Billy Sims Barbecue, known for its ties to the ex-football star, recently closed its doors in Colorado Springs after six years of operation. However, this departure has paved the way for an exciting new local concept to take its place. Ozzie’s Smokehouse BBQ, a brainchild of Colorado Springs native Ron Osbourn Jr. and his wife, Kim, opened its doors last week at the same north-side location.
A New Beginning for Colorado Springs
The closure of Billy Sims Barbecue, owned and operated by a Kansas-based franchisee, came as a result of operational challenges and the location being too far away for sustained success. Jeff Jackson, CEO of Billy Sims, expressed disappointment but acknowledged that the pandemic and labor-related difficulties had taken their toll on the business. However, this setback created an opportunity for Ozzie’s Smokehouse BBQ to fill the void.
A Tribute to Family and Tradition
Ron Osbourn Jr., the mastermind behind Ozzie’s Smokehouse BBQ, has a deep connection to food and cooking. Named after his grandfather, Vernon, affectionately known as “Ozzie,” the restaurant also pays tribute to Ron’s late father, Ron Sr., who instilled in him a passion for grilling and smoking meat from a young age. Ron’s culinary journey began at the age of nine, honing his skills with guidance from his father, who served in the Navy during the Vietnam War.
A Culinary Voyage
Ron spent his teenage years washing dishes and preparing food at the Golden Dragon in Colorado Springs. He then pursued further culinary education at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and gained valuable experience working with Concept Restaurants, a local establishment. However, his quest for culinary excellence led him to California, where he worked various roles in the restaurant industry, including management. Eventually, Ron graduated as a professionally trained chef from the Napa Valley campus of the Culinary Institute of America.
Barbecue, Comfort, and Tradition
Returning to Colorado Springs in 2022, Ron seized the opportunity presented by the sale of the Billy Sims location. With his professional chef’s training and an inherent knack for smoking and grilling meat, Ron brings a unique culinary perspective to Ozzie’s Smokehouse BBQ. The menu boasts an array of mouthwatering delights, including brisket, pork, chicken, and smoked Polish sausage, all served as sandwiches or in various creative presentations. Sides like potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw, and macaroni and cheese perfectly complement the main dishes.
A Southern Style with a Fresh Twist
Ozzie’s Smokehouse BBQ embraces a traditional southern style of barbecue while incorporating its own innovative touch. Smoking meats daily ensures that only the freshest and most tender meat is served to customers. Unlike reheating meat over multiple days, Ozzie’s prioritizes quality and avoids the risk of dried-out meat. Homemade barbecue sauces, salad dressings, and other items enhance the overall dining experience, showcasing the commitment to authenticity and craftsmanship.
Embracing the Art of Barbecue
Ron Osbourn Jr.’s vision is to follow the authentic southern tradition of barbecue, which means cooking for the day’s demand and serving fresh meat straight from the pit. This approach showcases the true artistry of barbecue. Ozzie’s Smokehouse BBQ operates from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, providing both indoor seating for approximately 60 guests and convenient pick-up service. Ron also plans to introduce delivery services through third-party vendors and expand the business to include catering.
Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ is excited to be a part of this new chapter in Colorado Springs’ vibrant culinary scene. With their dedication to quality and a passion for authentic barbecue, Ron and Kim Osbourn invite you to experience the irresistible flavors of Ozzie’s Smokehouse BBQ. Whether you’re a barbecue aficionado or simply seeking a delicious meal, this new concept promises to deliver a memorable dining experience.