Smokehouse brings barbecue to Montague

  • Sean Elliot, Sean Keller and Sammy Kochan of North Village Smokehouse said they don’t cut corners when it comes to cooking barbecue. Staff Photo/Melina Bourdeau

  • North Village Smokehouse is open on Thursday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on 32 Federal Street in Millers Falls. Staff Photo/Melina Bourdeau

  • Chef Sean Elliot puts in the chicken wings at North Village Smokehouse in Millers Falls. Staff Photo/Melina Bourdeau

  • A pulled pork sandwich and mac and cheese side from the North Village Smokehouse in Millers Falls. Contributed Photo

  • Park ribs, chicken wings, tater tots, pit beans and collard greens from the North Village Smokehouse in Millers Falls. Contributed Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 11/25/2018 11:09:33 PM

MONTAGUE — After some anticipation, the North Village Smokehouse at 32 Federal St. in Millers Falls is open.

Owner Sean Keller and chefs Sammy Kochan and Sean Elliot have brought slow-smoking Texas barbecue to Millers Falls.

The restaurant offers pulled pork, brisket, smoked sausage and chicken wings, as well as sides like macaroni and cheese, tater tots, coleslaw and beans.

North Village get its sausage from Pekarski’s farm in South Deerfield, and its beef sausage from Texas.

Customers can order meats by the half pound or pound and sides in sizes small or large.

North Village has a full liquor license with taps, local craft beer and cocktails.

Keller, who was the owner of the Route 63 Roadhouse, a performance venue and pool hall at the same location, said he had a vision for the location from the beginning.

“I knew it would take time and energy, but if I teamed up with someone, I knew this place would be perfect for a barbecue,” Keller said. “It’s ideal. We’re not downtown, which helps because we need space to do what we want which is smoke meats all day.”

He added there is a spacious parking lot and patio area to accommodate customers.

Kockan said he got involved, because he wanted to go into barbecuing.

“I was working as a chef in Boston in the early 2000s, and was working making fine foods,” Kochan said. “Now I’ve 360-ed back in the middle of nowhere, working in the middle of the night smoking meat. It’s like when your career starts over-working with the most rudimentary things — wood, meat and the elements. It’s back to the simple things.”

The North Village Smokehouse is open Thursday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. with the exception of future events like live bands.

Keller said the restaurant is perfect for people seeking a great meal at fair prices, as well as those looking for a higher-end experience.

But what the three men hang their hat on is their barbecue.

“It’s authentic Texas pit-style barbecue,” Keller said. “Prime meats with a spicy dry rub cooked with indirect heat for eight to 12 hours in our 9-foot smokers, burning 100 percent local oak.”

The chefs use all natural, prime UDSA cut meat, Kochan said. The brisket sits for 11 to 12 hours, and the rubbed pork for 9 hours.

“It’ a long, slow process, but the end product is worth it,” Kochan said. “We don’t cut corners, and you can taste that right away. The goal is to make enough food to run out at the end of the night — we try to achieve a fresh start every day.”

“You’re never going to get yesterday’s barbecue,” Keller said.

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