The Route 1 corridor in Mercer County will finally have a barbecue restaurant, and what’s nice is that it will be a second New Jersey location for a well-regarded BBQ joint out of Lambertville.
More Than Q, the much-lauded BBQ joint that started in Stockton and later moved to Lambertville, has “coming soon” signs up at The Square at West Windsor. The new restaurant will be situated between Chipotle and Ethan Allen, a few doors down from Trader Joe’s in the space formerly occupied by Pei Wei Asian Kitchen.
More Than Q announced the news on its Facebook page. In a post, the restaurant revealed that it intends to be open in West Windsor by the end of the year, and a phone call to the restaurant confirmed that they intend to be open either this year or early in 2020.
The restaurant has racked up a number of accolades in its five years of operation. Website bestthingsnj.com called it the best BBQ in the state, and it also garnered an honorable mention in Food & Wine’s “Best BBQ in Every State 2018.”
BBQ restaurants tend not to last long in the Central New Jersey region. Some that have managed to last include Hambone Opera in the Trenton Farmers Market, which is open only Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and 1911 Smoke House BBQ in Trenton, which opened in 2015.
The Smoke-N-Grill, which had been a popular spot in Hamilton for several years, picked up and moved to Wall earlier this year, and Brothers BBQ, which opened in 2017 in the former location of Funni Bonz BBQ, closed in 2018.
More Than Q was founded in 2014 by Ron Spada, who opened at first in the Stockton Farmers Market. Later the restaurant found a bricks-and-mortar home on Klines Court in Lambertville. In 2016, More Than Q opened a second location in the Easton, Pennsylvania Public Market in 2016.
Pitmaster Todd Ellis has been there all along the way and says he will be involved training new staff for the West Windsor location.
“We’re going to be doing all the smoking on premises,” he said. “We’ll have a pitmaster there and everything will be fresh and made to order, just like we do here (in Lambertville). All wood smoked. We’re known for our Texas-style brisket. We’re just hiring now, but it’s definitely a go. I know the smokers have been sent from Texas.”
Ellis said More Than Q had originally intended to open its second New Jersey location in the planned Montgomery Promenade on Route 206, but the development of that shopping center has dragged on for more than three years. LL Bean and Whole Foods have also been reported tenants for the proposed shopping center near Princeton Airport.
The restaurant still has plans to open there if and when the development goes ahead, he said.
Spada started More Than Q in Stockton in 2014. He was negotiating with Matt Martin, a good friend, to form a partnership and open the Easton location when he decided to move to North Carolina. At that point, Martin purchased the company and became sole owner, with Ellis staying on as pitmaster.
“I’m here 7 days a week, from 3 o’clock in the morning to 6 or 7 at night,” Ellis said. “That’s the only way you pull it off. The briskets take 12-14 hours, we do everything from scratch. It’s truly laborious work.”
Spada is now the chef of The House at Gateswood in Hillsborough, North Carolina.