Three days a week, the smell of meat being smoked wafted through the Catonsville neighborhood of Oella as Mark Wieland, owner of Wieland’s Barbeque, served peppery barbecue brisket out of a bright red trailer attached to a smoker.
In early January, Wieland’s will move east, to a permanent space on Frederick Road in Catonsville.
“We’re just hoping in the nicer weather months that people are just going to wander down to Frederick Road,” Wieland said. “We want to contribute to the whole restaurant feeling down here.”
The barbecue business serves a simple, bare-bones menu of slow-smoked meat, on a sandwich, or by the pound. The top seller by far, Wieland said, is the brisket, which comes in sandwich form for $11. On Christmas Eve, he said, he sold 22 whole 6- to 7-pound briskets.
Wieland’s will move into one of two spaces facing Frederick Road that were formerly occupied by bicycle shop The Hub/C’ville Bikes, Wieland said.
The business will take the left-hand storefront, he said; the Pottery Cove, a paint-your-own-pottery shop, moved into the right-hand side in November. The bicycle shop moved to a larger standalone building set back from the road.
Wieland will still serve barbecue out of the food truck, which will be parked in the back courtyard, he said. People can then bring their meals inside the space, or sit in the courtyard when the weather is nice.
Though Wieland’s will not technically be a restaurant because they do not have an indoor kitchen, Wieland said that it will have a “restaurant type of feel.”
“It’s going to have a very nice neighborhood, inviting feel to it,” Wieland said.
Because customers will buy food outside, Wieland’s will keep its food truck license and will not need a restaurant license — though Wieland said he is hoping to install a kitchen “down the road.”
Wieland’s former location was farther west on Frederick Road, in Oella. Customers could buy food at Wieland’s outside and then sit at tables inside neighboring organic market Rooster + Hen to eat it.
After Wieland’s move, Rooster + Hen co-owner Allison Smith said the shop will be expanding its retail shelving and adding more bulk bins for goods such as rice and beans. They are also seeking new food trucks to set up shop outside regularly, Smith said.
Wieland’s storefront, Wieland said, will allow the business to open five days a week, instead of three — most likely Tuesdays through Saturdays.
The barbecue truck, which opened in April of 2016, sold $253,000 worth of food in 2017. Wieland said he hopes to double that revenue in the new space next year — he expects to benefit from being open more days each week, as well as foot traffic from Frederick Road.
The truck is family-run, Wieland said, though they “rotate some teenagers in and out.”
As business picks up, however, “at some point I’ll have to hire someone,” he said.
Wieland can only make so much meat in a day with his one smoker, he said, so the truck will only be open for dinner starting at 4 p.m. and will close when they sell out — usually by 8 p.m.
He also plans to slightly expand the menu, but not by very much — “We stick to what works,” Wieland said. Some new offerings he said he is considering include potato salad and smoked brussels sprouts.
Wieland plans to start serving barbecue in the new space in either the first or second week of January, after painting and “sprucing up” the space.
He said that there will be an “opening day kickoff” for Wieland’s, the Pottery Cove and the Hub, to celebrate the new spaces, sometime in January.
Once the smoker heats up, Wieland suggested that to find the new space, “people should follow their nose."