By DAVID SCHEISER | 06/11/2018 05:03:38BROWN, Ohio—When Josh Bielinski and his wife started looking for a new location, they didn’t want to risk opening in a major metropolitan area, even in an area where barbecue is still king.
The Bielinskis’ hometown of Brownsville, Ohio, has long been a barbecue hotspot, a place where meat lovers can dine out on a Sunday night, or for the weekend.
They’ve hosted events like a barbecue party for the entire family, and even sold T-shirts in honor of their hometown, with a slogan that reads “Bielinski: The Best of the Best.”
But when the couple decided to open a barbecue restaurant, they decided that it would need to be in the Midwest, where barbecue can be found in abundance.
“It was important for us to make it in the best state,” said Josh Bialinski, who’s also the owner of Freedom BBQ.
The family opened Freedom BBQ in Brownsville in 2016. “
That’s where we thought we would be a part of the community.”
The family opened Freedom BBQ in Brownsville in 2016.
A restaurant that has been serving barbecue since the 1970s, Freedom has a menu of five meats, two sauces, two sides and a sides dish, all of which are prepared by local barbecue experts.
The family started with four seats and quickly added another two to fill the two dining rooms.
That meant a kitchen that has more than 100 years of experience in the business, including 30 years in the kitchen at a famous New Orleans restaurant.
“We wanted to be a destination, but also to offer something that was locally made,” said Mike Davis, who runs the kitchen.
“We had to find a place that had the right balance of the two.”
Liberty, a new family-owned restaurant, opened in May in the former KFC plant.
Its menu is inspired by the South’s barbecue traditions, including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
The Bielinksis hope to add a third seat, but first they need to get the building up to code.
“The building is in very poor shape, and we didn’t even know if we were going to get a permit,” Davis said.
“The building owner didn’t like the idea of an open fire, so we went back to the drawing board.”
The Bialinskis are currently renovating the space to make the restaurant a more family-friendly place.
The renovation is slated to be completed in the next few months.
“When you look at the menu, it’s really simple,” Josh Binalinski said.
The menu consists of three types of meats: ribs, brisket, and beef brisket.
“You can’t go wrong with the brisket,” he said.
The menu will feature a selection of sauces, along with sides such as cornbread, fried chicken and pork chops.
Davis hopes that the family can provide a more casual dining experience.
“That way, you’re not feeling like you’re eating at a restaurant that’s a family-style establishment,” Davis added.
“I think that’s something we can do with a small menu,” Josh said.
“People are so hungry,” Davis laughed.
“It’s a lot of people.”
Freedom BBQ has already opened its first location in Indianapolis, Indiana.
For the time being, Josh plans to serve food at the facility.