OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — Crazy with details.
Travis Clark is dealing with thousands of them as he prepares to realize his vision of what a barbecue restaurant ought to be.
“Absolutely,” he quips. “Barbecue is a destination food.”
He put his smokehouse in the front where he can see everything and people can see him.
“To be able to show the public how hard we’re working to give them great food,” he explains, “and to be able to talk to them about it.”
He wanted a back yard for fun and games, custom chairs, a wood-fired grill, and even an icy strip on the bar to keep your drink cold.
Clark says that guarantees, “The last drink of beer will be your coldest.”
Those are the kinds of details on which he insisted.
“As we got into this more and more,” says Travis, “we were like, ‘let’s go big. Let’s bring Oklahoma City something that it doesn’t have.'”
Fortunately for us, and for the people he feeds, Clark and his crew are detailed kinds of people.
“Oh yeah,” he agrees. “I’m all in. I’m either all in or I’m not going to do it. That’s how I am with everything.”
He was an electrician for a long time but it only took one sniff of competition barbecue in 2012 to point him in a different direction.
Clark started entering those competitions and winning them.
“The biggest thing is having fresh, quality food,” he argues.
The Clark Crew team won the American Royal in Kansas City among many others.
Then, right in the middle of trying to open this place, he took the crew back to Tennessee for the Jack Daniels Invitational.
To his surprise, he won the overall World Championship- a sweet win and the best advertising he could possibly find.
“That one there,” he says pointing to his Grand Champion trophy, “is kind of everyone’s dream to win.”
Travis doesn’t have room for the boring trophies or the ones past first or second.
“Nobody really cares after that, in my opinion,” he states.
He’s trying his best, with every last detail, to bring his competition barbecue to brick and mortar; a big, fun destination spot for hungry Oklahomans.
The new Clark Crew Barbecue is located at Northwest Expressway and Portland Ave. in Oklahoma City.
Travis announced his December 9, 2019 opening date to us while we were there.
For more information on the Clark Crew, go to their Facebook page.