by Mabel Suen
Last December, Gut Check reported on the announcement of a second location for Mike Johnson's Sugarfire Smokehouse in St. Charles. On April 25, Sugarfire Smokehouse (3150 Elm Point Industrial, St. Charles; 636-724-7601) opened its doors in a former Chuck-A-Burger, retaining plenty of the diner's '50s-style charm while adding its own signature touches to the space.
Guests can enjoy Johnson's award-winning food -- named best barbecue in RFT's Best of St. Louis 2013 -- a few different ways. Order inside in a cafeteria-style line where a herd of workers hustle to keep the slabs of smoked meats fresh and hot. Alternatively, drive-in and walk up to an ordering window to dine old-school at a picnic table under a large outdoor roof.
The indoor dining room features high ceilings embellished with a colorful mural as well as tall windows bouncing natural light off of whimsical art of pigs and cows. Retro appeal appears in the form of chrome dinettes, and a dog-friendly patio outside provides plenty of shade.
The menu retains Sugarfire's menu of barbecue, pies and shakes from its original, critically-acclaimed Olivette location, such as the "Big Muddy" with brisket debris, smoked sausage, horseradish sauce, barbecue sauce, lettuce and pickles -- but it also leaves room for daily specials.
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