Weber State University students and faculty had the chance to taste a smoked pulled pork sandwich on Feb. 9 from the menu of a new Weber Dining restaurant opening in the fall semester.
Real Good Barbecue will be a new barbecue location replacing the current Stone Pizza location next to Einstein’s Bagels in the Shepherd Union building.
To increase awareness about the new dining experience, Weber Dining started hosting pop-up events to showcase certain meals that will be on the menu.
The events are scheduled to be biweekly throughout the spring semester. The first week, a surprise pop up on Feb. 2, highlighted the restaurant’s brisket meal.
The first official biweekly event on Feb. 9 sold pulled pork sandwiches. The events are scheduled for Feb. 23, March 16, March 30 and April 13 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
“We’ll have something different every time,” said Robert Steedley, Weber Dining’s marketing manager. “If you don’t find something you like at one pop-up, come back for the next one.”
The location was originally scheduled to open in the fall 2020 semester after a purchase of a smoker in February. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, Weber Dining decided to postpone the grand opening to fall of 2021.
“We didn’t want our customers here on campus to go without trying the barbecue,” said Weber Dining Retail Operations Manager Tyson Skeen. “A couple times throughout the semester, we’re going to give customers an opportunity to try our meats that are smoked.”
The concept came from the company’s executive chef, Trek Kryger’s passion for barbecue.
“When it comes to barbecue, I’m a huge fan, and I want other people to enjoy it and love it as much as I do,” Kryger said.
All of the recipes for the meals at the restaurant came from Kryger, who is specialized in cooking barbecue.
“A lot of restaurants will, for smoked meat, bring them in frozen and then thaw them. Then they call it smoked meat,” said Skeen. “We smoke it from scratch and season and flavor it from scratch.”
The food will be priced higher than other locations across campus. Steedley said this is because the quality and amount of food will be better than at the other locations.
“You’re going to get a little more bang for your buck. You can get two or three meats with two or three sides,” Steedley said.
Weber Dining was not concerned about students disliking the food. The company was more worried about the amount of people that will come to the restaurant after it opens in the fall.
“Our biggest concern is just a lack of participation,” Steedley said about the pop-ups.
He said they did what they could to get the word out, including giving out coupons and inviting people across campus to come to the event in the Shepherd Union building.
At the surprise pop-up on Feb. 2, the restaurant ran out of food and had to end the event early. On Feb. 9, the event had a line right after starting at 10:30 a.m.
Skeen said the staff was going to do everything they could to allow for the restaurant to open in the fall, even if COVID regulations don’t change.
“We are able to open our restaurants following the protocols that have been set forth by the health department,” Skeen said. “Our team takes extra precautions in cleaning and preparing food.”