After five years with a fire engine-red trailer, Justin Ware has upgraded his barbecue business, Smokin' J's BBQ (mobile business, 200-4681, see Facebook page), to a full food truck. A native of upstate New York, Ware moved to Colorado Springs when he was 8 years old and has lived here ever since, working in fine dining spots like the now-closed moZaic in Palmer Lake. While at moZaic, Ware was asked to cater barbecue for a few private events. That developed into a regular side gig, selling barbecue at Air Force Academy football games. Ware cooks Texas-inspired barbecue, making his own dry rubs and sauce — fresh guava and chipotle for the latter — doing his own butchering, and smoking everything over applewood.
In 2012, he bought a trailer and added a few more events — mostly sports at the time. Eventually, Smokin' J's became a regular sight at Springs events like Territory Days, Blues under the Bridge and the recently displaced Haunted Mines.
He bought a food truck in December, and after a few months of renovations, it's all but ready, just waiting for branding decals. Ware has been doing corporate lunch engagements, but expect the truck to appear on the brewery circuit by mid-April.