The Pit BBQ Grille Opens this Weekend in Clintonville
As of noon on Saturday, January 23, The Pit BBQ Grille will open its doors in Clintonville at 4219 N. High St.
Fans of the growing barbecue joint can expect the same fresh, house-made signature menu as The Pit’s other Central Ohio locations. The main attractions are the Polish Boy and Polish Girl – a beef polish sausage topped with fresh cut fries, coleslaw, and PIT sauce, with the addition of pulled pork, pulled chicken or brisket for the girl version.
Friends and Co-Owners Chimdi Chekwa, Bryant Browning, D’Andre Martin and Mike Johnson say the family recipes they are serving to the masses are made with love. Four hand-shredded cheeses make their way into Mildred’s Mac & Cheese, while Cece’s greens are an eight-hour process.
With the Clintonville location, diners will also see some sweet spots on the menu, with the addition of desserts like cake and banana pudding.
The owners are excited to be opening in a neighborhood that’s not only centrally-located, but supportive of small, local businesses. Chekwa says Martin literally drove the neighborhood looking for an ideal location. They found it in a strip of businesses that include other Columbus-based gems like Hot Chicken Takeover, Northstar Cafe and Jeni’s.
Due to the pandemic, Clintonville’s opening won’t be the same big, community-driven affair they’d like to do, but they look forward to the day they can really connect with the community like their other locations.
Dine-in seating will be limited, with only about four spots, but come warmer months, there’s room for around 16 on the patio out front. During the pandemic, The Pit has largely shifted to online and call-in ordering.
The last year has brought some changes to The Pit’s lineup. The restaurant opened a location at 1542 Parsons Ave. in February 2020, which at the time was its second. As Parsons opened, plans were in motion for Clintonville, which would have been restaurant number three.
However, the pandemic brought a close to The Pit’s first brick-and-mortar restaurant at 3545 Cleveland Ave. in North Linden. The owners say they were heartbroken to close the location, but it just wasn’t sustainable.
There is good news, though. The Pit will still be up to three locations in 2021. The barbecue joint joined the lineup at North Market Bridge Park.
The Market is currently open under limited preview, while vendors like The Pit wrap up construction. The owners are aiming for a March to early spring opening for that location.
In addition to its trio of brick-and-mortar spots, The Pit continues to operate its food truck, largely serving at private events. They offer catering as well – that’s where diners can find take-and-bake options for The Pit’s signature sides.
The Pit in Clintonville will be open from 11 a.m – 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 12 – 9 p.m. on Saturday and 12 – 7 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information, visit thepitcolumbus.com.
All photos by Susan Post