When John Mueller left his grandfather's barbecue joint in Taylor Texas in 2001, John's dad, Bobby, hired Lance Kirkpatrick as a helping hand. Kirkpatrick had been a manager at Hanover's Draught Haus prior to his entry in the Taylor barbecue world.
Kirkpatrick had some big shoes to fill as John Mueller was Bobby's right hand man and had been in the family business since way back in the 1970's. Lance started at the bottom, trundling wood, cleaning the restaurant and what have you til he finally was trusted enough to actually cook.
When Bobby Mueller passed [ RIP ] in 2008, Kirkpatrick's time at the famous barbecue house turned out to be well spent as he stepped into the role of pit boss, a position he would hold til he decided to open a "fancy" restaurant around the corner from Louie Mueller's called Mimosa's in the spring of 2010.
Mimosa's was something new for Taylor, Texas.While the little town has been a culinary mecca for generations, it had not seen white tablecloths, beef wellington and fresh seafood prior to Kirkpatrick's operation.
Unfortunately, Taylor did not embrace the business and after a year of sales the cafe inside the old Odd Fellows lodge shuttered.
Which brings us to Stiles Switch, Lance Kirkpatrick's new project. We keep our ears to the ground to keep our readers up to date on the latest scene news so a couple weeks ago we motored up to north Austin to take a look at the Violet Crown shopping plaza and see if perhaps a big barbecue pit was being installed as per rumors floating around town.
We found the business along with a TABC permit plastered in the window but the pit, rumored to be coming from Klose, a Houston pit manufacturer that perhaps not coincidentally also fabricated the giant mobile pit that Wayne Mueller uses for big events, was not on site.
We decided to wait for a bit and report more when the business was closer to being operational. Til today, November 7th 2011 when all Hell broke loose.
Apparently word on the street had it that the Taylor, Texas Mueller's were involved in the Violet Crown project so Eater Austin, a local food site, contacted Wayne Mueller who had this to say
[re:] Violet Crown Shopping Center, the answer is no. We are not moving there. A guy who use to work for me is cooking for a place looking to open in Austin... he's been using our name to gain access and notoriety so a Cease and Desist order has been sent to gag his efforts. He calls himself a pitmaster but I'd be hard pressed to call him a neophyte.
Maybe they caught Wayne Mueller after a particularly tumultuous lunch shift. Who knows? We've been eating at Louie Mueller's since 1991 and never had a bad plate of barbecue. This includes the time that Lance Kirkpatrick was the pit boss of the operation.
We wonder what Stiles Switch, the potential barbecue house on north Lamar has to do with the Stiles Switch metal and mining fabrication outfit down in New Braunfels.
We love a good old fashioned dust-up and this ones shaping up to be a doozy.