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New bbq restaurant pops up on Iowa City’s north side


Pop's has Carolina and Southern style bbq -- photo by Adam Burke
Pop’s has Carolina and Southern style bbq — photo by Adam Burke

Pop’s Old ‘N New Bar-B-Que opened this Wednesday in Iowa City’s north side at the former location of The Pit Smokehouse (130 N Dubuque St.). The new eatery, which began renovations in February, is a creation by the owners of Wildwood Smokehouse and Saloon.

Mike Ritchie, one of the owners’ fathers, has been overseeing much of the work and insists that he is not the restaurant’s namesake.

“I’m not really Pop,” he said, explaining that he’s a family friend of the owners and father of John Ritchie, who owns the new business with Randy Lee, Joe Burnett and Kevin Grimm.

“Our food is where we want it to be,” the elder Ritchie said, but the process and system of running the restaurant is still being sorted.

This week, the bbq shop has been gearing up for their full menu which will feature Carolina and Southern style bbq with chicken, pork and beef. The menu also includes side salads (chard, ham, pasta and potato), and small sides include fried brussels sprouts, sweet potato and hand-cut fries.

On tap, Pop’s offers Millstream beers from Amana (including root beer) with Lisbon’s Sutliff Cider.

Paper towels on every table for easy bbq cleanup -- photo by Adam Burke
Paper towels on every table for easy bbq cleanup — photo by Adam Burke

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