Rolling Smoke parlays food truck success into Stanley Marketplace foundation

Paul Garrity cuts off burnt ends for an order of their most popular menu option, July 2 at Rolling Smoke Bar-B-Que.
Photo by Philip B. Poston/Sentinel Colorado

There are few sweeter smells than beef brisket bathing in smoke.

It’s an alluring fragrance that leads many lunchtime seekers at the Stanley Marketplace by the nose to Rolling Smoke Bar-B-Que, and right in Terry Walsh’s hands.

Walsh went from backyard smoke pit to food truck to now running two brick-and-mortar locations where smoked meats rule.

The menu runs the gamut of all things infused – beef brisket, turkey breast and burnt ends join smoked collard greens and charged mac n’ cheese.

The plates vary in size from hungry to a pile of meat perfect for ending a 10-day fast — the Whole Smoker plate. The assemblage offers a sample of all the meats – totaling 1.5 pounds of perfumed goodness. For studious gluttons, there’s El Jefe, a sandwich piled high with brisket, pulled pork, sausage, coleslaw and baked beans.

Burnt ends, collard greens and smoke mac n’ cheese from Rolling Smoke Bar-B-Que.
Photo by Philip B. Poston/Sentinel Colorado

Walsh’s Oklahoma roots paved the way for his familiarity with smoking meats, and it wasn’t until after receiving countless applause from family and friends for his talent with large slabs of meat that he decided to take his BBQ skills to the streets.

Walsh moved to Colorado in 2002 from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma with a mission.

After 11 years and two jobs in the corporate world, he left the paper shuffle for the ‘cue hustle.

In 2013 Walsh opened a food truck and focused the sweet taste of pecan wood, with a variety of meat serving as a flavor vessel, to the people, but going from brewery to brewery, slinging barbecue, was a tiring hustle.

“You can pull up to a brewery and sell out in two hours,” Walsh said.

“Or you can show up the next week with twice the amount of food as the prior and not come close to selling out.”

The Kansas City style burnt ends are a popular menu item at Rolling Smoke Bar-B-Que.
Photo by Philip B. Poston/Sentinel Colorado

In 2017 he opened a brick-and-mortar location inside the Stanley Marketplace and then in 2018 opened a second location in Centennial. Rolling Smoke also rolled into a booth at Red Rocks amphitheater, where they serve sandwiches at every concert.

The food truck is used mostly for catered events and festivals these days.

“It’s nice to not have to chase it,” Walsh said about the customer base.

Wade Williams, one of Walsh’s two business partners and general managers for Rolling Smoke, met Walsh at another Denver barbecue spot where Williams was tending bar.

It wasn’t long after that they began working together and opened the first Rolling Smoke brick and mortar location. 

Williams has been working in the food service industry since he was 16. And being from the South, he, too, has a penchant for barbecue.

Andy Campbell is the other partner at Rolling Smoke, and just like Walsh and Williams, he  hails from the southern lands of ‘cue.

A native of Georgia, Campbell moved to Alabama to attend Auburn University and worked as a sous chef for Marriott Hotels after graduating with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management.

Between the three of them, their restaurant experience and the predisposition — that comes with being Southern — for having a refined palate for all things smoked, the original Rolling Smoke food truck is no longer needed for cruising the streets. The smoke and their reputation are now the draw.

We “cook the old school way,” Walsh said. “With wood and time.”


Rolling Smoke Bar-B-Que

Sunday 11 A.M. to 7 P.M.

Monday to Thursday, 11 A.M. to 8 P.M.

Friday to Saturday, 11 A.M. to 9 P.M.

2501 Dallas St, Aurora, CO 80010