Roadside inspiration

New barbecue restaurant, Brickey’s Junction, open on Highway 267

by Lynn Colburn

Three generations of barbecue secrets that have been cooked for family and friends inspired Brickey’s Junction, a delightful and delicious new business in Murrayville.

Shanon Brickey turned a building he once used for gatherings with those family and friends into a unique downhome establishment. Brickey’s Junction is located at 598 State Highway 267 between Woodson and Murrayville, on the east side of the highway just past KE Baker Trucking.

Brickey has owned the storage facility on the property since 2015 and built the cabin shortly after that, never dreaming it would be for anything other than his personal use.

Brickey and his wife, Jennifer, run Brickey’s Junction together. The couple have known one another for over 30 years and never ever imagined being a couple, but things changed, and they were married April 3, 2021. They each grew up in the area with their own careers. Jennifer Brickey grew up in Jacksonville and is a registered dental hygienist and works two days a week at College Avenue Dental with Dr. Randall Lawson. Shanon Brickey has been an operating engineer and member of Illinois Union of Operating Engineers 965 for 26 years.

Shanon Brickey owned the cabin for years, but two years ago with help from his father, Jack Brickey, and stepbrother, Chad, he enhanced the look by putting barn wood inside and out to make it look like an old log cabin. Shanon Brickey says it started with the idea of not letting the family tradition of barbequing for family and friends die off. The tradition was started by his uncle, Charlie Thady, with his uncle’s recipe for the original Hog Mix Barbecue, and then continued by his father.

After he started barbecuing, it was the encouragement of his wife, friends and family that led him to incorporate his love of smoking meats into a business opportunity. He says his friends and family all told him, “You need a liquor license to go along with the barbecue!” The license allows them to sell packaged beer with the barbecue. Thus, the whole of Brickey’s Junction was born.

He says, “It was always the cart driving the horse for everything we did. It has been a learning experience every step of the way — from commercial codes to getting licenses — and about all aspects of the business.”

Brickey’s Junction officially opened Aug. 8 on Shanon Brickey’s birthday, paired with a family celebration. Although no food service was available until mid-October, it quickly became a local ‘roadside joint’ where folks could stop in and be with friends and family. Since opening, however, the ‘locality’ of patrons at Brickey’s has already spread to include people from Springfield, Quincy and farther — all wanting to check out this charming, rugged place in the country.

“It’s been really fun because it is a real community place with old-time guys coming in and telling stories, laughing and just relaxing in the friendly, inviting environment,” says Jennifer Brickey. By mid-October, Brickey’s Junction started selling food onsite. Shanon Brickey also has been catering, including during The Design Shed’s Fall Festival, serving smoked meats there on Saturday, Sept. 17.

Jennifer Brickey explains, “It isn’t a dine-in restaurant inside. Food is based on carryout. We do have covered carports outside with tables if people want to eat outside here, but we will be selling barbecue by the pound.” They will have sandwiches available to-go also. The menu will include pulled pork, ribs, brisket and barbecue. They will also have a firepit going outside when weather permits. Prices will be available on their Facebook page, and they plan to get a website up and running.

“We’ve already had lots of requests for catering weddings and class reunions,” says Shanon Brickey. People do not need to order ahead. However, if it is a large order, customers can always call ahead and the Brickeys or staff will be happy to answer any questions.

Hours are Monday-Friday from 4-10 p.m., Saturday from noon-10 p.m. and Sunday from noon-6 p.m. Shanon Brickey wants everyone to know that these are temporary hours and subject to change in the near future when everything comes together.

The couple’s friend, Mike Lonergan, who is on the Jacksonville School District 177 Board and can be found cooking pork chops during Jacksonville High School Friday night football games, is also cooking and assisting with Brickey’s Junction.

Brickey’s Junction is located on 7 acres of land. This coming spring, Shanon and Jennifer Brickey plan to open a campground with ten hook-ups (electric, water and sewer) and a trash dumpster behind the barbecue joint. Rates will include nightly, weekly and monthly rates for guests. Shanon Brickey says, “It is a convenient place for people traveling to see family or stay for class reunions or for families just wanting a quick getaway.”

Brickey’s Burgoo is another family tradition for over 50 years. Shanon Brickey said when he brought back the tradition after a few years of it beginning to fade, he made one small pot of burgoo, which disappeared very quickly. Each year he increased how much he made, and it still promptly vanished!

On October 29, the Brickeys invite everyone to join them for the Brickey’s Junction Burgoo. To ensure everyone will be able to enjoy the feast, Shanon Brickey plans to make 100 gallons of burgoo! Kettle service begins at 1 p.m. and continue until the burgoo is gone. The burgoo will be available for takeaway, or people can get a bowl and sit at the carport tables.

Shannon Wood (Woody) will be the evening’s entertainment from 4-7 p.m.

The Brickeys say, “We can never thank those who have helped us, stopped in or shown support in every manner. Our family and friends stood by us, helping our dream become a reality. The support we have been show and blessed with is immeasurable — from advice, encouragement, opening the business for us when we were working our day jobs, mowing the property, cleaning up messes we couldn’t and the widespread support from so many. Thank you to those behind the scenes and on the front lines, we are truly blessed and hope to be a positive impact on our community.”

Brickey’s Junction welcomes all to come anytime to check out this inviting local roadside joint created with love, tradition, family and friends!

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