Porky’s BBQ was inspired by the couple’s travels around America and offers Memphis-style barbecue dishes alongside cocktails, craft beers and a wide selection of bourbons. Simon Brigg told BigHospitality that they’d had plans to expand the brand for a while.
He said: “We’re opening a second site because the first site is doing so well at the moment. We’ve had the site in Camden for nearly nine years now, and we’ve had a great response to its rebranding last year, so we thought we might as well open another.”
Making our mark
Porky’s Bankside site has been established in a brand new unit, which Brigg felt gave the couple the opportunity to shape it to exactly what they wanted.
He said: “We started looking for a new site in September last year, and we checked out a number of spots around London to try and find the best location. Then this site in Bankside came up and we thought it was fantastic and a great opportunity because it was a completely blank canvas, so we could really make our mark on it.
“The building that the unit is in is part of a grade II listed property, and there are brand new flats on top of the building and next to it, as well as our commercial unit at the bottom. We were lucky enough to strike a deal to get it.”
Deep South theme
The new Porky’s site will follow the same Memphis theme as the first site in Camden, though there are a few differences between the two venues.
Brigg said: “The main things we’ve gone for in terms of décor are exposed brick walls and natural wood, and we have two walls with big windows. We’re hanging a lot of pictures of famous Memphis musicians up too to fit with the theme.
“The bar will be different than it is in the other site, we had some new ideas. It’s going to be made out of railway sleepers and we’ll have a big Porkys BBQ sign in surface lights hanging up behind it.”
Brigg believes it’s important that every aspect of the restaurant reflects the Deep South theme to give customers a complete experience. Alongside the food and décor, music has a high importance at Porky’s.
“In terms of music we’ve tried to pick anything you’d associate with the Memphis area,” said Brigg. “We’re heavy on blues, classic rock and bluegrass. The playlists are very carefully selected, it’s very important for our diners and we think it adds to the experience.”
Menu and the future
The menu for the Porky’s site in Bankside will be the same as the one at the site in Camden with a few additions. At the new site the team will smoke their own hotdogs, known as Hounddogs (think the Elvis song) and Brigg also intends to appeal more to the lunchtime market there because of the location. The site will also have an extensive cocktail menu and a very large selection of bourbons.
When asked what made the menu stand out, Brigg said: “I’d say we’re a true Memphis –style BBQ joint and we have very meaty ribs, not the normal offerings you get from a lot of other restaurants. Ours are damn meaty.”
There are plans for Porky’s to expand further, and the owners are currently looking for a third site which they hope to open next year.
Brigg said: “We’d like to expand and have a small chain, or maybe a big chain one day, who knows? We’ll be sticking to London at the moment though, we live here and it’s what we know.”
Porky’s is located at 18 New Globe Walk and will open in early June.