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Aug 2, 2012 09:55 AM

Location of The Pit in Durham Established

Location will be in the same building that houses Fullsteam on the corner of Geer and Rigsbee. It will have 2 parking lots. This was reported in the News and Observer.

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    1. re: carolinadawg

      "It will be our biggest restaurant," Hatem says.

      Wow, that's surprising because The Pit in Raleigh is pretty damn big!

      1. re: bbqme

        Seriously. 10,000 to 12,000 square feet plus a 2,000 square foot rooftop deck? Thats a huge space!

    2. That will have interesting repercussions for the food trucks that regularly park at Fullsteam and Motorco. No wonder the owner of Fullsteam had such a vested interest in amending the new food truck regulations adopted by the city.

      6 Replies
      1. re: bbqme

        Interesting question. I wonder if the food trucks that orbit Fullsteam and regularly charge $10+ for an adult portion of food (and the privilege of eating that food off of landfill-bound disposable plates whilst perched on an outdoor parkbench) will be able to compete with the overpriced BBQ museum that is "The Pit". The Pit is a joint that charges only $11.99 for a plate of mediocre BBQ but, more importantly, they do so in a climate controlled environment, with proper tables, silver ware and cloth napkins.

        1. re: ToothTooth

          So you're saying that the choice is between mediocre overpriced food or mediocre overpriced food and who has the right to sell it to you?

          I see this as hurting Fullsteam to some extent, though. Given that the Pit has a decent beer selection themselves, I doubt many of their diners will go over to Fullsteam for a beer, too. The trucks are a draw for Fullsteam and their absence may cut business some. That's fair competition. I'm not sure how fair it is to the trucks, though.

          1. re: rockycat

            The idea that food trucks cut into restaurant business -- or vice versa -- does not seem to me to be substantiated. I've spoken to several bloggers who follow food trucks in other states (most notably in Austin, TX which has an enormous food truck scene) and the conclusion has been that food trucks cut into fast food business, but not into restaurant business. That said, I am not terribly excited about The Pit opening in Durham, especially if the food is as mediocre as described. But even if it were good, Durham doesn't really need another bbq restaurant. Not when we still don't have good Italian, good Moroccan, and very spare options when it comes to some other basic cuisines. I realize that neither of those would work in a space this size, but I'd rather have a big interesting gastropub with great cocktails downtown than a bbq joint.

            1. re: durhamois

              Agreed. Bringing the Pit to Durham isn't even akin to bringing coals to Newcastle. It's more like bringing green wood to Newcastle. Serves no purpose.

              My point, though, wasn't about the trucks cutting into restaurants' business. I was thinking that by forcing the food trucks away from Fullsteam and Motorco, Fullsteam's business might be damaged. They and the trucks are synergistic and not being able to hit a food truck might limit Fullsteam's appeal to some.

              It does seem. though, that when a local businessperson gets too successful, we turn on them because they're no longer a struggling entrepreneur. Just sayin'.

              1. re: durhamois

                I don't think the pulled pork, which is what The Pit is known for with Ed Mitchell's former affiliation, is all that special. I'd rather go to Allen & Son for the chopped pork. But I think The Pit does a good job with ribs (and Allen & Son doesn't). I also think the sides at The Pit are really good! I look forward to going to The Pit for lunch.

                I think it'll be the food trucks, rather than Fullsteam, that will suffer if The Pit pushes to enforce the 50 feet ordinance. Fact of the matter is, there aren't that many places that people congregate in Durham like they do at Rigsbee-- especially in the evening. You have to admit, food bloggers aren't going to be unbiased on the issue. maybe a good compromise is that food trucks can continue within the 50 feet, unless they also sell barbecue.

                1. re: bbqme

                  Engage senseless contrarian mode:

                  I thought that The Pit's barbecue was great, but the sides were awful. I think a lot of people are led astray by the fact that the menu has two pork barbecue options- "pulled pork" which is just pork shoulder, and "chopped barbecue", which is whole hog. I have noticed on here that a lot of people who didn't like The Pit's barbecue use the term "pulled pork".

        2. I had wondered how The Pit would effect parking for Motorco and Fullsteam regardless of whether they have their own lots. I think the whole food truck thing is also unsubstantiated and I hate to say but some of the trucks that park there serve better food than the restaurants and if you are spending $10 for food than that is your own fault. Most of the items on most food trucks are around $6. I'm not sure if The Pit will effect the runners group that meets there but I tend to doubt it. It will be interesting to see what happens when Motorco or Fullsteam has one of their more major events or there is something like the Beaver Queen Festival. I think that if The Pit could have afforded it they should have moved into the new Diamond View being built by the ballpark but Vivace I believe is scheduled to go there. Durham has a few nice Italian spots but as a whole it IS lacking diversity in the food scene.

          3 Replies
          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

            An adult sized meal that costs $10 from a food truck food is my fault? Hmmm, let's see. I'll just use a single example (although many examples of this exist in the Durham food truck world):

            A single slider from KoKyu costs $4.00 (!) and they sell a "combo" as two sliders and an order of fries for $10. Sounds like the right portion size for an adult meal and is also comparable to a meal portion you might get from somewhere nearby like, say, Geer Street Garden or The Pit. In this example, I'm not even considering the fact that drinks are sold separately.

            To summarize in a word: "No". Not my fault.

            1. re: ToothTooth

              My apologies. But for me Kokyu is much tastier than some of the other places.

            2. re: burgeoningfoodie

              Agree about their sliders but I'll pay $7 for that Korean bbq quesadilla all day long! That thing is ridiculously tasty!

            3. It's taken a while, but it looks like it's finally ready to open. Saw a big "Now Hiring" banner up the other day.

              8 Replies
              1. re: HitBullWinSteak

                I think I saw a flyer about an Oct 30 fundraising event that included a hard hat tour of the new Durham location and a bbq dinner. Anyone else see this and have more details.

                1. re: boaviagem

                  boviagem do you think they'll be open by mid-November would love to go there for my father's birthday

                  1. re: Rory

                    Sorry, I don't know. If I see any news or a sign on the building I will post that info here.

                    1. re: Rory

                      I would imagine so and the same may be for Ed Mitchell's place over near DPAC/DBAP.

                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                        bfoodie, I'm confused isn't the Pit opening next to Fullsteam?

                        1. re: Rory

                          Durham is getting a double dose of new cue.

                          The Pit is opening next to Fullsteam.

                          Ed Mitchell is opening 'Que on the ground floor of the Diamond View III building.

                          Ed Mitchell left The Pit in May 2011.

                          1. re: boaviagem

                            boviagem thank you for clearing that up, so is Ed Mitchell's place in the Tobacco Center near opening? btw on Wednesday's Crook's Corner is now having bbq from around the state. Tonight it was Skylight Inn from Ayden.

                      2. re: Rory

                        Re The Pit from The Buzz column in today's Durham Herald Sun, "Greg Hatem ... said the opening date had not been set yet, but he expects the opening to be in two to three weeks."