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A platter of all the meats.
Clumsy Cow BBQ has all the meats.
Clumsy Cow BBQ

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A New Loop Barbecue Opens This Week Smoking Ribs, Brisket, and Mortadella

What if Mrs. O’Leary was known for her smoked meats?

Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Clumsy Cow could be seen as a barbecue bonus, something the crew behind Industry Ales didn’t plan, but embraced when the opportunity arose in the Loop.

Next to the legendary Central Camera store, Clumsy Cow (named for the legend behind the Great Chicago Fire) takes barbecue stylings from different regions of the country, including Chicago, the land of sweet sauces and aquarium smokers, and blends them to create something new. Chef Alexander Willis has a menu of ribs, brisket, and a smoked mortadella sandwich served on a torpedo roll and drizzled with a smoked pistachio barbecue sauce made with jalapeños.

This is the first phase for the team. Willis has also created a menu for the project’s main component: Industry Ales, a new brewpub with an imaginative tasting menu and a la carte options. As the Loop grows busier, with more tourists and locals returning to work, Industry Ales wanted to give Downtown Chicago a place to gather and one that breaks away from some of the bad habits at older restaurants or breweries with the goal of treating workers with more dignity.

While Industry Ales’ beers won’t be served at Clumsy Cow, the team is looking for ways to riff off each other with Central Camera sandwiched in the middle of both. Check back for updates later this summer and look at some of the food below.

Clumsy Cow BBQ, 234 S. Wabash Avene, opening Thursday, June 22.

Industry Ales, 230 S. Wabash Avenue, planned for a late summer opening.

A neon sign reading Clumsy Cow BBQ.
The neon fits in with Wabash.
Clumsy Cow BBQ
A painting of a cow dunking a basketball wearing an MJ jersey.
MJ was the GOAT and he played for the Bulls, but Mrs. O’Leary had a cow, so this makes sense.
Clumsy Cow BBQ
Sandwiches are also on the menu.
Clumsy Cow BBQ
A close up of a smoked meat sandwich.
This smoked mortadella was inspired by Cozy Corner BBQ in Memphis.
Clumsy Cow BBQ
A box of fried chicken.
Chef Willis pledges to do “fried chicken right.”
Clumsy Cow BBQ
A box of chicken wings
Smoked wings are on the menu.
Clumsy Bow BBQ

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