RED HOOK — Southern barbecue will soon be smoking up the Brooklyn waterfront as Hometown opens on Van Brunt Street in August.
The barbecue restaurant will be serving brisket, pork shoulder, ribs and smoky charred jerk chicken alongside a selection of drinks from craft beers to bourbon and whiskey.
“Just the word, [barbecue], alone makes people happy,” said Billy Durney, co-owner and pit master of the barbecue spot.
But even several days before the big opening, the sweet smell of smoky cherrywood, white oak and barbecue from Durney’s test recipes drew in hungry locals — woth everyone asking the same question:
‘When are you guys opening?’
The restaurant, which sits across from Red Hook’s Fairway at 454 Van Brunt St., will start serving in a week or two, said Durney, who didn’t have a specific date but promised that the eatery would be open before Aug. 14.
Diners are served at the restaurant’s “Smokehouse,” a huge room with wood paneling from a 200-year-old Hemlock barn featuring its original floors and ceiling, as well as the “Ole Hickory,” a smoke pit which can cook about 700 pounds of meat at one time, said Durney, who is opening the restaurant with longtime friend Christopher Miller.
From Texas and North Carolina to South America, Durney's "Brooklyn-style" barbecue reflects his travels, training with respected pit masters and life in the borough, he said.
While the restaurant was set to open during the spring, as DNAinfo New York first reported last year, Hurricane Sandy flooded the space with 6 feet of water and damaged about $40,000 to $50,000 in equipment.
The storm delayed the opening by about three months, but Durney recalled the community coming together in its time of need.
“This neighborhood has a heart,” he said.
The name “Hometown” comes from Durney’s personal connection with Red Hook, as both his grandmothers lived in the neighborhood after they emigrated from Norway and Ireland, he said.
Open seven days a week from 5 p.m. till the barbecue runs out, customers can line up with trays, cafeteria-style, for portions of meat carved by the pound or in single servings.
Hot and cold sides includes macaroni and cheese, coleslaw and smoked beans, among others.
Beers and drinks, however, can be ordered from servers who bring them to the table.
Next to the “Smokehouse,” Hometown opens up into a room called the “Honky Tonk,” where Friday night and weekend performances will grace Red Hook with bluegrass, honky-tonk and blues music.
Durney hopes to turn the room into a rentable space from Monday to Thursday for large events, parties or even weddings, he said.
“Eat barbecue, have a cold beer, enjoy yourself,” said Durney, who left his career at a private protection firm to pursue his dream.
“Beer and barbecue make people happy.”