chicken sandwich and baked beans from salt + smoke photo by lauren healey

St. Louis barbecue restaurant Salt + Smoke will open Ellisville location by early 2024

Award-winning barbecue restaurant Salt + Smoke has announced plans to open an Ellisville location at 1386 Clarkson/Clayton Shopping Center in late 2023 or early 2024. Located in an old Walnut Grill, the new restaurant will be Salt + Smoke’s second largest restaurant to date and its fifth location in the St. Louis metro area. 

“We've really wanted to be there for years,” said Salt + Smoke owner Tom Schmidt. “This was just a wonderful opportunity right in the heart of West County, where we don't have a presence, and we can just bring the barbecue that people love to that part of the region.” 

Schmidt said scouting new locations isn’t a straightforward process, but all the elements came together to make the Ellisville location possible. “There's lots of different parts of the region that we would like to go to, but [it’s about] finding the right spot that is large enough for what Salt + Smoke needs, where we can cook barbecue outside, and be at a really great part of town,” he said. “There's just so many considerations that need to be satisfied, and we're thrilled that at Ellisville we’re able to satisfy all of them, so it's really a great opportunity that we're excited about.”

The Ellisville restaurant will spread out across a generous 7,500-square-foot space. Salt + Smoke owner Tom Schmidt said Ellisville will be “just a little bit smaller” than Salt + Smoke’s Ballpark Village location, the largest of its five restaurants. He added that the look and feel will be consistent with other Salt + Smoke locations. 

The Ellisville restaurant will seat a combined 400 diners indoors and outdoors, with around 250 seats inside and space for up to 150 on a wrap-around patio. Schmidt said the patio takes the restaurant’s size up to around 9,000 or 10,000 square feet. 

The indoor space also includes a private event space that can be adapted to suit different occasions. “It’s kind of modular, so you can do a group of 30 or a group of 70, or we could combine everything to make it for 100,” Schmidt said. 

Schmidt said there would be “no tinkering” with the menu that has served Salt + Smoke well at each of its previous locations. That means Ellisville customers can look forward to the brisket, pulled pork, St. Louis cut ribs, beef fat fries and white cheddar cracker mac that have become favorites among the restaurant’s regulars over the years. “We really believe we’ve built the best possible menu we can for Salt + Smoke,” Schmidt said. “Our goal is just to continue to execute what we believe is a greatest hits menu at the highest level possible.” For the drink list, a similar story applies, with Schmidt promising Ellisville customers a collection of bourbons that will be comparable with other Salt + Smoke locations. 

Schmidt also confirmed that while business is “going great” across Salt + Smoke’s other restaurants, as well as its catering business and Oh Hey! Barbecue spinoff at two Schnucks locations, the company will most likely not be reopening its Central West End location at 392 N. Euclid Ave. The Central West End restaurant suffered serious damage during a fire in June 2022 that also caused extensive damage at Mission Taco JointRanoush, and a number of other businesses and residences in the area. 

Keep an eye on Salt + Smoke’s social media feeds for the latest updates on the Ellisville location, which Schmidt said he hopes will open before the end of 2023.