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Hull family opens BBQ stand downtown

Henry Van Leishout, Staff Reporter - January 30, 2013

A late-night pulled pork sandwich has never been so readily available, courtesy of Ellensburg’s mobile eatery, Fire and Smoke. Located at 100 W. Third Ave., Fire and Smoke is bringing real southern barbecue flare to Ellensburg.

Owner David Hull was born in North Carolina and has loved cooking since childhood. This love includes waking up at 4 a.m. to preparie pulled pork, which must cook for about 12 hours.

When Hull moved here from the South, he realized there was no place which served the type of barbecue he had grown up with.

Eventually, Hull just started making it for himself. He began cooking southern-style barbecue for friends and family members, and they loved it so much they encouraged him to open a restaurant.

“We thought we’d try it,” said Judi Hull, David’s wife and co-owner of the food cart.

The two have been married for 26 years. They met in Anchorage, Ala. through a mutual friend and got married seven months after. The couple had been on the slow and steady road toward owning this cart for 20 years. The Hulls didn’t plan on opening until later in the spring, but the trailer was finished earlier than planned and opened last November.

David Hull does all the cooking while his wife does most of the preparation and their 14-year-old son, Landon, helps with the cash register.

Even though the cart’s operating hours are shorter than the time it takes to cook the food, the Hulls find it all worthwhile.

“It’s exciting when people discover true barbecue flavor,” Hull said.

David wants to share his love of cooking with more than just friends and family – he wants people to try something different. The cart is a late-night food alternative for those sick of the fast food scene.

Fire and Smoke’s only advertising is Facebook and Judi Hull standing outside the SURC asking if anyone is interested in pulled pork sandwiches. Signature dishes include pulled pork sandwiches, Judi Hull’s smoked baked beans, and Robbers’ Roost Bratwursts with sauerkraut.

Despite the lack of advertising and the competition with late night food joints, the Hulls have had enormous success. They are already making enough money to pay for their supplies and have had several catering contracts, including the Wedding and Event Expo. The mobile food truck will cater any event, and is willing to smoke and serve any type of meat.

According to Judi Hull, the couple hopes to turn their small trailer into a full-fledged restaurant as soon as possible.

The elusive cart is only open Fridays from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

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