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A plate of rib tips and fried chicken.
Bell Heir’s BBQ is smoking up rib tips.
Aliya Ikhumen/Eater Chicago

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This South Side Barbecue Continues Chicago’s Smoked Meat Traditions

Bell Heir’s BBQ challenges customers to add brisket to its burgers and mac and cheese

One of the best smells of the spring comes from Chicagoans firing up their outdoor grills and smokers, reveling when the temperature hits a ripe 45 degrees. That’s tropical weather in these parts during the normally turbulent March which trolls Chicagoans every year with the promise the winter’s over.

Two gloved hands holding a triple cheeseburger.
Grillers aren’t allowed to wear these gloves; only folks who understand barbecue wear these gloves.

Over in Canaryville, Tyris Bell is firing up his smoker at Bell Heir’s BBQ, and Chicagoans don’t have to wear their winter gear. Bell, who worked with his brother, Darnell Reed, at Lincoln Square’s smash hit Luella’s Southern Kitchen, is working hard to give Chicagoans the smoked meats they deserve. There are brisket and rib tips, smothered in a traditional Chicago sticky and smoky sauce. The brisket is an ideal upgrade to the mac and cheese, and Bell gleefully adds it to his cheeseburger.

The menu is succinct at Bell Heir, but Bell is confident the menu punches plenty of flavor. Check out his work below.

Bell Heir’s BBQ, 704 W. 47th Street, open from noon to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

A aproned man wearing a baseball cap.
This is Tyris Bell’s first restaurant.
A solid pack of Mac and cheese.
Why not add some brisket to your mac and cheese?
A burger and fries.
The bun’s off to better display the brisket.
A ladle pouring sauce over rib tips with fried chicken.
Rib tips are traditional Chicago style grub.

A closed up of sauced rib tips.
Thick red sauce is a Chicago barbecue staple.

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