In the same space that housed Leon's for 60 years, Uncle John's Barbecue now smokes what any respectable South Side joint would.
"The tips, the links, the ribs," Dat Donut owner Darryl Townson said.
And the techniques, as well as those incomparable hot links which are smoked then deep-fried, all come courtesy Mack Sevier.
Sevier, the former pitmaster at Barbara Ann's, took his tiny Uncle John's on 69th Street, and turned it into a beacon for great barbecue. It caught the attention of Dat Donut owner Darryl Townson.
"I kind of, you know, struggled with it a little bit and I said you know something, the following that Mack got over on 69th Street, it's unbelievable," he said.
And so the two partnered, agreeing to move Uncle John's here to 83rd and Cottage, and with it, Mack's expertise coaxing the best out of ribs, tips and links over hunks of hickory wood, in the giant, aquarium-style smoker. They've added spicy jerk-seasoned tips to the menu, but Townson says South Side protocol is still pretty simple.
"You throw the fries on the bottom, the meat on top; put sauce on it, throw the white bread on it so you can pick up a little bit of the sauce; cup of coleslaw, good to go," he said.
And with his donut shop running 24-hours a day right next door.
Now this may sound like sacrilege on the South Side, but considering how much work goes into the ribs, tips and hot links, I would suggest getting the sauce on the side, so you can dip at will.
Come springtime Uncle John's will also start smoking and selling pulled pork and brisket.
Uncle John's BBQ
8249 S. Cottage Grove
8251 S. Cottage Grove