Former Smoketown USA owners to sell Logan Street building

Former Smoketown USA owners to sell Logan Street building
The former owners of Smoketown USA are selling the building they own on Logan Street.
Eric Gould, founder of Smoketown USA barbecue. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Eric Gould, founder of Smoketown USA barbecue. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) -  Eric Gould is swiftly weaving through customers in the parking lot of Yesternook, the antique store run by his wife.

He is noticeably busy as he prepares barbecue for a group of people beginning to crowd his grill.

An apron covers his overalls, but this is normal for the man who has nicknamed himself the "Jewish redneck".

"I've got Chutzpah," Gould said.

Part of that boldness led him to open Smoketown USA. It would become an award-winning barbecue restaurant.

"The first day we opened it, everybody got to taste our food for free," Gould said.

That was in 2007. Two years ago, he announced the business was closing and he was going to be spending time with his wife selling antiques.

Now, the two are making another change, and celebrating it at the Logan Street location they've spent years at.

"The building is for sale," Gould said. "Smoketown USA could come with it."

That news is something others in the neighborhood said caused mixed emotions.

"I know, at some point, whatever we choose to do in life can't last forever, but it's bittersweet," neighbor Merlin Jones Smalley said.

A bittersweet feeling, but a taste that was much more palatable.

Gould said he wanted to treat the neighborhood to free food, again, like he did when he first opened his doors.

"Let's take care of the neighborhood by our personal selves," Gould said. "That's how you have to do things."

A philosophy those showing up to celebrate said Gould and others have lived up to.

"Revitalization projects, businesses, the restoration of the homes in this area is a good thing for Smoketown," Smalley said.

Gould said he agrees, adding the Shelby Park neighborhood and other areas around him are on the rise, but, regardless, he's looking forward to a change that has him out of town and somewhere a little different.

"We're going to the country, and I'm going fishing," Gould said.

Gould will celebrate his birthday Monday.

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