BY EVAN TRIANTAFILIDIS
The long-awaited Astoria location of the Brooklyn-based Pig Beach BBQ is now open. Executive chefs Shane McBride and Matt Abdoo welcomed a crowd of hungry customers last month to their newest location at 35-37 36th Street.
“We’re looking forward to meeting our neighbors and making new friends,” said McBride, who has lived in Astoria for almost 15 years.
Starting in 2015 as a Brooklyn pop-up with just a small smoker and some induction burners, the business took when people got a taste of the roasted baby back ribs, smoked turkey, chicken wings and award-winning burgers.
“It was a very organic seven-year process,” said McBride of the restaurant’s growth.
Following a two-year undertaking – with pandemic-related speed bumps involved – the chefs are thrilled to finally open their 28,000-square-foot location in Queens.
“We can’t wait for Pig Beach BBQ to be up and running at full speed,” said Abdoo.
The Astoria location includes a dog-friendly outdoor garden that can accommodate 800 people. With three separate bars and an anticipated 50 televisions, the chefs hope to create a laid-back atmosphere much like their Brooklyn-flagship restaurant.
“When we put the first tap handle on our beer tower and the first brisket in the smoker, we had a restaurant,” said McBride.
In tribute to the “Mediterranean feel” of the neighborhood, the menu will include a smoked lamb shoulder topped with NYC Classic White Sauce. The chefs say during the restaurant’s first few months, they will adjust the hours of operation to best meet the needs of the neighborhood. From Tuesday to Friday, Pig Beach BBQ opens at 4 p.m. and closes at “10-ish”.
On weekends, doors open at noon and close after 10 p.m. The establishment has a permit to be open until 4 a.m. At full-speed, the restaurant aims to employ 100 people. The business owners also have plans to open a third location in West Palm Beach, Florida. With chef backgrounds at Manhattan upscale eateries Balthazar and Del Posto, both McBride and Abdoo say they are enjoying themselves like never before in their newest venture.
“It’s really all I’ve ever done, I’ve been in the restaurant business for 30 years,” said McBride, who sports a pig tattoo with all the different cuts of pork. “This is the most fun I’ve had in the restaurant business in a long time.”