Smokin’ Barrel Sports Bar

Is Smokin’ Barrel okay in Hoboken?

Since emphatically embracing the joy of cooking a few years ago, we have little reason to “eat out” anymore. It’s become automatic and super easy to make tasty, flavorful meals at home.

However, I was wondering how that Smokin’ Barrel BBQ bar restaurant uptown was doing. It never really looks “hoppin'” as they say.

And we’re getting inquiries if they’ve went out of business. We called them today (201)714-4222 – and no one answered.

Well, to provide some clues, here are some samples of some recent reviews we found online…

smokin barrel reviews Hoboken NJ

  • “The food was overcooked and too dry. The service was slow and dependent on our actively grabbing the attention of a server. The table we were seated at was sticky and we cleaned it ourselves since no one came by to clean the table. The space is needlessly loud. One can barely hold a conversation without yelling. We won’t be back.”
  • “It was a Saturday night around 9 pm and this place was empty. That should have been my first clue to leave.”
  • “I’ve given this place so many changes and it consistently disappoints. Every type of meat is incredibly dry and lacks flavor. Either get a new chef, or stop serving food.”
  • “I have been several times now and it actually seems to have gone a bit down hill since opening. I have had a mixed bag of service and food quality. Nothing ever seems very consistent and the last 2 times the service was bleh I think I’m throwing in the towel here. Which is tough because I live a block away.”

Gulp! It makes you wonder if the owners ever saw those reviews? Maybe improve their business and chances at surviving? With stiff competition from delicious BBQ places like House of ‘Que, you have to be on your “A game,” right?

What would succeed uptown?

smokin barrel hoboken bad reviews

Smokin’ Barrel Sports Bar expects August opening in Hoboken


Smokin Barrel Hoboken NJ update franchiseWorkers on scene at the upcoming Smokin’ Barrel Sports Bar indicated with confidence that the establishment will open as soon as mid-August.

We also noticed a plethora of flat-panel TV’s going up… gotta get those “important” things that makes a restaurant “really good” up and tested, right? Thank God!

Anyway – are you wondering if Smokin’ Barrel will be one of those places with “heart and soul,” like a mom & pop operated restaurant?

Hard to tell, because it’s actually part of what is essentially an investment group called NBP Holdings. These restaurants are more for the sole purpose of “making money” than the passion for cooking or forming a relationship with their regular customers.

NBP Holdings runs the Tilted Kilt (franchise) in Hoboken and Jersey City, the upcoming World of Beer (franchise) at the former Melting Pot spot (franchise) it’s replacing, as well as other “franchises” like The Counter burgers (in Clifton, NJ) and the How Do You Roll sushi chain (coming soon to NYC area).

But in the end, we have no problem with capitalists trying to make money with the restaurant-model line of businesses. You wouldn’t have chains of familiar and convenient restaurants across the country without them. However, can you tell the difference between franchise-food and other choices?

Smokin Barrel Hoboken NJ tons of television sets

Description: Smokin’ Barrel Sports Bar and Barbecue Restaurant. Booze and TV’s. What else is new in Hoboken?
Address: 1313 Willow Ave., Hoboken, NJ 07030
Phone: TBD
Online: TBD

Smokin’ Barrel Sports Bar and Barbecue Restaurant

7/7/2014 Update:

This place, which is “anticipated” by uptown residents has been strange. For one, they’ve gone through THREE name changes. First it was “Smoke and Barrell.” Then it became “Smoke and Barrel.” Now it’s called “Smokin’ Barrel.” I suppose there was some trademark stuff going on (hope it wasn’t in-fighting between business partners!)

But this sports bar and barbecue restaurant is billing itself as having “Authentic Texas BBQ.” Not sure how it can be authentic unless it’s actually MADE in Texas, but who’s complaining, as long as it’s delicious.

They’re over six months behind on their opening. No exact date as to when they’ll “cut the ribbon” on tasty pulled pork.

Smokin' Barrel Hoboken NJ Sports Bar Barbecue Restaurant

Smoke & Barrell Sports Bar – “A month and a half…”

1/16/2014 Update:

Spoke with workers at the upcoming Smoke & Barrell Sports Bar on Willow Ave. uptown the other day. When asked when they were hoping to open, they said “a month and a half.”

An optimistic estimate for sure, and perhaps they’ll hit their goal. Either way, by spring, uptown residents will have yet another drinking option!

Also – it doesn’t sound like there will be anything “sporty,” like darts or pool. Just passive watching sports on the multitude of screens that will be installed. Sounds like a blast.

Smoke & Barrell Sports Bar Hoboken NJ 2014

Smoke & Barrell Sports Bar coming soon in Hoboken

9/23/2013 Update:

Rewind 20 years or so ago, the bar / restaurant landscape was sort of like this: Dive bars, fancy upscale bars, restaurants, and sports bars. The sports bars were the ones with tons of TV’s, sports “themes” (like mini basketball games, memorabilia, etc.) You might be hard pressed to even find a TV in those other places back then. Today – every single bar restaurant IS A SPORTS BAR, and they usually have dozens of TV’s showing every game imaginable. So now we have the Smoke & Barrell Sports Bar coming to the old Willow Billiards location at 14th & Willow Ave. Huh?

Wondering how will this be different than any other multi-purpose bar in Hoboken. And you won’t even be able to smoke inside either! Who knows, maybe they’ll have pool tables, darts and other recreational games that people used to play before “there was an app for that.” Anyway, they spelled “Barrell” wrong. Wonder what the extra “L” will be for? Lame?

We’ll see!

Smoke & Barrell Sports Bar Hoboken NJ Willow Billiards

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9 Comments on "Smokin’ Barrel Sports Bar"

4 months 20 days ago

on the way out soon

4 months 24 days ago

Have to agree with everything said. I have been there twice. Food was terrible and the service worse. No plans to every go back. Especially with House of Que about 10 times better…

4 months 24 days ago

Have to agree with everything said. I have been there twice. Food was terrible and the service worse. No plans to every go back. Especially with House of Que about 10 times better…

2 years 2 months ago

chicken fingers, buffalo wings, bar pies, hamburgers, and quesadillas?

Angry Bird
Angry Bird
2 years 2 months ago

While it doesn’t necessarily matter to me that a place is owned by a holding company versus “Mom and Pop,” this does become more clear after you go a few times and you are treated like just another customer, and don’t know the chef and his wife on a first name basis.