Cody Smithers (left) and Shawn Eagle are the owners and pitmasters of Bet the House Barbecue in Denton. It closed on Dec. 2, 2018.

Cody Smithers (left) and Shawn Eagle are the owners and pitmasters of Bet the House Barbecue in Denton. It closed on Dec. 2, 2018.

Guy Reynolds/

Bet the House BBQ, a Denton barbecue joint, has closed.

The Elm Street restaurant opened in 2014 after raising just over $5,000 in a Kickstarter campaign — a deliciously scrappy way to finance a business in a region smokin' with barbecue joints.

The brisket at Bet the House was sold by the pound or inside composed dishes, like the restaurant's North Texas Cheesesteak.

The brisket at Bet the House was sold by the pound or inside composed dishes, like the restaurant's North Texas Cheesesteak.

David Minton/DRC

The restaurant was owned by Shawn Eagle and former Dallas Morning News employee Cody Smithers. In a Facebook post announcing the Dec. 2 closure, the owners wrote, "It is with much sadness and a heavy heart that we will be closing for good this Sunday. Please come see us and get some BBQ. Thank y'all so much for giving us the opportunity to serve our great community."

The Dentonite called Bet the House "one of Denton's most popular, if not the most popular" barbecue joint in town.

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We wrote in 2015 that "you can smell the meat from blocks away," but the restaurant was actually five blocks from the Denton Square, which created a problem for regular foot traffic, the Denton Record-Chronicle noted. In our 2015 story, we recommended off-the-menu items like company's brisket eggrolls. The North Texas cheesesteak, made with brisket, was also popular.

Smithers told the DRC that it's tough to "explain to people why you're closing when everybody loves your food." But: "It's not because I'm making too much money," he joked.

You love BBQ? We do, too. Check out guidelive.com/barbecue.

Bet the House BBQ closed Dec. 2, 2018 in Denton.

Bet the House BBQ closed Dec. 2, 2018 in Denton.

David Minton/DRC
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