Restaurateur Wade Boals says that after 27 years of owning and operating the Noisy Oyster brand, he’s ready to do something new.
The Market location closed last winter and re-opened as Hooked Seafood this March. Their Rivers Avenue location closed at the end of August, and Boals says it will reopen in November as True Q BBQ, a restaurant serving up smoked meats, craft beer, and an array of people-pleasing menu items.
“Noisy Oyster was tired and worn out, it was time to refresh what we have,” says Boals. You won’t find any John Deere paraphernalia or gas station signs at True Q. Boals says they’re going for a minimalist, clean feel, with photos on the wall of old-school pit masters smoking the good stuff.
The menu will include “competitively” priced smoked meats — pork belly, brisket, made-in-house sausage, chicken, and more — all smoked onsite within a screened-in patio. “As customers arrive they’ll be able to look through the smokehouse as soon as they pull up,” says Boals.
They’ll also have “three or four different tacos,” wraps, salads, and a lot of “fun apps for communal eating.” The menu will actually be very similar to another of Boals’ restaurants, Saltwater Cowboys. In fact, Boals says they’re trying to co-brand the two spots, hoping to turn True Q into “Saltwater Cowboys’ noisy kin.”
This means lots of local beer on tap, a high-end bourbon menu, plenty of TVs for sportsball viewing, and live entertainment three nights a week from local musicians.
While Boals is certainly pursuing a business model that he hopes will appeal to a wide demographic, he also has a deeper attachment to barbecue. “My great-grandfather was Joe Bessinger, he started his first business in 1933 in Holly Hill … barbecue is in my blood.” Boals says for the past few years he’s been researching and creating sauces and rubs for the restaurant, and has trained a couple of pit masters to man the smoking operation at True Q. (Unrelated to True BBQ in Columbia, BTW.)
The focus at True Q will be on meat (sorry Noisy Oyster fans), but Boals says they’ll still have some seafood, including Tommy Edwards’ local shrimp served fried on a sandwich, grilled on a salad, and over grits.