Hendricks BBQ on Main Street

By Sarai Esparza

The smoky smell of barbecue fills the air inside of Hendricks BBQ on Main Street. The place is filled with the voices of 19families talking about their days as they eat a hand-cooked meal with red and white checkered napkins on their laps.

“We wanted to bring back some of the honky-tonk days in a way that’s family friendly,” Hendricks BBQ owner Gurpreet Padda said.

Hendricks was scheduled to open in May 2011, but after a water main break, the whole place was flooded and everything was destroyed. After repairs to the property Hendricks opened in September 2012. Padda and business partner Ami Grimes had to go out and re source everything, from the wood used for the bar to the lighting used in the restaurant. Padda and Grimes didn’t always want to open a barbecue restaurant, but since they already had other successful restaurants, including a Mexican restaurant and a French bistro, they thought it would be their next big move.

“We knew we wanted to create something fabulous,” Padda said.

The restaurant was named after Grimes’s maiden name. Once they had acquired the old Waterworks building on Main Street, they traveled along the Mississippi River all the way down to New Orleans tasting and trying barbecue recipes along the way in hopes of finding the barbecue flavor that was once authentic to the St. Louis area.

“We went to every little throwdown in town you could imagine,” Padda said.

Some popular dishes include the standard ribs, the St. Louis style ribs, and the smoked brisket which is smoked for 14 hours. All of Hendricks ribs are slow smoked until they reach fall-off-the-bone tenderness. But, contrary to the restaurant’s name, barbeque isn’t the only thing Hendricks specializes in. They have all kinds of burgers and a variety of sides, like butter biscuits that are made with homemade butter. All of the food used is grown and raised at a farm that Padda and Grimes own so their food is always fresh and never pre-manufactured.

“I liked that they had a lot of choices and the food and service was amazing,” sophomore Emily Floyd said.

Hendricks BBQ also has the Moonshine Blues bar in the basement which was inspired by the Prohibition Era. Padda and Grimes knew that St. Louis was a hub for blues music and they wanted to reintroduce the blues culture, so they created the Moonshine Blues bar. Inside the blues bar people can go and listen to live blues music while they chow down on barbecue and enjoy the laid back atmosphere.

“Our goal is that when you come to Hendricks its not just about the food. It’s not just about the decor,” Padda said.