Gear up for a new outdoor dining spot this summer!
Pittsburgh restaurant Spork is currently getting ready to open a new barbecue restaurant, which will be located just across the street from their current location in Garfield. “Spork Pit,” as the project is named, will bring real Texas-style barbecue to Pittsburgh, and Spork’s owners hope to have it open by this summer.
The hallmark of the project is an authentic smoke pit, made in Houston, Texas, and shipped up to Pittsburgh.
“When you talk to people about barbecue, they bring up sauces and rubs, but that isn’t it,” says Christian Frangiadis, owner and chef of Spork and Spork Pit. “It’s all about the pit, and that is what has been holding us back. What you see down in Austin is on a whole other level. 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.”
Spork Pit is to be located on Penn Avenue, next door to Penn Aiken Dairy. The space is the former location of Genghis Cones, a Chinese/Mongolian take-out and ice cream shop that has been closed for 18 years.
Frangiadis and his team are working to transform the space into an Austin-inspired barbecue joint with few frills. The barbecue pit will be visible to the public, and the front lot will feature a large deck with picnic tables. There will also be a small indoor space, which will allow the restaurant to be open year round.
Just like the original Spork, a highlight of the menu will be the drinks.
“It will be a simple bar with five to six beers, a few wines, and then a couple of really good cocktails. They will change frequently and be made 100% from scratch,” says Frangiadis. “That is kinda the whole idea of Spork Pit – simple in quality, but great flavors.”
The menu will feature typical barbecue fare, with dishes like brisket, short ribs, turkey, homemade sausage, and pulled pork.
“I’m just really excited about the food itself,” says Frangiadis. “We just think it is really different than what is currently up here. The brisket will definitely be show piece.”
If you can’t wait until this summer to try these flavors, you’re in luck. Chef Frangiadis has already begun experimenting with barbecue at the original Spork location. The menu currently features dishes like Smoked Brisket Ravioli, a smoked brisket weck sandwich, jerked chicken, and event smoked ice cream, with almonds and sea salt.
For updates on the Spork Pit project, follow Spork on their Facebook page.