Round Rock Edition | December 2021

PEOPLE PROFILE John Brotherton Local business owner makes helping a priority P ugerville City Council recently proclaimed Nov. 9 John Brotherton Day in the John Brotherton is a restaurateur and barbecue acionado—he owns Brother- ton’s Black Iron Barbecue in Pugerville and is a co-owner of Liberty Barbecue in Round Rock—but for many, he is much more than a local businessman.

BY BRIAN RASH

Pugerville business community, Brotherton has gained a reputation for philanthropy. Much of that comes from his drive to champion other restaurants. When Oriental Kitchen opened in early 2017 o Grand Avenue Parkway in Pugerville, Brotherton made a point to eat there, then raved about their green beans through a post on Pugerville Pfoodies. Owner Meili Wu said that post helped build a following for the restaurant she owns. “He helped me, so I follow [his example] the way he did for me. We

city of Pugerville. While reading the proclamation at a City Council meeting, Mayor Victor Gonzales acknowledged Brotherton’s recent accolade in Texas Monthly , in which he made the list of the top 50 barbecue restaurants in the state for 2021, but the commendation went well beyond that achievement. “John cares about his community and regularly raises money for those in need and feeds our rst respond- ers,” Gonzales said. For the last several years,

John Brotherton manages the large smoker in the lot outside his Pugerville barbecue restaurant. (Photos by Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Pugerville Mayor Victor Gonzalez (left) stands with Brotherton as he reads the proclamation from City Council designating Nov. 9 as John Brotherton Day in Pugerville.

all now try to post [on social media] and support new restaurants,” Wu said. Brotherton’s drive to help his community extends far beyond propping up other local

“I THINK IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU TAKE CARE OF THE COMMUNITY THAT TAKES CARE OF YOU.” JOHN BROTHERTON

Brotherton has provided food and other assis- tance at events communitywide at no charge, Gonzales said. Brotherton said he has always

TWO BARBECUE JOINTS Brotherton opened Liberty Barbecue in Round Rock in 2018 and Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue in Pugerville in 2017.

loved barbecue, but it was not until his move to Pugerville in 2001 that he purchased his rst barbecue pit. “I recall, one day I was cooking on it and the bottom fell out of the rebox,” he said. “That’s how much use it got.” In 2013, he said, Texas Monthly released its top 50 barbecue joints list for that year, and he and his wife ended up visiting all of the restau- rants on the list. “I knew barbecue was where I needed to be,” he said. As he kept building his reputation and brand, a local social media group called Pugerville Pfoodies helped propel him to popularity, he said. “I cooked a brisket for somebody, and they liked it and talked about it on there,” he said. “The next thing you know, I’m getting more and more orders.” From there, he opened Brother- ton’s Black Iron Barbecue in 2017, and a year later he helped open Liberty BBQ in Round Rock. Alongside his status in the

businesses through various means. In summer 2016, when ve police ocers were ambushed and killed during a protest in Dallas, Pugerville Police Department Lt. Chet Vronka said Brotherton was instrumental in organizing an appreciation barbecue for local law enforcement. Vronka also noted a time when a PPD ocer’s daughter had a severe illness and Brotherton helped orga- nize a fundraiser to help pay medical bills and expenses. “It’s things like that, but it’s not just that,” Vronka said, “We do things like National Night Out, Blue Santa, and he has always been there, supporting and sponsoring us during those events.” The bottom line, Vronka said, is if the PPD needs something for the community, if it is in Brotherton’s power, he will do it. “I think it’s really important that you take care of the community that takes care of you,” Brotherton said. “It just makes me feel good and alive.”

Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue opened in 2017.

Liberty Barbecue opened in 2018.

Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue 15608 Spring Hill Lane, Ste. 105, Pugerville 512-547-4766 www.pugervillebarbecue.com Hours: Wed. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thu.-Sat. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., closed Mon.-Tue.

Liberty Barbecue 103 E. Main St., Round Rock 512-433-6330 www.libertybbqrrtx.com Hours: Wed.-Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., closed Mon.-Tue.

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ROUND ROCK EDITION • DECEMBER 2021

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