Killen’s Barbecue in Pearland will soon begin accepting reservations for its dinner service, owner Ronnie Killen said.
This is a major break from common practice at Texas’ best barbecue joints. None of them take reservations and many of them stop serving when they sell out of meat, often long before dinner time.
Diners will be seated at tables and then order from waiters, Killen said. Steaks, including chicken-fried ribeyes, and other fare will also be available.
The Posse talked to Killen, who also operates several other restaurants in the Houston area, at his barbecue joint on Friday.
He said his move to barbecue dinner reservations was a response to the Houston area’s ever expanding market for smoked meat.
“It’s amazing what barbecue has done in the last five years,” Killen said. “Last month was our best month ever, by 25 percent. It just keeps growing.”
Killen opened his barbecue restaurant in 2014. It made Texas Monthly’s Top 50 list in 2017. And it remains one of the Posse’s favorite places in the state.
“People will pay for it,” Killen said, referring to the artisan style barbecue produced by his place and other top spots.
Currently, Killen’s is one of the few top barbecue joints in the state that offers dinner service. Previously, though, diners could not make reservations. They just showed up. And, if there was a line, they waited.
Posse co-founder Chris Wilkins and I arrived at Killen’s about 5 p.m. on Friday. There was no line. But by 6 p.m. the newly re-configured dining area had nearly filled.
Killen said that he thinks customers do want to sit down and eat top quality barbecue for dinner. He gets his briskets from Snake River Farms.
“The market and the people will pay for the best stuff,” Killen said.
Killen’s Barbecue, 3613 E. Broadway, Pearland. 281-485-2272. Open Sunday & Tues-Thurs 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-9pm. killensbarbecue.com