BREAKING NEWS: Heritage Barbecue Set To Open Brick & Mortar in San Juan Capistrano

UPDATE[March 18, 2019]: Daniel and Brenda Castillo from Heritage Barbecue have provided us with some really cool video of their smokers from Harper Barbecue being lowered in via crane to their upcoming brick and mortar location as well as additional photos of the ongoing progress.

UPDATE[November 8, 2019]: We got our hands on some architectural renders of the future home of Heritage Barbecue in San Juan Capistrano. Here they are(scroll right for all 9 images):

What do you think? Can you spy the smokehouse? More updates to follow.

UPDATE[October 29, 2019]: Per Daniel at Heritage they will have their permit to begin construction Thursday November 14th and are looking at opening late February/Early March 2020. He noted that they will STILL be doing pop-ups for as long as they can until their grand opening, so check their social media for dates as they open up to get your Heritage fix. Check back to this post as I will update with news as I receive it.


I couldn’t be happier to announce that one of my favorite(and most talented) local barbecue pop-ups, Heritage Barbecue, is set to open it’s very own brick & mortar location in San Juan Capistrano this fall.

Heritage Barbecue’s upcoming spot is next door to the train station and across from the San Juan Capistrano Mission at 31721 Camino Capistrano. Owners Brenda and Daniel Castillo explain they will be doing a remodel of the facade, patio and adding a pit room with (2) 1,000 gallon smokers from Harper Barbecue.

The plan is to be open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 AM to sold out. All proteins will be locally sourced, featuring brisket, beef ribs, tri-tip, turkey, chicken, pork ribs, pulled pork, and seafood(yes, seafood) and it’s integral that it’s all sustainable and responsibly farmed. Seasonal produce will be hand selected every morning at their local farm, The Ecology Center, in San Juan Capistrano. They will be continuing their wide range of pickles and adding scratch made salsas, fresh baked bread and handmade tortillas.

Expect walk up counter service similar to what you’d see in Texas(their style will continue to be Central Texas with a heavy California influence) and scratch made desserts from Sweet Eliza’s Kitchen(a staple already at all of Heritage’s pop-ups).

Their final schedule before heading full steam into setup for the new location is:

Sunday - August 4th - Riip Beer Company - Huntington Beach - Starts at Noon

Tuesday - August 6th - Haven Craft Kitchen + Bar - Orange - Starts at 6PM (special event)

Saturday - August 10th - Chapman Crafted Brewery - Orange - Starts at Noon

Sunday - August 25th - Bruery Terreux - Anaheim - Starts at Noon

Saturday - August 31st - Four Sons Brewing - Huntington Beach - Starts at Noon

Saturday - September 7th - OC Brew Ha Ha - Starts at Noon (special event)

Saturday - September 14th - Brewery X - Anaheim - Starts at Noon

For some background, Heritage Barbecue started as a simple concept. They wanted to bring barbecue back to its core roots in its purest form; meat and fire. 

Daniel can trace his passion for cooking with fire back to age 9 when he would cook with his grandfather for family parties. As he got older he was the one that would cook at a campfire or beach bonfire the ‘easy items’, hot dogs, hamburgers, carne asada, steaks and chicken.

After getting married, he graduated to an ‘R2D2’ looking vertical smoker where he refined his skills making pork and beef ribs, tri-tip, and eventually brisket. At first, he admits, the meat was over-smoked and terrible by his current standards, but it set the stage for his passion for barbecue and food. He graduated Orange Coast College’s Culinary program and worked at several kitchens before going starting a catering business.

It was a trip to Texas though that changed it all. He ate at The Salt Lick, Franklin Barbecue, and Terry Black’s Barbecue. Like most that try Central Texas Barbecue for the first time, he knew he needed to get home, get himself and offset smoker, and replicate those flavors. After hours(and hours) of practice he set up the proper social media and started popping up at local breweries and festivals. The success slowly grew as Brenda and Daniel, perfectionists, worked hard to improve product weekly, tweaking recipes to enhance flavor, and using ingredients from the local breweries in their weekly recipes, including adding beer and/or hops to sauces and sides.

Daniel explains, “BBQ has a bad rap with awful sides, cheap ingredients and below standard proteins. I made sure to announce our mission on Instagram. I hired professional photographers and reached out to local farms. I approached restaurants with doing collaborations and had a great time. Running a popup and working a full-time job became very difficult and financially I was making more on the weekends doing BBQ then my full-time job so I decided to call it quits and dedicate all my time to my business.”

Looks like San Juan Capistrano is going to be a new BBQ destination for barbecue lovers. I know I’ll be making the drive out often.

To see their new location check it out on Google Maps HERE