Ayesha Curry, the wife of Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, is planning to expand her International Smoke restaurant to Houston — where Rockets fans have ribbed the as-yet-unopened smokehouse.
Stephen Curry helped the Warriors win Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets. The Warriors then won the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, marking the third time in four years that they’ve won the championship.
Her relationship to Curry, as well as her audacity to come in from out-of-state to open a barbecue restaurant in Texas, left plenty of Houstonians salty.
"Anti Houston establishment. Not to mention it’s Cali BBQ...In Texas...Just don’t do it!" wrote one one-star reviewer on International Smoke's Yelp page.
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"Ayesha Curry is definitely crossing the line here, hasn’t Houston been through enough, not recommended," another reviewer wrote.
"I hope the real Rocket (sic) fans will not support this restaurant, why invest money to this franchise. Let them stay in the Bay Area or some place other than Houston, TX. This is Rockets city and we don’t want nothing from the Warriors here," wrote another.
"Good BBQ is on every corner in Houston, why am I going to pay twice as much for BBQ that’s half as good from someone in California? This is the worst place to try to bring this garbage, stick to your own state fools," said another reviewer.
And one review just said, "Trash," over and over again, more than 100 times.
Some reviews were too obscene to print, and others made jokes about Golden State Warrior Kevin Durant.
By Thursday morning, Yelp had posted an "active cleanup alert" pop-up notice on International Smoke’s Yelp page, noting that "this business recently made waves in the news, which often means that people come to this page to post their views on the news." The restaurant currently has a three-star rating on the website.
In an interview with the Houston Chronicle last month, Curry was asked why she’s expanding her restaurant to Houston.
"Houston is America’s mecca of barbecue," she said, adding that she thinks the city will "fall in love" with the food at her restaurant. "We would be kicking ourselves if we didn’t bring our global grilling concept to the city."
When asked what her restaurant would bring to a city that has some of the best barbecue in the country, she said, "I think what sets International Smoke apart from other barbecue joints is that it’s not just that! We have so much more to offer and barbecue is not one thing."
Curry first opened International Smoke with chef Michael Mina in San Francisco in 2017, according to the Washington Post, and is planning to expand in Southern California and Florida in addition to Houston.
"Grilling is the perfect way to experiment and taste different flavors, cuts of meat and styles of cooking," Curry is quoted on the restaurant’s website. "They all have one thing in common: that delicious taste is reminiscent of an outdoor family gathering!"
International Smoke is set to open in Houston on July 5, according to SFGate.