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Pig Guy comes to Bay Ridge

Pig deal: Barbecue joint coming to Third Avenue

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Bay Ridge will soon be a pig sty — but in a good way.

Pig Guy NYC — purveyor of all things pork at MCU Park — is opening a franchise on Third Avenue in Bay Ridge, and he’s promising his porcine provisions will shake up the neighborhood.

“We’re going to bring barbecue in Bay Ridge to a whole new level,” said the Pig Guy himself, Thomas Perone, who lives in the neighborhood.

It’s the first dine-in joint for Perone, who also slings swine at Citi Field and a Manhattan food market, and will serve as a flagship for future expansion, said a friend and one of the new restaurant’s franchisees.

“My partner and I are helping Tommy develop his franchise model,” said Pasquale “Bino” Trunzo, a Bensonhurst native now living in Bay Ridge. “We’re building the brand. If Tommy opens more stores, this is where people would come to train.”

The trio has chops — Perone is a longtime chef who cut his teeth at Gargiulos and Leo’s Casa Calamari before getting a culinary degree, Trunzo was general manager at Manhattan steak house The Palm for six years, and third partner George Venetsanakos has an accounting background, Trunzo said.

Plus they have a serious fixer. Real estate attorney and president of the Merchants of Third Avenue Robert Howe oversaw the deal on their digs at Third Avenue and 84th Street. The mover-and-shaker among Ridge merchants said the new restaurant is a success story in the making.

“We can’t wait for this to happen,” Howe said. “It’s three young entrepreneurs, and we’re excited about having them come to the avenue. Barbecue is a very popular format lately, and we’re glad to add it to the mix.”

Trunzo said opening in Bay Ridge, with its rows of eateries and nightlife cachet, was a natural choice.

“When you live in Bensonhurst and Dyker, Bay Ridge is kind of the playground,” he said. “It’s my home. I want to be able to participate and contribute to an already strong business district.”

Once the eatery opens, the scents of corn bread, collards, brisket, chicken — and of course, pork — will waft along Third Avenue, Perone said.

But it won’t be strictly Southern fare — more like smokehouse fusion for the foodie set, according to Trunzo.

“We have a chorizo-provolone dog with chimichurri — that’s Mexican sausage stuffed with Italian cheese, topped with an Argentinian sauce,” Trunzo said. “There are all these different influences elevating dishes, using more complex recipes. In Bay Ridge, as with other hot spots in Brooklyn, the culture is changing — there’s more attention than ever being put on food. People are more conscious to different things — fresh ingredients, green production, small batch beers — and that’s us.”

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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