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Josh Bowen’s Texas-Style Barbecue Joint Finally Opens

Backyard at Mothership Meat Company at 27-20 40th Ave. (Source: Facebook)

April 15, 2019 By Alexa Beyer

Mothership Meat Company, a Texas-style barbecue joint located in Dutch Kills, has officially opened for business.

The long-awaited sequel to the beloved Long Island City barbecue restaurant John Brown Smokehouse opened at 27-20 40th Ave. on Thursday—after being in the works since 2016.

The restaurant, centered around a massive outdoor beer garden that seats 200, boasts a Texas-style salt-and-pepper barbecue menu. Josh Bowen, its owner, said he also plans to serve up goat ribs, frog legs, and a Hawaiian-style sausage. He said the menu will be unique.

Mothership’s fare and vibe was inspired by Bowen’s 10-year stint in Austin, where he was drawn to Texas restaurants that offered old school barbecue with a big space outside to drink beer and hang out.

The Texas-style barbecue deviates from John Brown Smokehouse, which serves traditional sweet and smoky style barbecue of Bowen’s native Kansas City.

The restaurant finally opens after a three-year licensing saga with the Department of Buildings. Bowen, whose business partner owns the Dutch Kills building, says that the delay-ridden approval process would have put them out of business before the restaurant opened if he had been leasing the space.

Mothership Meat Company at 27-20 40th Ave. in Dutch Kills

“It’s been literally just the most annoying thing ever and it definitely deters me from wanting to do a restaurant like this in New York City ever again,” he said.

It isn’t the pit master’s only gripe with city government. He’s currently suing Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer for defamation after the council member took to social media to post screenshots of heated texts Bowen sent the politician’s chief of staff.

Bowen had berated the council member for being an outspoken critic of the now-scuttled Amazon deal.

This week, Mothership will be open from 5 p.m. to midnight on Thursday and Friday and from noon to midnight on Saturday and Sunday. Starting next week, the restaurant will be open from noon to midnight Tuesday through Sunday.

Pit master Josh Bowen at Mothership (Facebook)

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Leaving politics aside, was excited for this place to open as I am a big BBQ fan. Was very disappointed in the quality and the price of the food. Cool building and outdoor space could be a good time when live music is there….but unfortunately I’m not willing to spend that much more money than John Brown Smokehouse for sub-par bbq. Won’t be back


I love this guys food, but he came off like a complete wackjob during the Amazon thing. No thanks.


Now know why he wanted Amazon here. He was opening another local restaurant. Can you say selfish.


Wow! Imagine that. He wanted Amazon here because he is a business owner and a community member that saw value in billions of dollars of investment in the neighborhood. What a jackass!

Meat Head Josh

He’ll fly to Amazon headquarters to carry Jeff Bezos back to his restaurant to try out his new meats


Imagine that, enlightened self interest, he should be flogged. Can’t wait to try the brisket.

Mad cow

That’s the Fox-news loving owner of John Brown’s Smokehouse that threatened JVB right?

I wonder if they’ll reuse the old sticky checkered tablecloths from the old location.


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