Top Chef contestant BJ Smith getting out of the traditional barbecue business, closing Vancouver’s Smokehouse Provisions to recreate his parents’ original Coney Island hot dog restaurant.
Smitty’s Original Coney Island, formerly located in South Bend, Indiana, specialized in hot dogs and sandwiches with a distinct ‘50s vibe. The new Smitty’s, which will open in the Smokehouse Provisions location April 1, will serve the same recipes from the Indiana Smitty’s — that includes the Coney Dog Smith’s mother purchased from the original owner for a whopping $13,000.
The restaurant will be family-friendly, featuring an onsite arcade packed with Skee Ball, Big Buck Hunter, and car racing games. Most burgers and sandwiches will sit around the $7 mark, with $3 loaded hot dogs, as well. Smitty’s will also have a full bar, including old-school cocktails and beer.
This is Smith’s second shift away from barbecue into the personal. Last fall, the chef decided to close Smokehouse Tavern, transforming the Buckman space into contemporary Polish restaurant Delores. Smith opened the restaurant in memory of his mother, combining their central European heritage with her love of luxurious ingredients — caviar-topped pierogi, foie-garnished martinis, etc.
The original Smokehouse Provisions, which first opened in Vancouver in 2016, will close March 24; Smith’s barbecue fans can find versions of his smoked meats at Kim Jong Smokehouse in Northwest Portland, though those dishes have a distinctly Korean influence. Stay tuned for more Smitty’s menu details as the restaurant approaches its reopening.
• Smokehouse Provisions [Official]
• All previous Smokehouse Provisions coverage [EPDX]
• All previous Delores coverage [EPDX]