Relating to cooking nice barbecue, Yard Barbeque chef and co-owner Kenny Ware isn’t messing round; he’s cooking up a storm on Freeport’s Nautical Mile.

Ware, who co-owns the eatery along with his childhood pal Michael Toney, is utilizing his finely honed abilities as a chef to place a “totally different twist” on some conventional Southern barbecue favorites.

“I’m utilizing my coaching to place a wonderful eating contact on many traditional barbecue dishes reminiscent of ribs, brisket, rooster, and pulled pork that come straight off the grill,” says Ware, 33.

Yard Barbeque: The Chef’s Story

Ware says that everybody in his household cooked and that he had “at all times needed to prepare dinner.” With that in thoughts, he attended and graduated from Johnson & Wales Culinary College in Windfall, Rhode Island in 2013, he says.

Following commencement, Ware says he “bounced round” and labored with a number of high-profile cooks together with famend Chef Dan Kluger at Loring Place in Greenwich Village and Chef Ignacio Mattos on the now defunct Flora Bar.

“I additionally labored in Manhattan at ABC Kitchen, owned by famed Chef Jean-George, who owns eating places all around the world.” He recollects spending “quite a bit” of his time at ABC Kitchen specializing in wonderful eating and farm-to-table delicacies.

Photograph by Jennifer A. Uihlein

Ware additionally frolicked overseas in London, England in addition to in Savannah, Georgia, engaged on honing his craft with different top-rated cooks.

Then, about two years in the past, Ware says he and his companion Toney took over Yard Barbeque from Ware’s father, Archie, who had opened the spot in 2018.

A few of Ware’s signature dishes embody collard inexperienced cheese empanadas, which he says are very talked-about with millennials, in addition to made-from-scratch pickles, sauces, and burgers, that are floor recent, in-house.

Different specialties are lemon pepper honey wings, jerk wings, candy Thai chili wings, and Southern sides reminiscent of baked beans, collard greens, candied yams, and smoked mac and cheese.

“We even have among the finest wings you’ll ever style,” he says, including that the lemon pepper honey wings are buyer favorites. “They’re candy and savory blended along with an ideal crunch.”

When requested about competitors, Ware says they’re their very own competitors, by the use of offering a brand new twist on barbecue.

Ware says he nonetheless does a lot of the cooking but in addition has a number of top-notch cooks who assist. He provides that every one his recipes yield constantly good, high-quality meals that tastes nice from one go to to the following.

Photograph by Jennifer A. Uihlein

Requested about results from the pandemic, Ware says they held their very own by doing plenty of to-go orders.

Nevertheless, he says that everybody continues to be feeling the results of the pandemic as meals costs proceed to go up and down. “The most important problem now could be to serve top-quality meals at an affordable worth…whereas nonetheless managing to maintain the lights on and make a revenue,” he provides, “It’s onerous when costs proceed to rise…you could preserve worth stability for patrons.”

“We additionally market ourselves by promoting hats, shirts and different issues,” he says, noting that Yard Barbeque has already gained a couple of awards reminiscent of finest barbecue restaurant from the 2021 Herald Lengthy Island Selection Awards offered by PSEG-Lengthy Island.

Ware additionally lately participated within the Grill Hamptons culinary event, sponsored by Dan’s Papers, which pits regional grill masters in opposition to each other. “I made smoked jerk wings and home made pickles in addition to pulled pork sliders and BBQ sauce,” he says, including that the occasion was a hit, and that the restaurant’s meals was nicely acquired.

Ware is also a giant believer in giving again to the neighborhood. He says that every yr, they maintain a Christmas toy drive for youths benefitting his hometown of Roosevelt.

“We need to present jobs for youth, do plenty of mentoring, and communicate to youngsters about entrepreneurship, and many others.” He additionally notes that his restaurant sponsored the Roosevelt Rising Stars crew final yr. The Rising Stars present applications in low-income communities that encourage educational, cultural, and social growth along with school/profession exploration actions for youth ages 5-13.

Ware says that whereas enterprise has been getting again to regular, it’s nonetheless a wrestle to be in a seasonal space since not everyone seems to be conscious the restaurant is open all yr spherical.  “Throughout Thanksgiving, we promote each fried and smoked turkeys. We’d like individuals to do not forget that.”

backyard barbeque
Photograph by Jennifer A. Uihlein

Relating to on-line evaluations, Ware says they are often both a present or a curse.

“On the finish of the day, we’re all human and make errors. However, regardless, there’s at all times someone working very onerous to present individuals the most effective expertise they’ll.”

And, thus far, most reviewers are massive followers. One current reviewer on the restaurant’s Fb web page, Tonio Drum Main Simmons, known as the meals “very good” and the service “skilled,” and mentioned they might be again.

Wanting forward, Ware says they plan to develop with extra areas. One such spot coming quickly will probably be a pizza-by-slice place subsequent door to the restaurant, known as Yard Slices.

“The pizza place will probably be a spin-off. All the pieces we do within the barbecue restaurant… we’ll do on a slice of pizza.”

He anticipates Yard Slices will open by the top of September.

“As soon as individuals come out and take a look at our meals,” Ware says, “they’ll be pulling down our door.”

Yard Barbeque is positioned at 300 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport. It may be reached at 516-771-4227. Go to at

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