Winner of 2012 The Beijinger Reader Restaurant Awards
The Home Plate BBQ Story
In the winter of 2009 Adam Murray, far from his hometown of Houston, Texas and his adopted hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, had a craving for home. An American restaurant veteran now based in Beijing saw a void in the food offerings in the capital.
Together with his lovely and patient fiancée Victoria Liu, began to create a concept for bringing home cooked American BBQ goodness to China. With a small starter smoker in the courtyard of his community in Beijing, and the brisk Mongolian winds from the North at his back he had his now famous brisket and pork shoulder slow cooking the start of Home Plate BBQ. Murray’s dream grew into a small delivery service out of the couple’s apartment acting as a sort of market research and development operation.
It quickly became a favorite among the student crowd at UIBE and the rest of the neighborhood. With this chorus of approval, Adam began looking for a proper location to launch his first restaurant. In the summer of 2010 through word of mouth New Yorker Seth Grossman, long time Beijing resident lamenting the lack of viable delivery options in his area, placed his first order from Home Plate BBQ. He was immediately won over by the authenticity of Adam’s cooking, and concept. But as soon as he discovered this amazing food it was temporarily shuttered.
In that down time Adam and Seth, who had met previously through mutual acquaintances, began a deep friendship over basketball and beer. They started tossing ideas around about how to get this fantastic food to the people. After restarting the delivery service in the fall of 2010 Home Plate Delivery was met with more demand than Adam could handle. Looking for a partner that shared his passion and energy for the project Adam asked Seth to join him in raising his baby. By October of that year Home Plate BBQ was back in operation, better than ever, and word of mouth was growing.
A few months down the road, once again Home Plate’s progress hit a snag when the Chinese Spring Festival forced operations to cease as they were. The two were determined to open a “real” location. After a long search they ended back in a location Adam had settled on during his original hunt the previous year. The raw space was found amongst a string of Chinese fast food outlets chosen for its access to many businesses and embassies, as well as its being outside of the Sanlitun bubble.
That’s a bit about our story, but it’s not finished. Wherever the road takes us we promise to you that we will not rest on our laurels, not be content with our successes or discouraged by our failures. We will work our hardest to improve Home Plate BBQ every step of the way so we can bring those missing home a taste of it, and those unfamiliar with American Southern BBQ a great introduction to this delicious cuisine.