After years of bringing smoked meats to the barbecue-loving masses of Denver, Rolling Smoke BBQ has opened a permanent home in Stanley Marketplace. The 2501 Dallas Street location marks the first non-mobile restaurant for owner Terry Walsh, who launched the Rolling Smoke food truck four years ago. The new menu offers expanded options from Rolling Smoke's mobile rig, including desserts.
When it comes to barbecue, Walsh’s food is a labor of love. “I’d always been a big barbecue fan growing up, it was my favorite cuisine,” he says. “It was always a dream to own a restaurant, but I went the corporate-world route, ’til I got laid off twice in seven years. After the second layoff, it was like, ‘Well, if I want to do a barbecue, now’s the time to do it.’”
Rolling Smoke BBQ may be a new name in Aurora, but Walsh has been barbecuing for decades. He grew up in Tulsa and later spent time in the great barbecue regions of Kansas City and Texas.
“Barbecue is what we always ate,” explains Walsh. “I started learning when I was about fourteen, and then after I moved up here, I bought a smoker. Pretty much every Saturday after that, it was me and my friends in my back yard with a TV back there and the smoker going and a couple coolers full of beers, and I just did it. I did that all fall during football season, so I got to be pretty good at barbecueing.”
Walsh was attracted to the collaborative community at Stanley Marketplace for his first brick-and-mortar location. “We were the last people to sign the lease, and I saw who else was going in here, and it was like, wow: Denver Biscuit Company and Comida and Rosenberg’s were on board; it was kind of an honor to be included, was how we felt. These guys want us to be included with all these other people that are established and well known around Denver — it says a lot about the food that we make, that we were invited to be part of such a cool place.”
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For now, you can visit Rolling Smoke from 11 a.m to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. The restaurant doesn't have a dedicated entrance, so head to the center hall of the marketplace once you're inside — then just follow your nose.