The new BBQ spot opening in Mount Dora has a story behind it that is, literally, straight out of a movie.
Acme Rib Shack is prepping for a June opening in the former location of iconic Sugar Boo’s Bar-B-Que. The new co-owner, Ernie Mosteller, and pitmaster Scotty Clark have decades of BBQ experience and share a dedication to authentic, old-school Southern BBQ.
“We might be new faces to some of y’all, and there’s a new sign going up, but we’re not new to BBQ at all,” said Clark. “We can tell you how good it’s going to be and talk about it all day long, but the proof’s going to be in the food. That’s where we know we can deliver.”
Mosteller, a filmmaker and Mount Dora native, echoed Clark’s confidence. “I grew up standing in line for Mr. Thomas’ ribs in Eustis in the 60s and 70s. That formed an early love for BBQ. My career as a filmmaker has me traveling deep back roads across the South and I’ve been to every little joint I’ve run across,” said Mosteller.
After Mosteller and his wife, Sarah, bought the property, he knew Clark was the man to call. The team will keep things simple by just offering what it does best: ribs, pulled pork, chicken and coleslaw. In the future, they hope to bring in some live blues music to make the experience complete.
Mosteller and Clark met almost a decade ago, when Mosteller was drawn by the irresistible force of BBQ smoke into the yard of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Sorrento. There he met Clark, the pastor and head BBQ cook.
“Scotty told me the story of how the church was built and supported by selling BBQ on the side of the road,” says Mosteller. “I thought it might make a good human interest documentary. Then I tasted his ribs, and had to make the movie, even if it was just to hang around and get some more.”
ABOVE: Ernie Mosteller (left) and pitmaster Scotty Clark (right)
The documentary, “Faith Hope and BBQ,” released in 2014 and available on Amazon, formed a friendship and mutual respect between Mosteller and Clark.
Barbecue is all in the nuances, according to Mosteller. “Seasonings, time, wood choices and other stuff no BBQ man will tell you. It’s an art form.”
The opening of Acme Rib Shack, located at 1305 N. Grandview Street, brings a renewed business vibrancy to the Grandview Business District, which saw the closings of two local favorites, Ivory’s and Sugarboo’s, over the last year. The team hope to be cooking up ribs for Mount Dora’s annual Juneteenth Celebration on June 22 in the Grandview Business District.
“I grew up in Mount Dora, I love the Northeast neighborhood, and I want Acme to be a centerpiece where everybody wants to be,” said Mosteller.
Acme Rib Shack is located at 1305 N. Grandview Street and will be open Thursdays through Sundays.
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