The great barbecue wave of 2011 is not yet through, kids. We’ve finally got an update on The Dancing Pig — the new restaurant we broke the news about over the summer which is set to take over the Nirvana spot (544 Castro Street) — and it will also be a BBQ spot. Nirvana has yet to close, but Grub Street gets word that that closing is likely happening within a week or two, after a delayed property transfer finally takes place. Once they close, new owner J.R. Kleysteuber tells us that Dancing Pig will open there within about 30 days. The concept is "San Francisco BBQ" which Kleysteuber explains is just going to be a mix of styles, including Carolina-style pulled pork and some house-special ribs.
"I’m from southern Indiana," he tells us. "Everybody does barbecue differently and we don’t want anyone trying to say this or that isn’t authentic. But trust me it will be good." Kleysteuber and partner Linda Holl are both bartenders at The Mix, a nearby Castro bar, and their third partner is Larry Metzger, owner of The Mix.
The chef is Michelle Agnew, who’s been an executive sous chef at the DeYoung Museum and previously worked for chef Hubert Keller at Burger Bar.
The bar program, which Kleysteuber says will evolve over the first few months, will, appropriately, have a bourbon focus.
We thought that Southpaw, Cedar Hill, Tupelo, and the upcoming Hops & Hominy were it for this Southern/barbecue trend, but clearly we were wrong. And this is also a big year for the Castro dining scene in general, with Canela and Criolla Kitchen both moving in, 2223 about to become Jake’s, and Fork Café still set to open in the former Fuzio space (the signs still say Fall 2011, but we’ll see).