The Texas-style barbecue and Creole joint could open at 2241 N. Western Ave. as soon as next week, owner and chef Nestor Soto said.
"We are trying to fix some things and waiting on smoker repairs, but we're hoping to open sometime next week," Soto said Thursday.
Menu highlights include slabs of ribs, "beer can chicken" drenched in American lager reduction sauce, pulled pork and brisket sandwiches, seafood (bacon-wrapped shrimp, catfish and salmon), pork poutine, shrimp etouffee and more.
"I like the burnt ends. It reminds me of where I grew up in Houston, Texas. To me, that's barbecue," said Soto, who plans to serve as chief smoker for the first few months as he trains his team.
Soto said the name for the restaurant was inspired by an episode of "Curious George" featuring a whistle pig, or groundhog. Soto was watching the show with his son and asked the toddler, "What if I opened a restaurant named Whistle Pig?"
Soto, who has worked in the restaurant industry for several years and lives in suburban Forest Park, said he helped to open Weber Grill Downtown and Kinfork BBQ in suburban Schaumburg's Woodfield Mall.
He is part owner of a El Jefe de Tacos in Highland, Ind., and Rack House Kitchen and Tavern in suburban Arlington Heights. Soto's "Beer Can Chicken" is a staple on the latter restaurant's menu, according to reports.
Whistle Pig, which will be BYOB until it gets a liquor license, will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The 35-seat restaurant offers dine-in, delivery, pickup and catering.