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Pig Beach BBQ to close flagship Brooklyn location Dec. 30 after lot sold as part of Gowanus Rezoning

Pig Beach employees working behind the counters on a busy Wednesday night.
Pig Beach’s flagship Brooklyn location will close on Dec. 30, its owners announced on Wednesday, as the lot the restaurant sits on has been sold as part of the Gowanus rezoning.
Photo by Caroline Ourso

The owners of the popular Gowanus barbecue joint Pig Beach announced they will be closing the doors to their flagship Brooklyn location on Dec. 30.

According a post shared on social media, the 480 Union St. restaurant was sold to local developer Tankhouse and MacArthur Holdings as part of the Gowanus Rezoning project. It’s not yet clear what will be built on the lot in place of the existing building. 

“Progress is always the way in NYC — and perhaps that’s part of its dynamic charm, the shiny new flipside to its timeless patina,” restaurant owners Rob Shawger, Shane McBridge, Matt Abdoo, Gary Kravetz and Dennis Lu said online. “But along with the major facelift the whole Gowanus Canal area is about the undergo, so go many of the local businesses and the employees that made them such an essential part of the neighborhood.”

Since its opening in the summer of 2016, Pig Beach has become a neighborhood staple. With so many beloved fans, the owners have “left the door open” with the new landlords to potentially reopen Pig Beach at the new development, but will continue to look for another Brooklyn location in the meantime. 

“Our team created a family and dog friendly, home away from home, a go-to neighborhood spot where friends near and afar could gather to hang and relax over some awesome BBQ and amazing drinks,” the Pig Beach team wrote. “We became part of the Brooklyn fabric of life and in turn, it wove itself into ours.”

Following the announcement of their closing, patrons gathered for another taste of BBQ.
Following the announcement of Pig Beach’s closing, patrons gathered for another taste of BBQ. Photo by Caroline Ourso

Disappointed locals on Wednesday expressed hope that a new site for Pig Beach can be found quickly as their neighborhood begins to transform.

“I come here with my dog a lot in the summer. It’s a great spot especially when the weather is nice,” said Elizabeth Breeden. 

One returning customer, Timothy Perkins, said the barbecue eatery always has good service and a full crowd.

“Feels like a lot of businesses are going out in this area. This neighborhood feels like it’s about to really change,” Perkins said. “I’ve seen like 10 buildings get torn down in this area recently.”

The Brooklyn location will remain open until Dec. 30.
The Brooklyn location will remain open until Dec. 30. Photo by Caroline Ourso

Within the rezoning process Gowanus, Perkins fears the “neighborhood is changing” and he anticipates what will come in its place.

“The disappointment really sets in when you see what the replacement is,” he said.

Pig Beach will remain open at its Queens and southern Florida sites, and many of its Brooklyn employees will relocate to the Queens location. The chain plans to expand to Louisville, Kentucky next year.

As the Brooklyn bar enjoys its last few weeks in Gowanus, owners invite their faithful customers out for a time of celebration.

“We hope you all will join our team in celebrating our last few week at Pig Beach BBQ in Brooklyn. We’ll be cooking up a lot of great stuff and we promise it will be fun,” the owners said online. “Because that’s what BBQ is all about after all: food, family and fun.”

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