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Introducing Christchurch’s newest bastion of BBQ and booze



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There’s a new mob in town – introducing Christchurch’s newest bastion of BBQ and booze

An American revolution is coming to Christchurch in the form of Southern-style barbecued ribs, chicken wings and craft beer.

The Bootleg BBQ Co. is a new restaurant and bar that aims to convert Cantabrians to the religion that is American barbecue. Situated on Welles Street, on the former site of the infamous Charlie’s Massage Parlour, doors will open to the public this Saturday(March 14).

No stone has been left unturned in the process of creating an establishment that will offer diners a unique and authentic experience. A specialist pit smoker imported from America ensures the food is barbecued in true Southern-style with the iconic wood smoke flavour.

The Bootleg BBQ Co. is jointly owned by Charlie George and Campbell Parker, both of whom have a long history in the hospitality industry in New Zealand and abroad.

The dynamic duo consumed their body weight in ribs during a recon mission through Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas in 2013, the aim of which was to investigate the concept of the American barbeque and how it could be applied in New Zealand.

“Barbecuing is a labour of love in the States,” says Charlie, whose wife Sarah grew up in Boston and is looking forward to introducing Kiwis to the American barbecue concept.

“We wanted to open a new restaurant in Christchurch as part of the rebuild but one with a point of difference. Authentic American barbecuing is yet to hit New Zealand and our aim is to create a dining experience that is a bit edgy, very honest and true to the traditional process.”

Head chef is Scott Gibbs. In a twist of fate, Scott’s mother was born and bred in Texas so it should come as no surprise that he is fanatical about American barbeque and recently spent two months working in various restaurants throughout Texas honing his knowledge.

Scott and his team will be producing many iconic dishes including barbecued pork ribs and chicken wings, which are infamous in the States, along with pulled pork, beef brisket, half chicken, lamb shoulder and pork sausage. Speciality salads and the classic American sides of ‘mac’n cheese’, potato tots and hush puppies will also be on the menu, which is designed for sharing.

Care is taken to ensure all meat is locally sourced and free-range, and sessionable craft beer will be a strong focus. Bootleg BBQ Company is also the only venue in the South Island to pour the Good George range of beers.

Bootleg’s fit out goes against the “kitsch American-themed restaurant”, says Charlie. Instead, the pair has decided to pay homage to Christchurch and have salvaged recycled bricks, wood and other materials from demolition sites.

More information about the Bootleg BBQ Co can be found at: www.facebook.com/BootlegBBQCo

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