By Allison Jewell

New York City-based restaurant Pig Beach BBQ opened its doors in Louisville on Aug. 31st. Located at 1201 River Rd, the 14,000-square-foot eatery overlooks the Ohio River for a scenic and romantic atmosphere.

Brooklyn Based Barbecue comes to the Ville

Pig Beach BBQ debuted in Brooklyn in 2015 and was founded by restaurateur Rob Shawger and seasoned award-winning pitmasters Matt Abdoo and Shane McBride.

The vision was to marry the classic flavors of American barbecue while adding a slight global twist. The food items on the Louisville menu reflect that sentiment, serving creations like a simple pulled pork sandwich topped with purple coleslaw.

The restaurant also offers a few vegan and vegetarian options for those with dietary restrictions. A barbecue jackfruit sandwich is available, served with a bell pepper vinegar coleslaw on top, offering more than the traditional meat options a barbecue restaurant usually has. A Caesar salad is also on the menu with the ability to add smoked tofu.

The star of the show, however, truly is the smoked meat. A hallmark of good barbecue is good brisket and Pig Beach BBQ’s brisket did the trick. The sandwich comes loaded with smoked brisket, Pig Beach’s signature barbecue sauce, and crispy onions. The combination of the crunchy onions and the sweet sauce helped cut the fattiness of the meat, proving to be a satisfying bite every time.

Sides include the usual barbecue lineup of potato salad, mac and cheese, and coleslaw — including variations like plain vinegar coleslaw and purple coleslaw. These sides are available a la carte in small, medium, and large sizes.

The two-floor restaurant has two full bars that house locally made bourbon and beer.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be bringing Pig Beach to such a vibrant destination in Louisville at Waterfront Park, and we look forward to working with local distilleries, breweries, and purveyors in reflecting that flavor and culture throughout our menu,” Executive Chef Matt Abdoo said in an interview with WHAS.

The restaurant has also built a “grab and go” section for takeout that houses signature menu items and beverages from local companies.

The two-story building has indoor and outdoor seating and can accommodate up to 500 people. The blue metal chairs bring the space to life and the décor borders on rustic industrial. The unobstructed view of the Ohio River gives a sense of warmth, and when the sun sets and the walking bridge begins to light up, the ambiance only increases.

The staff utilized a mobile ordering system with QR codes at each table. This method proved to be very efficient as the food came out of the kitchen quickly. Overall, the experience felt curated but natural.

“Bringing Pig Beach BBQ to Waterfront Park in Louisville is a dream come true. Our world-class BBQ and beverage programs paired with a gorgeous view of the Ohio River and the best bourbon in the world at your fingertips is just amazing,” Director of Operations Shane McBride said in an interview with WHAS.

The restaurant also bottles and sells its barbecue sauce and has merchandise like t-shirts available for purchase.

Pig Beach BBQ Louisville offers a scenic ambiance perfect for a casual family dinner or a quick dinner date.

File Photos // Allison Jewell, The Louisville Cardinal