Editor's Note: This article is part of a new online series launched in July 2023 by the City of Gainesville intended to highlight and promote must-try businesses in the area of the historic square in downtown Gainesville, Georgia. As the community continues to flourish and welcome new restaurants, retailers and service providers – especially within the downtown corridor – leadership wishes to introduce available offerings to residents and visitors alike ahead of their next trip to the City of Gainesville. Must-Try Monday features will be released weekly via gainesville.org and the @GainesvilleGeorgiaGovernment (City of Gainesville, Georgia) Facebook page. Be sure to "Like" and follow us on social media so you don't miss the latest and greatest about the Hospitality Capital of the World!
The Inked Pig | 893 Main St. SW | 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday + 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (brunch) Sunday | Dinner hours to return in 2024
GAINESVILLE, Ga. (Dec. 4, 2023) – If you're a barbecue connoisseur, chances are you've heard of The Inked Pig.
Located in the Midland neighborhood of downtown Gainesville, The Inked Pig serves up barbecue like you've never tasted before ... classic Southern barbecue, but with a new-age twist.
"Enjoy our family-friendly restaurant with updated decor, tasty specials and delicious catering options," stated Andrew Elliott, who co-owns the joint with Jimmy Ellis. "We look forward to becoming your favorite barbecue spot in Gainesville!"
Like Arby's, The Inked Pig has all the meats ... smoked pork butt, barbacoa-smoked beef brisket, sweet tea-smoked chicken, smoked turkey breast and St. Louis cut ribs. Enjoy these smoky and savory proteins on their own or on a bun with all the delicious toppings. Make it a meal with the addition of one or more of the following sides: Brunswick stew, smoked chicken mull, slow-cooked collard greens with house bacon, creamy mac 'n' cheese, Southwestern-style creamed corn, buttermilk fried okra with Georgia white sauce, Southern-style coleslaw and/or smoked baked beans. Don't forget about dessert – The Inked Pig makes a mean peanut butter banana pudding and bread pudding ... we recommend treating yourself to both!
Learn the ins and outs of The Inked Pig, what makes it a Must-Try Monday-worthy business and why you should make it a destination the next time you're near downtown Gainesville by reviewing the exclusive Q+A with Elliott below.
Q: When did your business open and where? If your business has operated at other locations, please list those.
A: We started with Thanksgiving [meal] pre-sales in October of 2018. We later opened our restaurant in February of 2019.
Q: How long have you been operating on the historic square in downtown Gainesville?
A: We are located just off the square in the up-and-coming Midtown area. We’ve [been] operating in the previous location of the iconic Big Bear and Pirkel’s Café going on five years.
Q: What drew you to operate your business in downtown Gainesville?
A: When we visited the historic building, the quaintness of the town drew us in. We saw the potential of the area with the growth of what was to come. It’s really cool to be part of a new developing area, and to be able to say we’ve been here since all the change has started.
Q: What kinds of products and/or services does your business offer to the public?
A: We serve classic barbecue with a new-age twist. With years of culinary school under our belts, the weekly specials are something we feel set us apart from the rest. These are things you’ll definitely have to come in and try, or follow us on social media to see! We also offer full-service catering and have a food truck available.
Q: What offerings are you most proud of and why? Give us the scoop!
A: We take pride in our Triple Threat Sandwich, which is our smoked pulled pork, sugar-cured bacon and our house-cured bacon jam. This one-of-a-kind sandwich is topped with house slaw and pickles. Two other bestsellers on our menu are the fully loaded options. We offer a fully loaded baked potato topped with brisket or pork, and a creamy loaded macaroni and cheese bowl topped with pulled pork or brisket.
Q: Do you target a specific audience? If so, can you please specify?
A: We aim to target all of Gainesville. Everyone deserves to have their pallet “wowed”, which is why we have a variety of options on our menu.
Q: What is your favorite “must try” item you offer and why?
A: Our must-try item would definitely be the “Special of the Week”. We get phone calls daily asking what the special is this week. These specials change, but some examples are loaded cornbread topped with pulled pork, [a] smoked chicken Philly or a brisket melt with jalapeño jam and crispy onions. These are all things you’ll have to follow us on Facebook or Instagram to stay in the loop for!
Q: In your own words, what makes your business a positive addition to the downtown cityscape?
A: Everyone loves barbecue, it’s something that can bring friends and family together. We hope that being a cornerstone business in the Midland area encourages other hospitality and service industry establishments [to] join us in revitalizes this part of town.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: If you haven’t visited us for brunch on Sunday, we promise it’s something that won’t disappoint. Our menu changes quarterly, but we serve everything from traditional breakfast plates to smoked salmon dishes to other barbecue-inspired classic brunch dishes.
PHOTO CUTLINE | The Inked Pig is located at 893 Main St. SW on the outskirts of historic downtown Gainesville. Find additional photos shared via the @GainesvilleGeorgiaGovernment Facebook page.