BBQ News

Hutchins BBQ reopens McKinney restaurant after fire with famed pitmaster

Hutchins BBQ reopens McKinney location after fire with famed pitmaster

Hutchins BBQ
That is some award-winning BBQ. Photo by John Miller

An acclaimed BBQ restaurant is reopening after a fire, and with a new famous name in the kitchen: Hutchins BBQ will reopen its location at 1301 Tennessee St. in McKinney after being closed since the end of 2020.

According to a release, Hutchins was forced to close temporarily after an electrical fire on New Year's Eve damaged the kitchen and roof. They'll reopen on August 31.

The repair cost more than $1 million to rebuild the structure and replace all damaged equipment. Brothers and owners Tim Hutchins and Trey Hutchins credit their loyal fans for supporting them by visiting their other location in Frisco.

"The number one question we've been asked this year is, 'When will the McKinney location reopen?'" says Tim Hutchins. "We give thanks every day that our customers stuck with us during the wait, some making the trek to our Frisco location to keep supporting this passion of ours."

Hutchins BBQ is a family-owned establishment founded by BBQ craftsman Roy Hutchins in 1978, featuring Texas barbeque and attentive, friendly service. Currently operated by Tim and Trey Hutchins, it has locations in Frisco and McKinney. Accolades include making the list of 50 Best BBQ Joints by Texas Monthly.

A rebuild is not the only development: It will be a whole new ballgame as far as staff goes.

"When McKinney reopens, they'll be pleasantly surprised to find the exact same restaurant they loved before, but with an even better team," Tim says. "During the closure our McKinney staff worked hand in hand with our Frisco staff, and their unification has upped both teams' games tremendously."

During the closure, they also hired a new pitmaster: John Mueller, grandson of famed pitmaster Louie Mueller, and himself an award-winning barbeque craftsman. According to the release, he reached out to the Hutchins family to propose joining forces.

"Growing up in a BBQ family, I knew about Hutchins and respected their reputation in the industry," Mueller says in a statement. "I've owned BBQ businesses for 30 years. I’m ready to not own anymore but keep doing what I love."

Mueller's extensive BBQ career includes cooking at Louie Mueller Barbecue, John Mueller's B-B-Q, JMueller BBQ, John Mueller Meat Co., Black Box Barbecue, and Granger City Brewing. According to the release, he looks forward to showing the industry that his reputation as the so-called Dark Prince of BBQ may not be fair.

Trey Hutchins notes in a statement that Mueller is modest.

"John is considered one of the best pitmasters in the country, even though he claims he's just a cook," Trey says. "So when John reached out about working together, it was no-brainer for us. It's really cool working with someone who shares the same love and passion for building fires and smoking meat. I know we can learn from each other, have fun along the way, and become better as a result."

Both the McKinney and Frisco locations will feature Mueller-crafted items, starting with his sausage specials, including a Peach Habanero sausage, Blueberry Maple sausage, and a Hot Gut, and there'll be more to come.