Original brick pit from Ruby’s BBQ headed to Ladybird’s Austin Kitchen

One of the great relics of the Austin barbecue scene will live on. When Pat Mares announced last month she was closing Ruby’s BBQ, which she and her husband opened in 1988, people worried about the future of the brick pits that had been used to smoke meat for decades. Enter chef Demmerick Johnson.

Ladybird’s Austin Kitchen’s Facebook page.



The chef of Ladybird’s Austin Kitchen, the East Austin food trailer located at the food trailer park at 1608 E. Sixth St., posted on Facebook that he was salvaging one of the pits, keeping a piece of Austin food history alive. Johnson said fans of Ladybird’s can expect traditional Texas-style barbecue at Ladybird’s in the future and possibly a brick-and-mortar location.

“Our unexpected underground success, and our new role as ‘Curator’ of this heirloom piece (the pit) opens many doors to new horizons and opportunities,” Johnson said.

Johnson took to Facebook Live to talk about his reasoning and the logistical concerns in preserving this piece of history. You


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Chef Demmerick Johnson and Ruby’s BBQ co-founder Pat Mares. (Credit: Demmerick Johnson’s Facebook page)

Author: Matthew Odam

Restaurant critic & features writer at Austin American @Statesman and @Austin360. Austin-born 6th generation Texan. Left-handed.

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