BLOOMINGTON — The owners of a new restaurant in downtown Bloomington hope to begin serving up savory smoked meats and other barbecued fare later this summer.
Tyler Holloway is partnering with John Solberg and John VanBragt to open the Brass Pig Smoke & Ale House in the former Pub America at 602 N. Main St.
"John Solberg is the specialist in this. He really knows what he is doing with the smoker," said Holloway. "He's been wanting to do this for about three years. I finally pulled the trigger and said, 'OK, let's do it.' We found a location, and we just went from there."
They were originally planning on opening in June or July.
"Now it's looking like probably August or September," said Holloway. "This process is taking a lot longer than I expected to get the permits and plans drawn up and kitchen designed.
"We have it gutted," he added. "We took everything out except for the bar. We're going to leave the bar where it is at. We're waiting on permits now to start construction."
Downtown Bloomington Association President Jan Lancaster said the new restaurant will be a great addition to the downtown.
"I am absolutely thrilled," said Lancaster. "When he goes for a liquor license I will be speaking in favor of it from the DBA. We really want restaurants in the area."
Previously, Mayor Tari Renner and Bloomington City Council have tried to limit the downtown bar scene by not increasing the number of tavern licenses in the 300 through 600 blocks of North Main Street.
"I think his (Holloway's) intention is for it to be a restaurant," said Lancaster. "He's obviously going to spend a lot of money to get a smoker in there. We're thrilled about it."
All of the meats will be smoked as well as some vegetables and a fish dish, said Holloway.
"On a regular basis we'll have smoked pulled pork, ribs, beef brisket, chicken and turkey ... but my pit master has been talking about doing smoked prime rib and maybe lobster tails as specials," said Holloway. "We'll also have a fish. We haven't chosen one yet. It could be trout or salmon, but we're kind of leaning toward the trout right now."
Side dishes include potato salad, coleslaw and baked beans, "and we are planning on doing deep-fried corn on the cob," said Holloway. "We will also have our own sauces."
The menu will feature plates from $8 to $15. A two-meat plate will cost more.
The restaurant will have a full-service bar with craft beers on tap.
"I believe we have 10 tap handles, but our focus behind the bar will be on whiskeys," said Holloway.
He plans to have a staff of about 15 employees.
The establishment will be open from 11 a.m. to probably midnight seven days a week, with the kitchen closing at 10 p.m., said Holloway.
"We're really looking forward to it," he said. "We're just as excited to get it open as a lot of the people I've heard are excited about it, too."