If you’ve walked around the Pendleton area, you may have noticed a few businesses opening within the past year. While exploring the area, if you’ve been on Broadway, you may have also heard live music, laughter, and smelled the aroma of BBQ floating through the air. Sound familiar? Then you have discovered the deliciousness of Lucius Q! Opened March 15th, 2018 by 3 owners (Aaron Sharpe, Shane Spears, and Jeff Keate), Lucius Q is a neighborhood joint with its roots centered on music and food (Yes Please!). They were named in honor of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus who was well known for his leadership and selflessness. Pursuit of Delights had the pleasure of sitting down with two of the ultra-friendly owners, Aaron and Jeff, to hear more about the history of their fun vibe restaurant!
Pursuit of Delights: Please tell us how you all got connected
Lucius Q: Jeff and Shane’s wives have been friends since high school. I (Aaron) was at a radio station for 15 years. Jeff was always calling in and winning tickets. We happened to see each other at many shows and became friends through our similar interests in music. A few years ago, Jeff and Aaron had the idea of opening a restaurant and needed a third person. Jeff is restaurant guy. Shane is the finance guy. I am the marketing guy.
Pursuit of Delights: What made you all land on a BBQ restaurant?
Lucius Q: BBQ was Jeff’s push. Jeff owned a pizza place but wanted a music venue. I spent years in music and didn’t want a music venue, but more of a neighborhood joint. We wanted to have a space that was bigger and could have larger groups. The neighborhood influenced the BBQ.
Pursuit of Delights: This is not just a BBQ Restaurant. What else do you all specialize in?
Lucius Q: We have many events with live bands on the weekends, DJs, etc. The space is also able to be rented out. Recently, we held a Young Professionals event. We don’t limit ourselves. Anyone can put in a request through the online portal. We incorporate a variety of music every day whether it’s by DJ, speaker, or live band because good music knows no genre. Sunday is more of a vibe. Friday and Saturday may be louder
Pursuit of Delights: For “first timers”, what menu items would you suggest?
Lucius Q: Sandwiches- The fuego is the best seller. “People go nutty over it”. Sides- baked beans and collards. The mac is awesome as well. Meat—Brisket, but it’s hard to choose just one! We also celebrate Taco Tuesday which has our pulled pork, but may expand into other meats.
Side note: Pursuit of Delights tried the turkey, sausage, brisket, tacos, collard greens, mac n cheese, grits, and the fuego sandwich. My, my, my. We might as well have been rolled out of there because we barely could walk! We can understand why it’s hard to recommend a favorite!
Pursuit of Delights: Although it is still early, you all have been successful rather quickly. Are you looking to expand?
Lucius Q: We plan to expand, but we’re not currently a restaurant group or corporation. Jeff still owns a pizza place. We’re learning. If you fail, you fail, but if you’re doing what you love, it shouldn’t happen. (That was the quote of the day by the way!)
Pursuit of Delights: This location is awesome with cool features. How much of the renovation was new vs. historic to the building?
Lucius Q: The building stood out because of the beams. Everything here is new except for these beams and the bricks. It’s all our design. We truly wanted to make it our own, which included expanding the building and adding on the kitchen
Before pics taken by Credit Aaron Hildebrand and Platte Architecture
Pursuit of Delights: Given there are quite a few BBQ restaurants in the surrounding area, what makes you all unique?
Lucius Q: How great is it for groups of 20 people to walk in and eat together. You pretty much walk in and have your food since we’re a counter service. There are times there are lines out the door, but the worst-case scenario is 20 minutes from door to counter.
Our food and drinks. We recruited one of the best pit masters, Tom Martin and have and have an awesome bar manager, Amanda Busch. Everything is made in house and cooked on site, except for our sausage. Avril Bleh makes the homemade sausage and provides the meat for Lucius Q to cook
Our staff is also special. We have 22 people, of which most began with us when we started.
The neighborhood makes us special. With all the new restaurants opening, it still feels like a neighborhood. We want to be accessible and not a hipster place. All ages, genders, styles, etc. are welcome. You can feel comfortable bringing your kids here. We’re all about the community and want to build a community around food and music. We’re going after all of the senses.
We’ll tell you, Lucius Q absolutely captured all of our senses! The vibe, the food, the people, the staff, the music, the patios, etc. were all so perfect. This is your ideal spot if you want to do something lowkey, bring your family, or have a big group. If you love BBQ, (which let’s be honest, how could you not??), this is the place for you!!