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Update: Yes, there have been several such announcements, but this one comes from the man himself, and even includes a time of day. From @JMuellerBBQ on 9/2/11 "Monday September 26th at 10AM.... The new era of JMueller BBQ begins in Austin...This is not a tease!..1502 S.1st st.. See you There!!!!!"

9/1/11: I talked with John Mueller at the Gettin' Sauced event in Austin last weekend. He has scrapped plans to open on Shady Lane and instead will open in a trailer at:

1502 South First St.
Austin Texas 78704

He plans to open within the next three weeks and will operate out of a trailer until renovations are completed on the permanent building at the same site. At Gettin' Sauced he sold 400 links of special recipe sausage in 40 minutes, so maybe people are a little anxious for him to open.

6/2011: You may have heard that John Mueller has found an address for his new BBQ joint in Austin. It will be located in East Austin at 1109 Shady Lane (thanks Scrumptious Chef). It will be housed in the old house on the right pictured here.

Joe Nick Patoski has some opinions on John Mueller's BBQ which he shared in his recent article in the New York Times and a very old blog post from 2004 where he stated that "John Mueller sets the standard for great Texas barbecue". This was just a few sentences after scolding him for opening a second location seven long years ago. Much has also been made about the fact that John cooks hot and fast as opposed to Franklin's 18+ hours of smoking. I think all the hubbub is for naught considering that anyone who has enjoyed the meats from Kreuz Market, Smitty's or Cooper's have all enjoyed the fruits of hot and fast smoking.

This new joint certainly comes with high expectations given that John's old joint on Manor Road was one of Texas Monthly's Top 50 BBQ joints in 2003. It's no wonder he chose the folks at Texas Monthly for a special tasting two weeks ago. The tweet from @TMfood read "AUSTIN: We previewed John Mueller's barbecued brisket & beef ribs today--they rock & roll! He will open ~July 13 near Shady Ln & Airport." Now we all know when the rest of us can get a taste.

- BBQ Snob

2010: Back in 2001, John Mueller left the family business in Taylor (Louie Mueller Barbecue) to start his own place (reportedly without the family's blessing). He opened up on Manor Road in Austin, and was named to Texas Monthly's Top 50 BBQ joints by 2003. When the BBQ World Headquarters (also a TM Top 50 pick in 2003) was closing up shop, John decided to branch out to a second location in 2004. By early 2006, both joints had closed up and John Mueller was gone from Austin. JM then worked as the pit master in Bastrop in late 2006 at John Mueller Old Town BBQ, but that joint went south soon after it opened. It's really a sad tale of a great pit master with a string of unsuccessful business ventures.

Just yesterday, as I grabbed a bite of some incredible brisket at Franklin BBQ in Austin (review coming soon), John's name came up when discussing the pit used at Franklin which came out of John Mueller's place on Manor Road.

Then today comes word that he's moving back into Austin. Texas Monthly's Pat Sharpe reported the following on her blog:

"The most intriguing email of the last week came to us from John Mueller...'Have a very Happy New Year. Look for John Mueller BBQ in the very early 2010 in some form. Taking it to the streets and using Joe Nick’s advice of 1 brisket at a time.–Have a great day–John Mueller.'

So, I emailed John with a few questions and just heard back. He says: “Yes [the new operation] will be in Austin. I’m taking this slowly to ensure a successful comeback. My first plan is to vend in local clubs so I can reestablish my reputation and confidence. I will be looking for the exact right opportunity for a building.”

She got a bit more info than the cryptic e-mail I received from JM, which simply read, "I have information about John Mueller coming back to Austin. Please contact me." Either way, it looks like John is truly making his way back to a city that needs an infusion of good BBQ. I can't wait to get a bite.

- BBQ Snob

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