Despite the inarguably legendary status of Texas barbecue, Denton isn’t exactly known as a haven for smoked meats. That could all soon be changing as The Juicy Pig, Denton’s newest barbecue spot, opens its doors this week.
The brainchild of longtime local restaurateur Ken Currin, who also owns GreenHouse Restaurant and Loco Cafe on Denton’s North Locust Street, The Juicy Pig will offer traditional Texas barbecue options – the requisite brisket and sausage – alongside St. Louis-style ribs, smoked chicken, and pulled pork in a new spin on the traditional barbecue joint. Coming over from Loco Cafe, baker Janita Peabody will turn out freshly fried pies made with seasonal fruits.
There are two ordering options: walk up or dine-in. The walk-up menu allows patrons to order, eat, and drink outside the restaurant, including their own cars. This, of course, means that you can order up a plate of ribs and enjoy a Lone Star (available as a single or by the sixer) in the comfort of your own car. If that doesn’t appeal to you, diners can also sit inside at one of the restaurant’s beautiful repurposed steel tables.
The kitchen will be led by "Creative Genius" (actual title) and Denton culinary legend Pam Chittenden. According to local Denton lore, you’re not a true Dentonite if you’ve never had the joy of partaking in "Pam Food" at least once in your life. The wife of Dan’s Silverleaf owner Dan Mojica, Chittenden has long catered popular local events like the annual Rock Lottery at Dan’s Silverleaf and weekly "Pam Food" nights at Paschall Bar. To build the hype, Chittenden has been hosting preview night teasers at GreenHouse, where locals can test the wares before The Juicy Pig’s opened their doors.
The meats will be smoked in a custom-built smoker. Currin enlisted Mark Marshall of Denton’s Marshall Machine Shop to produce two ten-foot-long smokers for the new restaurant. According to Currin, this style of smoker is more labor-intensive than others, but he "didn’t want just any smoker." As a result, a Juicy Pig employee will sit with the slowly-smoked meats through the night.
The Juicy Pig is within walking distance of Currin’s eateries on Locust St., and will officially open its doors on Wednesday, January 6. The Juicy Pig will be open 7-days a week, from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., or until they sell out.