of the bar, through which outdoor punters can order drinks.
At the heart of the establishment will be a $20,000 Yoder Frontiersman offset smoker, which will do a lot of heavy lifting for the menu. Smoked produce will be a major focus here: meats for tacos, vegetables for sauces and chillis for garnish.
Ten local craft beers will be on rotation, alongside a small selection of whiskies and rums. Bartenders will also mix up a small selection of cocktails with a smoked element.