More than two years ago, when Clarence Pierson closed his celebrated Acres Homes barbecue joint due to health reasons, he promised that someday he’d re-open. There have been several false starts over the years – mainly due to continuing health reasons – which piqued the interest of Houston barbecue hounds, but ultimately the reopening of Pierson & Company Bar-B-Que was delayed. Until now.
“We just got our permits and are beginning the process of reopening,” Mr. Pierson told me today as I toured his newly painted and spiffed-up barbecue joint on T.C. Jester (same location as before). The scent of burning post oak soaked my clothes as I stood in the small dining room listening to Mr. Pierson’s travails over the last couple of years. Twenty pounds lighter and with two brand new titanium knees, he feels great and the health issues associated with double knee replacement have been overcome.
The last year has been particularly challenging with ongoing physical therapy and, more recently and tragically, the sudden death of his wife of over thirty years. Today was the first day in two years he presided over a smoker filled with brisket, ribs, homemade links, and boudin. By all appearances, he is happy to be back.
Technically, Pierson’s will be in a “soft opening” for the next couple of weeks. He’s just fired up the smoker and will be producing a limited quantity of barbecue for sale during lunch hours starting Tuesday of next week. I suggest most Houston barbecue hounds wait a couple of weeks to make the pilgrimage to Acres Homes. But if you must get a taste of the classic Pierson’s Bar-B-Que, get there early (11am is the nominal opening time) and be prepared for the occasional snafu as he gets back on his feet (literally). The phone number is the same, and it may be worth a call before trekking out that way. Mr. Pierson’s sister and niece will be manning the order counter, just like the old days. Please be patient and considerate.
Also note that parking will be a challenge for the short term as he gets more space arranged. Parking on the adjacent neighborhood streets may be necessary.
Welcome back to Clarence Pierson, a true gentleman and scholar of barbecue. Houston barbecue just got a whole lot better.