A first look around Blue Belly BBQ [Photo: Eater Philly]
Gene Giuffi, owner of Cochon on East Passyunk, is working on opening his next restaurant, Blue Belly BBQ at 6th and Catharine. Eater Philly snapped a few shots of the former Little Fish space, which is coming along nicely, and should be up and running in mid-June.
"If we were really pushing, we could open in two weeks," Giuffi told Eater. "But, we aren't in a rush, and Cochon is really keeping me busy. So, we will be ready to go in the middle of June."
The kitchen, tables, and chairs are all complete, and all that's left to do is decorating the interior. Giuffi said that they were just going to put up pictures of BBQ animals like cows and pigs, and not do too much else. The space will have wooden picnic-like tables inside, circled around a large countertop that separates the kitchen and seating area, with five tall stools. Giuffi also said the building has been zoned for outdoor seating, so he's planning on that, too.
Originally, Chef Giuffi planned a menu with almost 30 items on it, but has decided to just focus on a few flagship proteins with different sauces. The pulled pork will be done Carolina-style, and he will feature a lamb neck barbacoa. All meats will be smoked either in-house or at Cochon across the street. Giuffi is currently "seasoning the restaurant" with fruitwood chips, which is already intense even at this early stage of construction, making the entire building smell delicious.
"We're not calling ourselves an official any kind of barbecue, so that really leaves the door open," Giuffi told Eater. "So, since we can try anything, we're going to do it all. See what sticks and what doesn't."
Giuffi had originally earmarked the space for a neighborhood pizza shop, but found it nearly impossible to get a giant pizza oven in the small space. Giuffi wouldn't discuss whether he is still looking for a place to open a pizza joint, though, but it looks to be a good bet.
"I spent all this money on a pasta extruder too, and really have no place for it," said Giuffi. "But, I'll figure out a place for it. Right now I use it with my two-year-old at home, and we have a blast making pasta there."
· Blue Belly BBQ Coming to Queen Village [~EPHI~]