Burbank’s Barbecue Closed?

Say it isn’t so!

While the last trip we made there (I actually have a pending review for Burbank’s, which I guess I’ll sort of do here instead) was disappointing– the pork was dry, the sides (except for the sweet potato casserole) not quite up to par– I always loved that place for sentimental reasons– Terry and I used to go there all the time before we realized there was better barbecue to be had in Cincinnati. The last few times we were there, the place was dead, and their phone number is currently disconnected.

Anyone know any other details?

Burbank's Real Barbecue on Urbanspoon

  • BryanEW710

    I was there a couple months ago and it was still open. The place has always looked like it's closed, though.

    Where would you go instead?

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com Julie

      Oh, the list is long. Loveland Smokehouse, Pit to Plate, City Barbecue (a chain, but local-to-ohio and a good one). In that order, I think.

      • BryanEW710

        Cool. I've been living here in town for awhile, but just never really went out to have a look around as far as eateries go. Of course, that's why I subscribed to this site's RSS Feed :-)

  • http://twitter.com/sophias_place sophias_place

    Their last day to be opened was supposed to be the 26th of last month. I heard it wasn't the economy but horrible maintenance issues with management fighting the building owner. (Last I heard Burbank had not been an active owner for years and had no say in day to day things. He just lent them the rights to use his name & was a silent investor. He almost pulled out several years ago when food started being made off site and went down hill. Things were brought back up to better standards, so Gary allowed his name to stay.)

    More recently things kept snow balling and were intruding on the ability to run a basic business and restaurant on a daily basis. The management argued with the building peeps forever and things had gotten ugly. I was not given details of specificity but heard this from a good source.

    It's sorry that it happened but one can't really just up and move a restaurant due to ongoing serious maintenance issues in the middle of fighting (and whatever else was going on)

    That said, it STINKS it was done quickly and suddenly and without notice to the employees! I believe the same thing happened to the Maisonette but forget why (employees given no notice!)

    Investors probably will not get much money back as I have no clue how much the sale of restaurant equipment and supplies would give as a return. If there is a lawsuit involved, I've not heard anything about that and probably nobody could afford to sue in these tough times anyway.

    I am not big on BBQ & had only had their food a few times (When they catered Sports or Consequences at Gary's show back in the Mt. Adam's days) and it was good but that was 10 years ago. I was at the restaurant a couple times. Wasn't a fan of the sweet cornbread. Tasted like cake. I like cornbread only when it's cooked in hot iron skillet and has a dark crust but I digress.

    I never did hear much in the media about Burban's restaurant though? Just sorry it had to end like this as Gary is a nice guy. It was also good place for local bands to play and Burbanks were loyal to the musicians who played there & vice versa. Many had been playing there for YEARS and were booked through the end of the year as of last summer..

  • kylere

    It is a shame to see local flavor places disappear under the impact of chains, Famous Dave's and their walmart-like ilk seem to have pushed weak management over the edge there. I had been warned of a bug problem there when I first returned to Cincy, and overall cleaning issues, and had really hoped they would turn around.

  • The Bank Boys

    They had a great Happy Hour, $1.25 for domestic long necks and $2.00 well drinks. Anybody know of an equivalent Happy Hour in that area?

  • Anita – Lockland

    Figures – I fell in LOVE with their sausage/chicken gumbo and how it’s gone! I wish I could find the cook of that delicious soup and pay them for the recipe. My winter days will no longer be the same (sniff sniff).

    • Rob

      Try the Gumbo Ya Ya at Redfish, my favorite andouille/chicken gumbo (downtown Cincinnati and several other big cities around the US). I have been away from Cincinnati for about five years and It was off the menu for a few years even before that, but as far as I know they still make by request.

      • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

        Redfish closed about the time you left.

  • Springpeepers

    This is a shame to see Burbanks close. I ordered their “take home” complete Thanksgiving dinner last year…and I must say, it was the best ever I have had…even my own cooking did not match the baked but smoked turkey. fabulous. That is how I found out Burbanks closed….I was getting ready to put my order in for Turkey day this year. Sad.
    I remember watching lots of blues there over the years….Saw 13 yr old Scotti Bratcher wine blues contest there years ago.

  • Springpeepers

    (ps) Pit to Plate,Jim Dandy’s, and City Barbeque do not come close to Burbanks…neither does Big Arts either… and there is no need to mention places like Motgomery Inn….the pits.
    Don’t know about Loveland Smokehouse?
    Any one have any ideas on bbq in Cincinnati?
    Real smoked ribs with a spicy rub is what we are looking for….yum

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

      Not all of those places do ribs– barbecue is, of course, not limited to ribs. Loveland Smokehouse and Goodies both do. We tend to be pulled pork fans, and not as much into ribs– and Burbank’s pulled pork suffered greatly the last time we were there.

    • Mike

      You’re right about those restaurants…they don’t come close. In fact, their all so much better than Burbank’s was at the end, that a comparison isn’t even fair.

      Jim Dandy’s is the finest bbq in Cincinnati, bar none. I can’t understand why you wouldn’t them Jim’s food when he does EXACTLY what you say you want … real smoked over a real wood fire (hell, the smoker is by the front door!), fresh meats and awesome rubs/sauces.

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  • Dave

    I agree with springpeepers opinion about Burbanks “take home” Thanksgiving dinner, as we enjoyed Burbanks take out dinner the past two years. Are there any recomendations for this years Thanksgiving take out dinner? P.S. there fried catfish was awesome!

  • Tom

    You guys need to try Bar B Que Review on Madison Rd. right next to Madison Bowl….Best in town for ribs, brisket, chicken.

  • Brittney

    Went to Pit to Plate today after driving to Burbanks (absolutely depressed that it was closed) and have never had worse food! Pulled pork swimming in grease, collard greens were from frozen (salty & bitter), candied yams were mashed with pumpkin pie spice, beans tasted like Bushes straight out of the can, rib tips seemed to have been marinated in liquid smoke before being smoked, yuk! We thought we would give dessert a try, bad mistake, peach cobbler came out in a reused plastic cup, nothing but canned peaches and raw pie dough. Now I know why we were only 1 of 3 couples there on a Sunday afternoon. We love bbq and have tried many – Jim Dandy’s sucks! City BBQ ok, Smokey Bones not bad but service sucked, looking forward to trying Loveland Smokehouse. Burbanks’ food was great each and everytime we had been and everything tasted like it was from scratch, best fresh collard greens I’ve had aside from making them myself. Being a chef I know there is no excuse for side dishes to not be scratch…all your doing is throwing meat in a smoker, plenty of time to give care to everything else.

    • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com/2009/10/burbanks-barbecue-closed/#comments springpeepers

      I agree with Brittney about Cincinnati’s choices for barbeque. “not many”
      I got several chances to try Loveland Smoke House. Several times missed closing time by minutes(and not open on Sundays). Finally got their smoked ribs. They are okay…not great but not bad either. I would get them again and switch up on some of the sauces they have. Sauces seem home made and pretty good(the ones I tried). Whole slab was large portionwith a good rub, and lasted several meals. The sides seem out sourced….and not very imaginable…not like what you would get at good bbq places in Dallas,etc. I have some kill’ah receipes I would be willing to share with owner…..potatoe salad, mac’ncheese,greens,barbeque beans,cole slaw,corn bread,spicy corn bread,etc….maybe a cobbler???
      He is starting his business slow and seems to be determined to make a go of it. Some decent home made sides ,etc ,would really go a long way to making his business thrive. Any body know if he makes his sides or buys from an outsource?

  • brandglend

    R.I.P Burbanks….you will be missed
    I tried to go to Burbanks last night and could not believe that they had closed. I loved that place in fact we drove from New Carlisle just to eat there.

  • http://www.mychristmasdisplay.com Bobby H.

    Burbanks, Closed. sigh. Sorry to read it. I have great memories from the early nineties when waited tables at the Beechmont location. I have to say though that the flagship location in Sharonville had all the magic. The food was was delicious, the staff was proud, the atmosphere was just electric, I guess they blew a fuse. Such a shame. I don’t know if it was the live music or the pork that turned pink during the smoking process, maybe it was the tasty sweet potato casserole or the table side magician. Maybe it was a little of all of that and the people too. Gary, thanks for the memories and always know that Burbanks, by itself, was reason enough to visit the city of seven hills!

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