A new barbecue truck is expected to roll out in San Francisco this week when truck startup The Rib Whip makes its debut at Off the Grid: UN Plaza. Owner and St. Louis native Ryan Gessel was passing his last inspections in S.F. on Friday. After The Rib Whip's OTG rollout, Gessel plans to park his truck daily in a SOMA parking lot on Ritch Street between Bryant and Brannan (near Darwin), not far from the spot recently carved out by Le Truc. In fact, Gessel plans to collaborate on future dinner events with Le Truc's Hugh Schick.
Gessel ― who's worked tells SFoodie he thinks The Rib Whip will be the nation's only truck with an onboard smoker ― he's installed a small Southern Pride smoker with digital controls, meaning he'll have the ability to smoke beef brisket, say, the drop the temperature down to 150˚ and keep it warm, slicing slabs to order.
A self-avowed audio/video guy, Gessel's installing a multi-amp, 2,300-watt custom sound system with DJ plug-ins he plans to use for dinner-and-a-movie nights (with films projected onto a building on Ritch) and other events. And he'll turn the parking lot into a mini outdoor food court, with lighting, shrubbery, and picnic tables.
And the name? "My buddy and I were brainstorming, and he mentioned 'The Rib Whip,'" Gessel says. "The second he said it, I said, 'That's it!'" He immediately had visions of a pimped-out BBQ truck painted with graffiti, says Gessel, who grew up in a family of caterers. "I'm just chasing a dream," he says.
Follow along with The Rib Whip's launch on Twitter @TheRibWhip.