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Back Porch BBQ in Roundup nominated for a James Beard award



Roundup, Montana — One of the top awards in the restaurant business is a James Beard nomination, and Roundup is probably the last place you’d expect to see one. But at Back Porch BBQ, it only takes a mouthful to understand why it’s attracting notice on a national scale.

Roundup may not be the first town that comes to mind when thinking of the best barbecue in the country. But now Roundup is known for its delectable cuisine.

Back Porch didn’t even exist a year ago.

The restaurant’s co-owners, Joey Campanella and Morgan Belveal, both worked in Roundup but had always wanted to create their own place.

“During quarantine, we moved back to Roundup and the first thing we noticed was we want to eat somewhere different. So, that got us thinking, okay, well, we should start a restaurant,” said Campanella on Thursday.

Back Porch BBQ was established only six months ago.

“In Southeast Montana, outside of Billings, it’s all just towns like Roundup. And a lot of them are eating French fries and burgers every night, and it’s not really, it’s delicious, but it’s not really good for us. There’s not really many options,” said Belveal on Thursday.

The dynamic dining duo recently received a surprise that they could not have predicted.

They were informed that they had been shortlisted for the James Beard award, which is given to the nation’s top chef by a committee that visits every state to find it. They are now among the 30 national semifinalists.

“Opening a restaurant that grew as quickly as this one did and earning James Beard recognition in six months, we’re pretty excited to show that small towns in Montana can do this too. You don’t have to be in a city to have James Beard-nominated food,” added Belveal.

Customers have been arriving from all across the state to check out this secret gem ever since the nomination.

“We had a table from Bozeman come in. We’ve had people from Red Lodge come in. We have a lot of people that change their travel plans and sort of make the detour to come over here on their way to somewhere else. We have a lot of people that change their travel plans and sort of make the detour to come over here on their way to somewhere else,” Belveal added.

Everything is produced on-site. From the smoked ribs to the 15-hour pulled pork, homemade coleslaw, cornbread, and sauces are also served.

Along Montana’s backroads, a restaurant is establishing a name for itself both domestically and internationally.

“We’re really happy doing what we’re doing right here. We love it and we’re super thankful for the support we’re getting across the state,” added Campanella.


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