Tales from the pits, a Texas BBQ podcast featuring trendsetters, leaders, and icons from the barbecue industry

TFP BBQ Ep. 61 - The Evolution of Louie Mueller Barbecue

July 9, 2018

The aura, history, and feeling one gets walking into the hallowed dining room at Louie Mueller Barbecue is unparalleled. The smoke lined walls, the brick pits, and many of the roots of modern day Central Texas style smoked meats can be traced back to the historic former gymnasium in Taylor that has been home to the Mueller family's restaurant operations since 1959.

While the Mueller family is acutely aware and protective of their family legacy, they've always understood the importance of growing with the times to provide their restaurant patrons the best possible experience. The late Bobby Mueller and son John expanded the restaurant circa the year 2000 to add more seating in the form of a screened in room adjacent to the original main dining room.
Bobby's son Wayne came back to the family business in 2007 to learn from his father. After Bobby Mueller's sudden passing in 2008, Wayne carried on the family restaurant legacy in Taylor, keeping the Louie Mueller Barbecue name in the upper echelon of Texas barbecue.
As Wayne continued to operate the restaurant as the owner and pitmaster from 2007 to present day, he realized that it was time for Louie Mueller Barbecue to update itself to the times to better serve its guests. In early 2018 Wayne applied for a full liquor license and began plans for a patio expansion for the restaurant. Noticing that the influx of tourists and BBQ enthusiasts flocking to the restaurant made it harder for Taylor residents to go to the restaurant on a regular basis for an easy meal, Wayne wanted to add outdoor seating as well as a bar menu option for folks to have a quicker, simpler way to get food from the restaurant.
The patio expansion is nearing completion with some minor build outs and cosmetic upgrades still to come, and soon a night time dining option will be possible at Louie Mueller Barbecue while still preserving the classic experience of walking into the original dining room and having the barbecue equivalent of a religious experience as the customer gets their brisket end communion piece at the front counter. The times are changing and so is Louie Mueller Barbecue, but the Cathedral of Smoke remains intact as one of the quintessential food experiences in Texas.