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Balthazar's Shane McBride Plans Gowanus Pop-Up With Fellow Barbecue Nerds

The 150 person barbecue spot opens for the summer this Wednesday.

Devra Ferst

A handful of major chefs who also happen to be serious barbecue competitors will be spending their summer smoking and grilling meat along the Gowanus Riviera, at Swan Dive, the outdoor venue recently constructed by the team at the Green Building event space. The summer-long pop-up is called Pig Beach, and has two competitive barbecue teams behind it: Ribdiculous Bar-B-Krewe, captained by Shane McBride (executive chef of Balthazar) and Salty Rinse BBQ, run by barbecue aficionado Rob Shawger, Ed McFarland (owner and chef of Ed's Lobster), and Matt Abdoo (chef de cuisine at Del Posto). Both teams scored high marks this year at the famed World Championship Barbecue Competition at the annual Memphis in May festival. The project, apparently, came together after Shawger, who is a regular at Balthazar, got to talking shop with McBride. Between all of them, they plan to start serving a menu of baby back ribs, smoked short rib chili, a grilled brisket burger, and sweet pickles this Wednesday.

All the chefs will be keeping their jobs, so don't expect to see them there all of the time, but they have trained the chef who is working on site, and McBride tells Eater that he "will be there as much as I can." The project, which was met with some pushback from neighbors who are worried about the sound levels, is a test run for something more permanent. It's unclear whether these barbecue all-stars will be involved beyond the summer, but McBride does tell Eater: "Everyone's dream is to turn this into a bricks and mortar restaurant." Until then, Pig Beach is open at 3 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays, and at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Pig Beach

452 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY