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John Mueller no longer with JMuellerBBQ

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[NOTE: We've moved this discussion from the thread at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8095... since it's a discussion of local news, not food. -- The Chowhound Team ]

Sounds like John Mueller is out at JMueller BBQ.

http://www.austin360.com/blogs/conten...

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  1. I realize that BBQ may not carry the cheapest overhead costs compared to other food businesses (e.g. Tiff's Treats, flour, sugar, etc.) but is it just inevitable that good ol' John will fail to keep his top notch craft on the Austin scene at any given time for more than a year?? There was a decent line every one of the roughly 20 or so times I went, so it sure didn't seem like he was flailing. No offense to his sister / partner or fellow pitmaster, but I'd prefer to be served up his 'cue. And frankly (no pun intended), I can't justify waiting for Franklin's when John's fare is so nearly or equally good (item depending) for a tenth of the wait time. I hope it blows over, but I remember well when the Manor road shop closed a year after I moved here. That shop delivered my baptism into Texas BBQ and then tenderfoot Aaron Franklin more often than not served it up. Then I traveled a few times to his Bastrop location only to find it closed after several months.

    2 Replies
    1. re: slowcoooked

      I don't think anyone would deny the quality of his product. But it sounds like eating at JMueller is a better experience than being a business partner with him.

      1. re: heyzeus212

        The guy worked his butt off every day and built his trailer into something nationally recognized. This dispute with family over the finances is a crying shame.

        To quote from the original Matrix movie "Not like this! Not like this."

    2. From what I read the implication is that some skimming was going on. His family members word not mine. The Mueller mothership has been weighing in on this on Twitter saying some nasty things about John.
      https://twitter.com/LouieMuellerBBQ

      I think he should stop the whole businessman thing. Someone should just hire him to grill, period.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Rptrane

        stealing from the family, ouch...

        1. re: Rptrane

          I don't twitter, so I have trouble reading that awful interface and following the conversations (if that's what you could call them). But who is that bad-mouthing him? And who is Wayne?

          Sorry to see John go again. Every time I see him he's the hardest working one there. All this family squabbling is a huge turnoff though - very uncouth. I now have no respect for Louie Muellers and whoever the loudmouth is there. Definitely be boycotting them.

          -sw

        2. Damn. I never made it there, and i only went to his Manor road location twice before it closed down.

          3 Replies
          1. re: TroyTempest

            The one time I went to the Manor location, his attitude completely put me off (was being pissy to a customer a few ahead of me).

            1. re: amysuehere

              My first time to the Manor location i was the last customer and he couldn't have been friendlier. I ordered a brisket sandwich and he gave me a giant hunk with burnt end. It was really too big for the bread. It was great.

              1. re: amysuehere

                I was a regular at that location for about a year soon after moving here in Oct. 2004 and he was rude to me three times, one time calling me a liar in front of an out of town VIP guest for saying I'd be back after learning one day they were out of brisket. I laughed. And still frequented his 'cue.

            2. Such a shame. He put out very, very good BBQ. When I went, the service was top notch, too. It'll be interesting to see if the new pit guy can pull it off. It sounds like his credentials are solid.

              1. Yeah, a shame. I've heard amazing things about this guy and his craft. In a weird twist of the universe, I am literally right now watching the No Reservations show from Austin 2012, in the JMueller section, no less, when reading this thread.

                Argh, and yow.

                Franklin is quite amazing but without JMueller it seems the BBQ world is lacking.

                3 Replies
                1. re: tenacity

                  Went there (now called LA BBQ) today to see how it held up post-J. Mueller, and it was excellent. Had fatty brisket, a beef rib, pork ribs, and sausage. All of the meat was extremely tender, moist, and flavorful, as before. Fantastic sausage. There was also turkey, which we didn't sample, and they still have the chipotle slaw, potato salad, and pinto beans.

                  1. re: hlk

                    Scrumptious Chef knows his BBQ, and had high praise for "LA BBQ" as well.

                    http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/i...

                    1. re: heyzeus212

                      Went back over the weekend with visitors, and I didn't like it nearly as much. The meat was still very tender and moist, but it lacked proper barbecue flavor. The crust on the brisket was weird, too. Thin and sort of stale tasting, to not describe it well at all. I was disappointed.

                2. It's interesting that their facebook page is at a cold standstill - which is how kept in "contact" with them (I don't twitter). My guess is SOMEBODY changed the password. Nice move, John! ;-)

                  -sw

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sqwertz

                    Yeah, they made a new page for the renamed restaurant: facebook.com/labbq78704

                  2. His sister has taken it over and named it La Barbecue

                    http://austin.eater.com/archives/2012...

                    1. This makes me sad. I've been following the story since it broke, hoping for news of what he's doing next. My husband & I had a great experience with John while visiting Austin & would follow him anywhere he's pitmaster.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: jcattles

                        Here is a big article from Virginia Wood over at Austin Chronicle about the takeover:

                        http://www.austinchronicle.com/food/2...

                        1. re: redhatcharm

                          the link doesn't work in chrome, just saying...

                          1. re: redhatcharm

                            woof. pretty serious stuff.

                            1. re: redhatcharm

                              Sounds like a bunch of BS. His family wanted to have him arrested in the past but LeAnn bought the business from John's original investors earlier this year? Sounds real fishy. It appears John built up the business and then LeAnn brought in his replacement and fired him to cash in on John's hard work.

                              1. re: The Tres Leches

                                It is odd that the new guy was already working there for a few weeks at the time of John's departure.

                                -sw

                                1. re: sqwertz

                                  Well assuming her claims are true she maybe hired the new guy prior to dropping the axe on John. Seems sensible.

                                  1. re: Rptrane

                                    John has popped up in Shiner, TX

                                    http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/i...

                                    1. re: heyzeus212

                                      I've been wanting to tour the Shiner brewery. This is a good excuse.

                                      1. re: Rene

                                        This sounds really fishy. I hate family fueds. All we're getting is what a few people swear is the truth. ( I read it on the internet so it must be true...sort of sh*t). The few videos I saw of John looks like he may not have been the most personable of us but I never met the man and can't say. I hope he makes a success of whatever endeavor he tries. Reminds me of the bullshit in Lockhart with Schmitts of Kreuz market fame.