Our Story

If you love BBQ, we know you’ll love the ‘Q.’

In an effort to bring authentic Texas BBQ to the Nation’s Capital, we bring you CAPITAL Q. Some would say BBQ is BBQ. However, not all BBQ are alike or even similar across the U.S.A. Differences range from cooking methods, sauces and meats to cultural interpretation. To some, BBQ is just meat on a grill, but to others, it’s a passion and an art. We believe that it is the purest and first American food, from the native Americans and buffalos to the Texas Rangers in the wilds.

 Tempers flare when Americans debate who has the best BBQ. Texans, Missourians and North Carolinians have been known to fight over the topic. It’s what makes us proud of our heritage and makes us keep on Q’

The Proprietor

Native Status: Port Arthur, Texas
Background: Italian-American-Texan raised with a love of food and culture.

Finished formal education at The University of Texas. Informal education continues daily. Worked as Landscape Irrigator, in Austin, swinging at limestone with a pick-ax. Tired quickly and began career in food & beverage. Tuxedo-clad waiter, cooking tableside for a few years. Maitre’d and Beverage Manager of high volume conference center. Grew tired of banquets and being forced to listen to the achy-breaky heart and chicken dance at a few hundred weddings – almost caused mental breakdown. Spent two years at one of D.C.’s top fine dining rooms and continued informal re-education of running other people’s restaurants. Worked on dream of opening my own restaurant. Found dreaming and writing business plan easier than convincing lenders that financing a Texan BBQ joint in Chinatown created by a short, bald, fat Italian guy (with no money), was a great investment. A very brave lender with a very high interest rate took a chance and the rest is history. I have my Texas BBQ joint in Chinatown, I have accomplished my dream and I still pay a very silly interest rate. Where’s the silver lining?

“It is my desire to provide a very authentic product, so that those who are not fortunate enough to travel to Texas can say they have had real bbq.”  
– Nick Fontana

After relocating to the Washington D.C. metro area, in 1989, I spent most of my time longing and looking for something that smelled like, looked like and tasted like Texas. Combined with the dream of owning my own place, it was only natural that I chose to open an authentic Texan bbq joint. I wanted the Texas expatriates, as well as the locals, to have a place to experience Texas in both the food and décor. From the moment you walk through Capital Q’s doors, you have crossed the border. The look, the smell and the sounds take you to the Lone Star State. We have been fortunate to win the approval of our countrymen from all parts of the state and have developed quite a local following as well. It is my desire to provide a very authentic product, so that those who are not fortunate enough to travel to Texas can say they have had real BBQ.

Please come try us next time you’re in Washington, DC, or call and we’ll ship some to you. Who knows, hopefully we will be in your neighborhood soon.

Send Nick an email at: nick@capitalqbbq.com