Smokehouse Tailgate Grill Re-Opens in New Rochelle

Written By: Robert Cox

NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The Smokehouse Tailgate Grill held their Grand Reopening and Ribbon Cutting on September 23.

The Smokehouse is in their new location 587 North Avenue in The Rockwell building – directly across the street from their former location.

The New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce hosted the event, joined by NY State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, NY State Senator Shelley B. Mayer, Mayor Noam Bramson, NR Economic Development Manager Lisa Davis and Westchester County Director of Policy & Programs for Small Business & Chambers of Commerce Shari Ascher.

Owners Mike Hofer and Justin Zeytoonian opened the original Smokehouse Tailgate Grill – nicknamed the Flagship – in July 2007. Over the years they expanded their BBQ menu, added catering, an outdoor patio and a larger bar. Along the way they earned 8 Best of Westchester Awards (Best Chili, Best Takeout – twice, and 5 years in a row for Best BBQ) and the 2019 Westchester County WingFest. In 2016 they opened a second location in Mamaroneck.

In December 2019 they closed the original Flagship with plans to move across the street to the new Rockwell building by summer 2020. But covid brought shutdowns and construction delays. Finally in September 2021 they were able to reopen in their new location.

“We’re really excited to be back in New Rochelle,” said Mike Hofer. “We signed our first lease on a wing and a prayer – quitting our regular jobs to start the business. New Rochelle is where we learned how to run a restaurant and the community supported us from the start. We cut our teeth in New Rochelle, and we couldn’t think of a better place to reopen our Flagship.”

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “I was happy to see that the Smokehouse Tailgate Grill is now back and operating. When the Smokehouse closed their restaurant in 2019; it was in anticipation of moving to a new, larger location in a few months’ time. The pandemic certainly changed the situation and made challenges nobody could have foreseen. It delayed their reopening plans, but with great effort they made it through. In many cases, such long delays can devastate a small business, so this reopening shows real determination on the part of Smokehouse Tailgate’s partners and a real love for their home in New Rochelle.”

Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, “Congratulations to Justin Zeytoonian and Mike Hofer on their beautiful new location. The grand reopening of the Smokehouse Tailgate Grill is great news for the revitalization of New Rochelle and the food is delicious — I’ve already been back for dinner!”

Mayor Noam Bramson added, “”BBQ fans rejoice — Smokehouse is back and better than ever, and in a fun, lively, indoor-outdoor space that exemplifies the new positive energy of a revitalized North Avenue corridor.”

“Speaking for the NR Chamber and all of New Rochelle I’m happy to say, ‘Welcome back to Justin and Mike’,” said Rob Hayes, NR President and owner of the Beechmont Tavern.

Shari Ascher said, “On behalf of County Executive George Latimer it’s always so exciting when we see businesses opening and reopening in Westchester County. Westchester is booming!”

Fire Chief Andy Sandor stopped by to wish Smokehouse success.

Bob Young from The Young Companies and The Rockwell and NR Chamber Board Member Carol Barrella along with friends, staff, vendors and other NR Chamber members were equally thrilled to welcome the Smokehouse back home to New Rochelle.