Almost two months after cutting back hours to just one day a week, StormKing Barbecue has officially slid its last tray of brisket and burnt ends across the counter.
The BBQ joint from Jordan Smith—the same guy behind Black Sheep Pizza—opened just last June at 16 1/2 W. 26th St. in Minneapolis. It became a critical favorite almost instantly: City Pages' take? "Melt-in-your-mouth" meats with "worthy sides!" The Strib? One of the six best restaurants to open in the first half of last year! Heavy Table? "Stunningly good!" And so on and so forth.
Alas, that never did translate to booming sales, something addressed in a matter-of-fact Facebook post announcing the closure: "Due to unpopular demand, StormKing Barbecue is closed. We laughed, we cried and we smoked our hearts out but sadly, it wasn’t enough to keep the lights on."
“I’ve loved barbecue my whole life, ever since I was a kid,” Smith tells the Star Tribune. “I didn’t think we had great barbecue here [in the Twin Cities], so I thought, ‘Maybe it’s time.’ But I guess it wasn’t.”
He adds that they own the space ("so that’s a good thing”), but have no plans yet for what's next.