Charlotte’s barbecue scene is about to get a tasty new addition.
Sweet Lew’s BBQ is planning an October 15 opening, and construction is already underway.
The fare will be authentic old-school North Carolina barbecue, cooked over hickory and pecan wood. Don’t expect anything super fancy. Think Price’s Chicken Coop but with some seating.
“We’re trying to keep it simple,” says co-owner Lewis Donald, also known as Sweet Lew. “We’re not going to have mango jalapeno barbecue sauce.”
Sweet Lew’s will be in the booming Belmont neighborhood.
That approach should work well in its new home in the Belmont neighborhood, just a couple blocks north from the Catawba Brewing taproom and Advent Coworking space.
Construction is underway at a former auto shop on Belmont Avenue. There will be seating for 36 inside plus an outdoor patio.
Out back will be the smoker, all wood-burning with the coals going low and slow underneath the meat.
Sweet Lew’s will serve pork, ribs, chicken and brisket.
That process creates a barbecue with distinctive smoky flavor.
Sweet Lew’s uses salt-and-pepper pork shoulders sourced from an ethical operation in Iowa. It will come with three sauces: an eastern North Carolina vinegar-based dip, a Lexington-style tomato-based dip, and a South Carolina-style mustard dip.
The restaurant will also serve barbecue chicken with an Alabama white sauce (made with mayonnaise) and spare ribs daily. On Saturdays, Sweet Lew’s will also have beef brisket.
Don’t sleep on the classic sides.
Sweet Lew’s serves red slaw and pickles with their ‘cue, as you would expect.
But the star of the show is the boiled peanuts, a Southern delicacy.
Also look for three beers on tap and wine.
Charlotte Agenda will keep you posted as construction progresses.