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New Tex-Mex barbecue spot coming to University City this fall

Mike and Liz Randolph announced they’re opening ‘Original J’s Tex-Mex Barbecue.'
Credit: Photos from Spencer Pernikoff

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. — University City is getting a new restaurant this fall.

Mike and Liz Randolph announced they’re opening ‘Original J’s Tex-Mex Barbecue.' It’ll be a casual, family-friendly restaurant at 7359 Forsyth.

It will feature Texas-style barbecue, cooked over Missouri oak in Myron Mixon Smokers, and served as tacos, platters, and bowls along with other Mexican-style sides and starters.

According to a press release, Original J’s follows the success of the Randolph’s breakfast and lunch hotspot Half & Half with two locations in Clayton and Webster Groves, as well as former acclaimed concepts of Público and Randolfi’s in The Loop.

‘Original J’ is described as the personification of the Randolph’s vision for the new restaurant – inviting, casual, interesting and comforting.

“J is the guy that you want to sit on a front porch with and listen to the countless stories of his travels and adventures. He’s a Renaissance man who puts his family first. That’s the vibe that we’re going for at Original J’s,” Mike Randolph said. The counter-service restaurant features wood walls with vintage photographs.

While Original J’s does pull influences from Randolph’s former Latin-inspired restaurant, Público, as well as inspirations from their travels to Texas.

“We’re doing barbecue a bit differently,” explains Randolph. “We’re utilizing real wood to burn low and slow, so the process takes a considerable amount of time – 16 hours for brisket. Texas BBQ also allows the meat shine with just simple seasoning of salt and pepper.”

Appetizers will include chips and salsa, queso, chips and guacamole as well as chili con queso, jalapeño poppers with avocado salsa, pulled pork nachos, brisket chimichangas, smoked wings, chicharrons with barbecue rub and Michoacán salad with avocado, Pico de Gallo and lime.

And when it comes to barbecue, guests can pick bowl with either lettuce or rice with Pico de Gallo, pickled vegetables, salsa verde and queso fresco or a platter with meat, two sides, and tortillas or tacos.

Among the meat selections: Spicy spare ribs, brisket, sausage link, chicken, Mexican-style barbacoa and more.

Tacos will keep things simple and highlight the meat with additional toppings such as avocado salsa with onion, cilantro and sour cream for mixed hog tacos to a smoked tomato salsa with onion, cilantro, and sour cream for brisket tacos. Vegetarian tacos will be available with the crispy potato tacos with rub spices, avocado crema, pickled peppers, queso fresco and sour cream. Original J’s will also serve breakfast tacos every day from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

An official opening date has not been announced.

The restaurant will be open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, click here

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