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Rustic BBQ joint sets up shoppe in Andersonville

pork_shoppeSmelling something off-the-bone and succulent on Clark Street? No, your head isn’t clouded with smoke.

The famous Chicago barbecue joint, Pork Shoppe, is firing up the grills and slow-cooking a host of mouthwatering meats in preparation for the grand opening of its second location today, April 30.

After a year chockfull of gritty construction and rustic design, Pork Shoppe’s owners are readying the smoke signal at 5721 N. Clark St. (the former Kingfisher Restaurant), letting Andersonville residents know their new location is open for business.

The restaurant first opened its doors in 2010 on Belmont Avenue in Avondale with the help of executive chef Jason Heiman — a 20-year culinary veteran who was trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.

Taking the best pieces of BBQ from across the nation and making them its own, Pork Shoppe describes itself as “a no frills, no gimmicks, nothing fake and everything you expect from BBQ joint.”

Putting Heiman’s urban spin on classic American barbecue, the shop made the decision to herd its tasty dishes to a completely refurbished location in the Andersonville neighborhood.

Much larger than its over-the-counter, backbone location in Avondale, Pork Shoppe’s space on Clark Street will function as a full-service, 150-seat BBQ restaurant complete with a full bar, beer garden, wait staff and added menu options.

Despite the venue and menu expansion, the owners maintain the Andersonville Pork Shoppe will emulate the same simple, comfortable and salt-of-the-earth feel its Avondale location, and the traditional American BBQ joint, boasts.

“It’s stylish but not over the top,” said Steven Ford, co-owner of Pork Shoppe. “While the new location is higher in design than the Belmont shop, it’s still very comfortable, very warm and very family friendly.”

According to Ford, a great BBQ restaurant is not only determined by the tenderness of the meat, but also by the atmosphere in which it’s enjoyed. He believes BBQ lovers often associate the food with family, which is one of the reasons that compelled Pork Shoppe owners to open their second location on Clark Street.

“Barbecue, in our minds, is a family thing and Andersonville is full of lots of families. It’s very neighborhood-ey, it’s everyday people, it’s Chicago,” said Ford. “[Barbecue] is comfort food and Andersonville is history, tradition and comfort.”

New to the area, Pork Shoppe hopes to become a community staple where locals can kick back, enjoy flavorful BBQ and, over time, become regulars.

“We want to be a part of the community, we want to be involved,” said Ford. “We went into the barbecue business because we enjoyed the simplicity of it — the food comes from the heart and soul. This is about family, about feeling good and being comfortable.”

Pork Shoppe is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sundays through Thursdays, and from 11 a.m. to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays.

For more information about the shop’s menu and offerings, visit its website at http://www.porkshoppechicago.com/.


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