The West-Midlands based operator has started advertising positions on its website for the new venture, called Orleans Smokehouse, in Solihull and a trade mark for the name has been registered.
An advertisement for a general manager role described the position as “an exciting opportunity”.
Relaxed get togethers
The ad said that it would looking for a general manager who would “be passionate about delivering Southern Slow n’ Low BBQ food”.
A Mitchells & Butlers spokesperson told The Morning Advertiser: "We can confirm plans are underway to open our first Orleans Smokehouse, a new restaurant concept inspired by the flavours of New Orleans which will open its doors in Birmingham in early 2024.
"The restaurant has been designed to offer guests a great experience for relaxed get togethers and to enjoy succulent barbecue food lovingly smoked by our pitmasters.”
The move rivals that of Greene King owned Hickory’s Smokehouse, which also operate US-style barbecue smokehouse restaurants with 19 restaurants across the Midlands and North-West.
Hickory’s was founded by Cheshire-based operator Neil McDonnell, who was inspired by a trip to America’s southern states and came home to create the first Hickory’s in 2010 in Chester, on the site of a former Old Orleans operation, ironically a chain that was acquired by Bob Ivell in 2006 when he headed up Regent Inns.
Greene King acquired Hickory’s in October 2022, with plans to grow the group into a national dining brand with a pipeline of planned openings now in the works.
The Orlean’s Smokehouse is set to open in Solihull early next year, with the job ad listing the address as a current Harvester site in Shirley, around the same time that Hickory’s is due to open their own Solihull site as part of its rapid expansion under the ownership of Greene King.
Earlier this year, M&B, which operates brands including All Bar One and Nicholson's Pubs, reported like-for-like sales were up 8.9% in the year to July 2023, with food and drink sales up 7.9% and 10.7% respectively.