A North Park barbecue joint is planning to expand this summer, about 20 miles yonder to the rural community of Flinn Springs in San Diego’s East County.
Grand Ole BBQ y Asado – a tiny eatery on 32nd Street known for its central Texas-inspired barbecue and Argentine-influenced eats – announced plans Tuesday to open a new location off Interstate 8, at 15505 Olde Highway 80.
The restaurant will fill the site that formerly housed the Flinn Springs Inn restaurant and bar. Flinn Springs, an unincorporated community in El Cajon, is located about 25 miles east of downtown San Diego.
The new Texas-style dining spot will be a collaborative project between Grand Ole BBQ and Social Syndicate, a San Diego-based restaurant development and marketing company known for local ventures like Wonderland Ocean Pub, The Local, OB Surf Lodge, The Rabbit Hole and Bootlegger.
The plan is for the Flinn Springs location to serve as both a fast-casual eatery and family-friendly entertainment venue that will feature live music, horseshoes and other games, and retro jukeboxes. Its purveyors want it to be a place where patrons can mosey on over and spend an entire day.
The venue will be designed and constructed over the next few months, with plans to open to the public by this summer.
Grand Ole BBQ is the brainchild of San Diego native and musician-turned-barbecue master Andy Harris. Growing up, Harris spent his summers in central Texas with his father where he fell in love with Texas-style barbecue.
In his 20s, Harris bought a smoker and began perfecting his own barbecue creations. He opened Grand Ole BBQ in North Park in 2015, where he sells lunch and dinner daily until he runs out of food. Some of Harris' signature dishes include tri-tip, spare ribs, Texas hot links, pulled pork, turkey, and lamb, to name a few meat treats. The eatery announces when it runs out of food via social media platforms like Twitter.
Harris said his new project in Flinn Springs will combine his passion for both music and barbecue. After his career as a touring musician, Harris also worked as a tour manager.
“Having spent over 20 years honing my culinary skills on the road – from testing out all the best BBQ as a then-musician and tour manager, to buying up books on all the best BBQ joints in Kansas City, Memphis, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas, I was ready to fill that void in the city,” said Harris in a press release.
Social Syndicate CEO Brendan Huffman thinks they may be onto something here.
“With (Harris’) skills and passion for creating the best possible flavors and our focus on building community-driven venues, designed with locals in mind, I’m confident we’re going to create something special together,” Huffman added.