Porky's Place, a barbecue restaurant that raises its own pork and beef, opened last month at 7404 Ethan Allen Highway in New Haven. The family-run restaurant is owned by Lonie and Chrystal Parker of Waltham, whose sons do chores on the farm while their daughter cooks at the restaurant.
With seating indoors and out, Porky's Place accommodates about 55 people, Chrystal said. The business occupies the restaurant space that previously housed Carol's Hungry Mind Diner.
The ground beef and ground pork at Porky's Place come from animals raised on the Parkers' farm. Meat for dishes such as pulled pork and ribs is locally raised, but not on the family farm, according to Chrystal. Produce is grown at Lalumiere Farmstand and Greenhouse in Ferrisburgh.
Porky's Place grew out of the family's food truck, Porky's Backyard BBQ and Smokehouse, which launched in May 2017. Lonie and his father, Roger, crafted the vehicle from an old camper. They gutted the rig, kept the frame and built the steel-sided truck from the ground up, including installing a kitchen, Chrystal said.
Lonie smokes meats at the restaurant, which serves ribs, pulled pork, burgers, hot dogs and more. Porky's offers barbecue chicken Mondays and Tuesdays and beef brisket Fridays and Saturdays. Chrystal prepares side dishes and specials such as baked beans, salads, coleslaw and mac and cheese. Meals served with fries, coleslaw and pickles include the Hog Pile — a burger with mac and cheese — and the Porkster: ground pork topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and barbecue sauce.
Before opening in New Haven, Porky's Place operated for nine months out of the Vergennes Redemption Center at 15 West Main Street in Vergennes. Business has quadrupled since the move to New Haven and the opening of a proper restaurant, Chrystal reported.
"It's been great," she said. "Every day we see more faces and repeat customers."
The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Starting October 12, Porky's Place will open at 8 a.m. for breakfast Fridays and Saturdays, with plans to expand those hours.