After months of anticipation, Spork Pit – the new, Texas-style barbecue restaurant from the owners of Spork – will open this Thursday, August 16th. A portion of opening day proceeds will be donated to Unidos Disaster Relief & Recovery Program To support Puerto Rico.
On Sunday, August 19th, the team will host a Grand Opening Celebration with a special reggae performance by Ras Prophet.
Since early 2017, the Spork team has been renovating the building across the street from their Garfield restuarant into a no-frills barbecue establishment inspired by Franklin’s in Austin, Texas.
The hallmark of the Spork Pit project is the restaurant’s authentic smoke pit, which was made in Houston and driven to Pittsburgh.
“When you talk to people about barbecue, they bring up sauces and rubs, but that isn’t it. It’s all about the pit,” says Chris Frangiadis, owner and chef of Spork and Spork Pit. “You get this clean, sweet, delicate taste with the smoke. That is what we hope to replicate up here, especially in terms of the quality.”
At Spork Pit, guests slide a tray down a cafeteria-style line and select their cut-to-order meat, sides, and drinks before paying. The menu features oak and cherry wood-smoked meats, rubbed with the restaurant’s signature blend. The meats are priced by the pound and include:
- Beef Brisket $28
- Turkey $20
- Sausage $16
- Jerk Chicken $16
- Pork $20
- Ribs $28
Sides include: potato salad, rice and beans, Mac and Cheese, banana pudding, coleslaw, and greens for $5 each. At preview events leading up to the opening, both the rice and beans and the Mac and Cheese were huge customer favorites.
Spork Pit is currently working on an online ordering system where guests can place meal and catering orders a day in advance for pickup.
Similar to Spork, special attention has been paid to Spork Pit’s drink menu. The beverage program is curated by Spork’s General Manager, and author of Pittsburgh Drinks, Sean Enright. Beverages are served from the restuarant’s 14 tap system, which offers a rotating selection of batch cocktails, wine, cider, and local beers.
For their opening menu, draft cocktails include Piña coladas, Frosé, and a gin-based slushie.
The restaurant has inside and outside seating, featuring a expansive, multi-level deck. The inside will seat 30 and have two garage doors that lead to the decks, which seat an additional 60 guests.
Outside, a retractable awning and umbrellas, as well as a misting fan, will ensure all guests are comfortable (and cool) while enjoying their barbecue. Guests dining outside will be able to spy the smoker in action, as it is situated adjacent to the decks.
Spork Pit is located across Penn Avenue from Spork and Spork’s new urban garden. Located in the lot adjacent to Spork, Spork Garden supplies both kitchens with unique ingredients (lemon cucumber, anyone?), and items like peppers, greens, and cocktail garnishes.
While Spork’s menu is constantly changing, Spork Pit plans to stick with the classics.
“At Spork we change five things every day and do seasonal recipes,” says Frangiadis. “This is exactly the opposite. We’re doing the same things and work on the execution. If the menu looks the same two years from now, and we’ve just continued to improve our execution, that would be the completed mission statement.”
Spork Pit will be open for dine-in or takeaway Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. “until the meat runs out.”
More information can be found online.
Spork Pit (5349 Penn Avenue)