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Salt + Smoke’s second location, now open in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood of St. Louis, may make the perfect place to dine before enjoying The Flick from R-S Theatrics.

Overseeing this new outpost of the popular full-service barbecue restaurant are owner Tom Schmidt and executive chef/co-owner Haley Riley.

The St. Louis Hills operation fills the 5,000 or so square feet previously occupied by Mathew’s Kitchen, with 270 seats between the dining room and patio – nearly twice the size and capacity of its University City restaurant. The space also includes second-story seating and a private events space.

“We needed room to grow and had the opportunity to buy the building here,” Schmidt says. “We’ve just expanded so rapidly on Delmar. Our catering and events program is so large that we needed more space. This building’s kitchen is big enough that it kind of functions as a commissary.”

Structural renovations included removing several walls and installing new windows and hardwood floors. Bathrooms were added along with an outdoor walk-in cooler and a zinc horseshoe-shaped bar. Both locations of Salt + Smoke also feature extraordinarily large versions of the smoker from Cape Girardeau, Missouri-based Ole Hickory Pits that the company has used. According to Schmidt, the large smokers are running around the clock and can hold around 2,000 pounds of meat at once.

The St. Louis Hills location features the same menu as its older sibling, including such popular picks as brisket made from prime, untrimmed beef smoked for 16 hours over post oak, resulting in the choice of burnt ends, fatty cuts and lean cuts. Additional favorites include white cheddar-cracker mac ’n’ cheese, as well as fried bologna sandwiches featuring from-scratch jalapeño-cheddar smoked bologna that’s pan-fried to order and served with chow chow and grain mustard.

Behind the bar, Salt + Smoke boasts a signature selection of more than 175 whiskeys alongside almost three dozen beers and a variety of wines. For dessert, guests can choose from a selection of pie and ice cream.

“The outpouring from everyone around here has been phenomenal,” Schmidt says. “We’re just excited to be part of another community and are looking forward to finding more people to become friends with and more people to fall in love with Salt + Smoke.”

Salt + Smoke, 5625 Hampton Ave., St. Louis, 314-727-0200, saltandsmokestl.com

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