The Covington restaurant formerly known as McK's Chicks has a new look, a new name and a new focus. The restaurant, open since 2017, is now McK's BBQ.
Owner Gregg McKinstry, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Las Vegas, is known for his barbecue talents, taking home the 2019 Taste of Cincinnati award for best entree for his Pork Grenade: a sweet cornbread muffin topped with maple butter, pulled pork, homemade coleslaw, peppered bacon and barbecue sauce.
After closing for renovations, the freshly rebranded McK's BBQ — situated between Hotel Covington and Braxton Brewing Co. — has gotten a full facelift. There's salvaged barnwood, corrugated metal, walnut bar tops and exposed steel truss ceilings, along with a focus on what McKinstry does best.
McKinstry uses drums located next to the building to smoke his meats and offers a menu complete with ribs, smoked wings and burgers, pork belly platters, burnt ends sandwiches, barbecue tacos and burritos, drunken beans (made with beer) and other classic sides like collard greens (with brisket) and macaroni and cheese. There are homemade barbecue sauces, including mango, and desserts like a banana-chocolate swirl cake with raspberry-jalapeno drizzle.
In addition to eats, McK's BBQ now serves bourbon slushies and beer.
"What sets us apart is our devotion to producing authentic barbecue and classic sides with only the best ingredients available, but we also offer unique twists on the barbecue theme. There is something on our menu for everyone. We’re thrilled to be situated at the culinary center of this evolving and growing community," McKinstry says.
Building owner Eric Steiden of Madison Ventures says, "We feel that this renovation will be a meaningful component to the continued development of the Covington (Central Business District). Seeing Covington come back to life has been a terrific experience."
McK's BBQ is located at 11 W. Seventh St., and this summer, the city plans to expand the Seventh Street sidewalk by 28 feet — which means McK's BBQ is going to get more outdoor seating.
McKinstry's success has also lead him to open a second McK's BBQ in Liberty Township's Liberty Center.
For more details, visit mcksbbq.com.