District Marketplace has a new permanent food vendor, and its opening-day aroma lured people from surrounding businesses all day on Thursday.
Rae Fletcher and partner William Katzenberger are the owners of Katz Smokehouse, which they just opened in the new food truck park/ community gathering place at 138 N. Cleveland, just behind the Spice Merchant.
Katzenberger is a longtime backyard barbecue expert, Fletcher said, and the two have always dreamed of turning his skill into a business.
“We always wanted to but never really had the guts to jump out and do it on a big scale,” Fletcher said. “We finally decided we aren’t getting any younger and might as well do something.”
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The business is set up in a carnival-style trailer that won’t move from District Marketplace, a venue Fletcher said suited their artistic spirit. They serve brisket, ribs, pulled pork, ribs, pulled pork nachos and a list of homemade sides.
The best part: Katzenberger smokes all the meat at least 18 to 24 hours.
For now, they’ll be open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. They’ll also open late for weekend bar crowds from 10 p.m. until 3 a.m. Eventually, Fletcher said, they hope to be open daily.
All the meat is also available by the pound or slab, she said, so downtown workers heading home can grab dinner for their families.
Donnie Hutchins, who owns the Mr Natural Soul Kitchen food truck, is the founder of District Marketplace, which sits in a lot next to The Workroom. His truck also is permanently parked there, and he loans it to Dappery Dodo owners to sell breakfast burritos after-hours on weekends. He hinted that more permanent food vendors would be joining the roster soon. He frequently puts on artisan markets and invites mobile food trucks to park there, too.