ROCHESTER - Barbecue lovers, mark your calendar for Oct. 8.
That's when Mitchell Hill BBQ is slated to open in downtown Rochester in the former Mel Flanagan's Pub on North Main Street.
For Bob Benoit and his wife, Roxanne, who have had a barbecue catering business for seven years, it will be their first foray as retail restaurateurs.
"We're looking forward to it," Benoit said this week while working out details for the opening at his North Main Street space, which he'll be leasing.
Among the new equipment being bought to ensure the best barbecue around is a Myron Mixon Smoker, one of the premier purveyors of commercial barbecue cookery.
Benoit describes his style of barbecue as "sweet with heat," and says the key to good smoking is timing.
"It's like five hours for ribs, maybe nine for brisket," he said.
But Mitchell Hill will be more than barbecue, he said. They'll have charbroiled steaks, homemade sausage and burgers and much more.
He said he's had some 8,000 catering jobs and along the way learned pretty much everything there is to know in the barbecue and smoker world.
He said their restaurant will have plenty of cold beer and chilled wine to wash the barbecue down, but not a full liquor license.
By all accounts, his will be Rochester's first barbecue restaurant.
All we can say is it's about time.