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Pig Candy BBQ blends good food, neighborhood history

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Posted at 1:20 PM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 18:27:06-04

CINCINNATI — Paul Montgomery hopes his Pig Candy Barbecue, which will open March 26 in California, Ohio, both honors the neighborhood's history and builds toward a future he and his wife dreamed of years ago.

"My wife and I, the other half, Christina kind of came up with the goal of owning our own place about seven years ago," Montgomery said. "And then we stumbled across this building five years ago and it's been quite the process."

Pig Candy's building, located at 5901 Kellogg Ave., served as California's police station in 1913, Montgomery said.

The barbecue restaurant's basement kitchen was once the station's horse stables.

"We saved as much of the historical charm as we could, but at the same time a 100 percent complete remodel," Montgomery said.

Pig Candy includes a dine-in area, grab-and-go counter and outdoor seating that can accommodate about 70 people.

The restaurant's decor reflects the history of the California community.

"We have a town historian named Jackie," Montgomery said. "She's 93-years-old, born and raised in California, Ohio. She let Christina into her archive and go through all of her old photos. These are all photos California, Ohio, and Coney."

Montgomery said he hired longtime chef Luke Trinosky to run the kitchen.

"It's kind of the same barbecue, but it's a different barbecue," Trinosky said. "We have instead of the brisket, we're doing the brisket one day a week, but we're doing the shoulder clod, which is an old school cut a beef."

Trinosky said Pig Candy will offer a few items not seen in most barbecue places.

"We've got vegan goetta, which is everyone likes goetta so let's let the vegans enjoy it too," he said.

The vegan goetta is just part of a healthier spin Trinosky is giving most of Pig Candy's side items.

"We have a pasta salad. There's a grain salad," he said.

Trinosky added there will be a few barbecue favorites such as creamy coleslaw though, "because it goes so great on a sandwich."

Pig Candy will also offer gluten-free waffles and a special Sunday brunch menu, Montgomery said.

"As my wife and I have gotten older, we try to watch what we eat a little bit more," he added.

Montgomery said he hopes Pig Candy helps fuel California's revitalization.

"My wife and I have just fallen in love with this little community, this little river town," he said.

For more information about Pig Candy visit the barbecue's Facebook page.