Taste

Downtown Project’s barbecue joint pops up out of nowhere

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Blink and you’ll miss it: Big Ern’s BBQ is located on Seventh Street under the big Downtown Project construction sign.
Photo: Brock Radke

A frequent example of development mentioned by Tony Hsieh or his associates in stories about the Zappos-affiliated Downtown Project—there are tons of ‘em—is the creation of a simple barbecue restaurant, as in, Downtown could really use a good barbecue restaurant.

Turns out they didn’t have to wait to build a restaurant to make it happen. Two weeks ago, Big Ern’s BBQ started serving smoked goodness from a makeshift setup on Seventh Street between Carson and Fremont streets. Big Ern’s will eventually move into Downtown Project’s shipping container park across Seventh, a quirky development approved by the Las Vegas City Council this week and scheduled to open sometime in 2013. Operator Ernie Loya is a former Zappos employee.

Operating from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, Big Ern’s menu offers sandwiches served with barbecue pork and beans or coleslaw, smoked brisket, ribs and chicken, pulled pork and hot links. Combo plates run $12 for two meats or $15 for three meats.

Tags: Dining
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Brock Radke

An award-winning writer who has been living and working in Las Vegas for more than 20 years, Brock Radke is ...

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