Astoria, Barbecue, Long Island City
Jun 08, 2016

Josh Bowen Returns to Dutch Kills With More Barbecue: Mothership Meat Company

Josh Bowen of LIC’s John Brown Smokehouse will open Mothership Meat Company in Dutch Kills, specializing in Texas-style barbecue.

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Photo credit: Heather Cowper

Yesterday the barbecue-loving Astoria crowd got some good news from Eater regarding Mothership Meat Company, a new ‘cue spot opening up in the area by Josh Bowen of acclaimed John Brown Smokehouse in LIC. However, it turns out that he’s not opening in Astoria proper, but in Dutch Kills, which is considered the northern reaches of LIC; rarely is it considered to be Astoria. So yeah, LIC gets more barbecue, albeit this is Texas style and not the Kansas City style served at John Brown.

If you remember, John Brown Smokehouse opened up originally in Dutch Kills at 25-08 37th Avenue. It was a tiny little spot that served some of the best barbecue found in Queens at the time (Pearson’s had closed by then). Then came Butcher Bar and The Strand, John Brown moving to LIC proper (10-43 44th Drive), and places like MexiBBQ and Ovelia offer barbecued food (see our post from 2013 on that) but do not adhere to a recognized regional American style of barbecue (e.g., Texas, North Carolina, Kansas City, etc). I checked out Alchemy, the barbecue popup Bowen ran at Legends Bar in Jackson Heights, one day and had a good experience. Unfortunately, the popup folded after about six months.

But back to this new barbecue news. Eater reports on the space and food:

The new location… will feature a huge, sprawling patio space with 4,000 to 5,000 square feet of space to hang out. It will also offer 12 beers on tap, and the menu will mostly be composed of classic meats like brisket and prime rib. Still, expect the same playfulness with spices at Mothership, Bowen says. “It will be a little bit out there,” he says. “I’m not going to fusion it up or anything. Spices are spices, however they taste. It will be salt and pepper with a little bit of extra love.”

Speaking of the spices, Gothamist has more details on that: “Bowen’s planning to spice up his brisket and other meats with spice blends like garam masala and cooking fats like ghee, or clarified butter.”

Bowen won’t disclose the exact location in Dutch Kills, but we think it may be in a more industrial section (thinking of the persistent aroma of cooking meat and potential objections from neighbors), and practicality dictates that it should be relatively close to transit. He’s familiar with the 37th Ave area, so that could be a candidate. Tyson Ho’s fascinating and entertaining saga of opening up a barbecue restaurant (Arrogant Swine—which popped up in Dutch Kills as the Hog Days of Summer in 2013) is a good one to keep in mind—and he was only looking at 3,000 square feet of patio space; Bowen’s spot sounds noticeably larger.

We know our readers are pretty split these days on what’s good for the neighborhood food scene—there’s certainly a vocal “no meat, please!” contingent, along with those who love their meat and appreciate good barbecue. So what do you think—does the area need a new barbecue place? Or would you like to see restauranteurs open places that feature the vegetable and its non-fleshy friends (think Dirt Candy or Superiority Burger)? And as far as the location for Mothership, where in Dutch Kills do you think it will be? Leave us a comment—we want to hear from you!

Acclaimed Alchemy, Texas BBQ to Reopen As Mothership Meat Company in Astoria [Eater]
Top NYC Pitmaster To Debut New Texas BBQ Spot In Astoria [Gothamist]

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.



Well, I’m looking forward to a good BBQ in Queens. Strand is played out and Butcher BAr is ok. Salt and Bone is straight up horrible. Ribs were burned and the bartender had a shitty attitude! Bring on good ribs and decent prices! :)


40th & 28th… JB family owns a building there. Guaranteed that’s where it’s landing. Was being used for a doggy daycare while trying to sell the property.


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