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Early Look: Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant

A peek inside Del Ray's long-awaited barbecue joint.

No, we don't know when it will open.

All Pork Barrel BBQ restaurant proprietors "Mango" Mike Anderson and Bill Blackburn will say is "soon."

But if you've recently pressed your hands and face against the windows of the Mt. Vernon Avenue restaurant, you'll notice the long-awaited, much-anticipated barbecue joint is getting closer to completion.

Del Ray Patch received a sneak peek inside the restaurant during last week's First Thursday celebration. It was quickly apparent that Anderson and Blackburn aren't sparing any expense on the place, from ceiling to floor.

The stacked-stone pillars separating the bar from the dining room, as well as the honest carpentry on display throughout the restaurant, give the place a very unique vibe. 

The approximately 40-foot soapstone bar top might just be the longest counter in the city. Illuminated by a dozen hanging lights, it promises to be a great place to watch a game with some friends and neighbors.

Closer to the front door sits a rustic community table fashioned out a giant single piece of wood. Anderson, who purchased the piece on the Eastern Shore, said he's still trying to concoct the perfect tall tale behind its origin.

The dining tables were expected to arrive over the weekend. Anderson said they will fit the rustic carpentry prevalent throughout the space.

Above the dining area, a video display board will show what's on the menu. Anderson and Blackburn also discussed other possibilities for the board, including a news ticker, market report and even a real-time Twitter feed focusing on Del Ray and barbecue. 

When the tour winded into the kitchen, the gas-power Southern Pride smoker came into view. Unfortunately we didn't grab a photo, but let's just say it's so big it puts granddaddy's 1978 Cadillac Eldorado to shame.

You can keep up with restaurant's progress on Facebook by clicking here. Anderson, Blackburn and company have been making regular updates and asking followers for suggestions on beer offerings (DC Brau, please!) and barbecue accompaniments.

Also, be sure to check out the Pork Barrel BBQ website

Dana Damico August 08, 2011 at 11:41 PM
It really is quite beautiful.
Joel Fortner August 09, 2011 at 01:13 AM
I'm ready for Pork Barrel and several other Del Ray eateries to open! My wife and I plan to never leave the neighborhood to eat out.
BG Del Ray August 09, 2011 at 02:07 AM
What's the going theory on why it's taking so long?

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