Cooking it up

Franco Masdea of Tomlin Catering, left, and Corby Richmond, co-owner of The Howe Street BBQ, check on pork shoulders that are cooking in the large barbecue at the site on the corner of Water and Howe streets, Tuesday.

What does the Tomlin restaurant and The Chanterelle have in common besides great food? They share their employees and they operate Howe Street BBQ.

Husband and wife team Corby Richmond and Lindsay McLeod, who are the owners of The Chanterelle and the Howe Street BBQ, opened what they call a “summer pop-up” last week at the corner of Water and Howe streets, behind the former Cineplex Theatre — which the pair also purchased this spring.

“The whole crew here is from the Chanterelle and Tomlin Catering,” said Richmond.

The walk-up style, outdoor barbecue can’t be missed with the smoking stack of the barbecue and the shiny silver Airstream, which serves as the actual restaurant.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we had to come up with some new and innovative ideas . . . and we bought the equipment to do a big summertime thing,” Richmond said. “We pivoted to opening up a barbecue . . . we have all the equipment and the airstream — it’s a beauty and it’s in spectacular shape — but we have to polish it up a little bit.”

The 1971 Airstream is where patrons place their order and collect their drinks. Richmond says he hopes to serve beer and wine from it in the future.

In the week that they have been operating, business has been “amazing.” Franco Masdea, with Tomlin Catering, spent Tuesday barbecuing pork shoulders at the Howe Street site.

“We opened last week and it was crazy. Thursday we had a sellout day,” he said. “We will be set up here Wednesdays and Thursdays so far and then possibly expanding (the amount of days).”

Pulled pork, barbecued half chickens, cheddar- jalapeno sausages, hush puppies and potato wedges are on the menu this week including their giant cookies for desert.

“The menu is going to rotate and change every couple of weeks,” said Masdea, adding, “Everything is made in house. We have a Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce, a mustard-based barbecue sauce and a Carolina glaze.”

As for the annual Ribfest event, Richmond says they probably won’t take part this year because the business is still in its infancy. “And we will have our ribfest probably right here in this parking lot,” Richmond laughed. “Just follow the aroma.”