AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin’s oldest pit barbecue restaurant is rebuilding more than a year after the restaurant burned down.

“I feel overwhelming excitement and joy when I see it,” said House Park Bar-B-Que owner Matt Sullivan as he walked around the property near 12th Street and Lamar Boulevard.

The December 2020 fire destroyed the roof and interior of the building, but the iconic pit only had some damage.

Sullivan says the permitting process took some time, but now the work is moving along and he’s ready to get back.

“My father ran it who passed away recently, but fortunately got to witness the restart of the rebuild,” Sullivan said.

After the fire, Sullivan made a promise to his customers and even wrote a sign on the boarded-up building. The sign reads “We’ll be back”.

“I wrote that sign in Dec. 5, 2020, so we will be back,” said Sullivan.

Sullivan said he plans to open sometime in fall 2022.

“Need no teef to eat my beef,” said Sullivan. “We do smoke our brisket so tender that it will melt in your mouth like butter. You don’t need much teef for it.”

  • House Park Bar-B-Que rebuilding after 2020 fire destroyed business

Just weeks after the fire, Sullivan told KXAN the restaurant did not have fire insurance, but friends and family stepped up and donated to the restaurant’s GoFundMe account. Much of the memorabilia gathered over the years was destroyed.

The restaurant opened in 1943.