The New Smolik's BBQ in Mathis / Part 1 of 3





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Published on Aug 19, 2011

This is a fly-around of a new place in Mathis. I spent a good part of the 60's and early '70's in South Texas, and I have memories of Smolik's but I'm hazy on which towns they were in. My father owned a bridge-building company, and had jobs in from Kenedy to Corpus and all down through the valley. He knew every little bbq joint in every town. It was usually a '30's style gas station with a couple of tables and with a pit out back.
I also recall Cotton's in Robstown [I heard burned down last May]. Very sad. They were the first place I recall serving on paper. I thought this was a great idea and suggested it to my mother. She said, "If you want to eat like a dog, you're welcomed to join them outside". right. plates it is.

There's never such a thing as a new bbq restaurant, because of the traditions that come along with them. "New" is only the paint and lumber, and maybe that hightech drive-thru order-box. "Old" is the heart of this industry.

When I put this package together, I had some great memories to work from, including the ancient Salt Lick Bbq in Driftwood, and Shady Grove in Austin (the original shack, not the new place with the grilled asparagus and tiny little glasses of designer-beers).

These old places made-do with things on hand for their signage, and often had their menu items painted on old skillets and wood crates. The corrugated metal on the Smolik's sign is in step with that tradition.The Smolik's logo-font is a retro hand-painter's face, and the text is also a handpainter's slab-serif font with a dated Western influence. Weathered finishes are also an option of some of the product signs.

This is the first design work for this project, and naturally, it's a rough-out with a thousand loose-ends. But hopefully it's a good initial direction and feel for this project and location. And before I run out of typing-area, I want to plug Ron Gullett and Robert McDonald of Facility Services Group, Inc., and the hundreds of great people behind them.

Ben Anglin,
FSG Signs / Austin, Texas


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