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Two Atlanta Pitmasters Team Up in Smyrna to Open a New Barbecue Restaurant

Robert Owens of Grand Champion BBQ and Bryan Hull of Secret Pint BBQ partnered to open Owens and Hull

A platter of brisket, smoked chicken, and smoked ribs with sides of potato salad, hash, picked onions, and Texas toast from Atlanta barbecue pop-up Secret Pint BBQ. Secret Pint BBQ
Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for over 12 years.

The owners of Grand Champion BBQ and pop-up Secret Pint BBQ just opened a new barbecue restaurant together right outside the perimeter.

Backed by pitmasters Robert Owens and Bryan Hull, and located in what was the Smyrna location of Grand Champion BBQ at the Eddy apartment complex, Owens and Hull merges Texas- and Carolina-style barbecue smoked over Georgia oak on the menu. While Owens says Grand Champion BBQ was successful here, the menu didn’t afford him room to expand beyond the typical barbecue offerings. Hence, partnering up with Hull of Secret Pint.

Open Thursday through Sunday, Owens and Hull doesn’t feature a set menu of barbecue standards, but rather a specific menu served each day. This includes a smoked burger topped with White Castle onions and American cheese on Thursdays, reserving sliced brisket and turkey for service on Fridays and Saturdays, and regularly serving the popular sausages from Secret Pint’s pop-ups (Think sausages stuffed cheddar cheese and jalapenos or roasted poblano peppers and Oaxaca cheese.) Hull says a “craft” approach to barbecue is much more “labor intensive”. Being open only four days a week allows them time to hone smoking techniques, source better meats, and create weekly specials and a rotating selection of side dishes.

Owens opened Grand Champion BBQ in Roswell in 2011, followed by locations in Milton, Marietta, and Krog Street Market. The Smyrna restaurant opened in 2020 and eventually became the lone Grand Champion BBQ after Owens closed the other four locations.

Hull started Secret Pint as an underground supper club in 2019, hosting barbecue pop-ups at undisclosed locations around Atlanta. In 2021, he began popping up at local breweries and soon became known for serving plates and sandwiches of Texas-style barbecue pastrami, pork belly burnt ends, and handmade smoked sausage links.

Click here to check out the menu for Owens and Hull.

Sliced brisket with slices of white bread, pickles, and container of green beans with parmesan. Owens and Hull
Platter of Brunswick stew, sliced brisket and turkey, white bread, and sausage links. Owens and Hull
Platter of smoked ribs, sausage links, and smoked chicken wings. Owens and Hull

Open Thursday 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

6255 Riverview Road, Smyrna. gcbbq.com.