Chester’s family-friendly US-style venue broadens its horizons

Chester’s popular, authentic barbecue-style restaurant group is moving closer to Manchester, with a new restaurant planned for Poynton. Hickory’s Smokehouse is all about slow-cooked meats aiming to reflect the tastes and smells of the Southern States

It was a road trip across the Deep South in 2009 that first ignited the passion to set up the first Hickory’s on the River Dee in 2010. Hickory’s Smokehouse founder Neil McDonnell (also behind Chester's Barlounge and award-winning steakhouse Upstairs At The Grill) has spent years travelling across from Texas to Tennessee, Missouri to Mississippi, partying with locals in New Orleans, and sitting on countless porches in Kansas trying to uncover the secrets behind the best BBQ. 

fall-off-the-bone ribs and juicy Texas-style beef brisket, all smoked ‘low ’n’ slow’ for up to sixteen hours

The small, privately owned group now operates across the North West and Midlands, with the latest in Poynton opening this summer in the former Vernon Arms - which is to be totally redesigned and transformed.

The new Hickory’s aims to provide a restaurant with an authentic slice of Southern-style hospitality, with food and drink at its heart. On the menu are classics such as pulled pork, fall-off-the-bone ribs and juicy Texas-style beef brisket, all smoked ‘low ’n’ slow’ for up to sixteen hours. A large range of breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes will include burgers, hot dogs and fajitas, rounded off by indulgent Southern-inspired desserts, and washed down with a wide selection of local cask ales, American IPAs and cocktails.

2019 05 13 Hickorys Poynton Sketch
A sketch of the revamped Vernon Arms Poynton which will reopen a Hickory's Smokehouse this summer

The new Poynton place will have room for up to 150 covers, incorporating an open kitchen and a chef’s bar for a more casual eating experience. A more relaxed dining area for friends, family and couples will feature cosy booths.  

The family friendly venue will also include a cinema room for children and will have a dedicated bar area with screens showing a range of US sports. 

The outside space will also undergo a complete makeover, and will include veranda and courtyard patio seating. Hickory’s team is also hoping to develop a nature trail and dipping pond on land that hasn’t been open to public for many years, creating a space for the local community to use and enjoy.

2019 05 13 Hickorys Cookie Sandwich
Hickory's indulgent USA-inspired cookie sandwich

“Our sister sites across the North West have been embraced whole heartedly by the local community,” says managing director John Welsh,“so coming to Poynton is genuinely exciting for us all. Our ambition is to create something that is truly special, and we are looking forward to becoming part of the community.” 

Hickory’s Smokehouse founder Neil McDonnell adds: “We are absolutely thrilled to be launching in Poynton and are really looking forward to meeting local people and getting to know the area. South Manchester has been on our ‘wish-list’ of locations for some time so we are delighted to have acquired this site.”

Hickory’s Smokehouse will open on London Rd S, Poynton in the summer.