The Inked Pig may undergo a metamorphosis this summer, one that involves more seating and a speakeasy-inspired setting.
Co-owners Andrew Elliott and Jimmy Ellis have plans to lease the building next door and connect it to their Gainesville barbecue restaurant located on Main Street. Elliott explained that this expansion would double the customer capacity to 120 and create the opportunity for a full bar and lounge space.
“We’re wanting to feature high-end craft cocktails and high-end bourbons, scotches and whiskey,” he said.
In order to move forward with this project, the proposal must first go through the Gainesville Historic Preservation Committee. Elliott said the hearing is slated for Monday, May 3.
The next-door building is currently being leased by a private membership club. Elliott and Ellis intend to have the keys to the space on Tuesday, June 1. From that point they will begin renovations with the goal of opening the expanded area in late August to early September.
Elliott said new space will have a central bar. One side of the room will include lounge seating and cocktail tables, while the other will have high-tops for overflow dining.
The co-owners said they will continue producing their traditional lunch and dinner menus, but offer a lineup of tapas (small plated dishes) in the expanded area during the evening. Elliott said people can expect creative options that incorporate their love of barbecue and extensive culinary experience.
“It’ll be a little more upscale with finger food, stuff that would go good with drinks and over conversation,” Elliott said.
At the bar, Elliott shared that he intends to offer smoked-bourbon presentations, which includes placing the drink inside a box, filling the container with smoke, then opening it in front of patrons.
“We're doing a completely different feel to the bar scene than anything else in Gainesville,” Elliott said.