BY DAN POPOLOSKI — William Paterson students will soon have a new place to dine near campus.
Red, White, and Que Smokehouse, a growing barbecue chain with seven locations, is opening up its newest restaurant on Pompton Road, across from QuickChek, in the building formerly occupied by Momma’s Boys.
Dan Misuraca, co-owner of the restaurant and a former Marine, wanted the name of the franchise to be a symbol of patriotism and quality barbeque.
However, training manager Mario Raccuglia thinks that the ‘Que’ in the name stands as much for an acting cue, as it does for barbecue.
“We like to put on a show here,” Raccuglia said in an email interview. “We want to build a relationship with each person that comes in here.”
More brazen than the name is the idea of the restaurant itself. New Jersey isn’t known for its barbecue, but the company is hell-bent on building a model that will work for a northern market. This includes cooking meat longer than in the South, as well as mixing different styles depending on the type of meat being served.
“We’re writing our own book on this,” Raccuglia said. “We’ve had to sort of develop our own way of doing things.”
One thing that distinguishes the restaurants is its program to support veterans. The owners have held free cookouts, a Pay it Forward program, among other services, that they implemented to honor those in or retired from the service.
“Customers appreciate that we help veterans, especially since we back it up,” Raccuglia said.
Misuraca got started in the barbecue business when his wife and business partner, Katie, bought him a smoker for his backyard. Misuraca continued to cook for his Marine friends, and quickly realized he had a passion for it. After honing his craft, he got some money together, found investors and opened up his first restaurant in Kearny.
Expanding to Wayne, Red, White, and Cue Smokehouse hopes to reach the college market right up the road.
Because the Pioneer Express Card has reached its vendor capacity, Red, White, and Que Smokehouse can’t join, said Raccuglia. Instead, the restaurant hopes to find a way to accommodate students by providing special deals, although nothing has been decided yet.
“We’re thinking about maybe doing a secret menu or maybe discounts if you bring in your student ID,” Raccuglia said.
The restaurant tentatively plans to open its doors the first week of November. Those who are curious can follow them on Facebook for more updates.