Food News

Finger Licking Good

East Side Monthly Magazine ·

There’s a lot of culinary excitement on Thayer Street these days. Although some businesses have shuttered, new ones are moving in, like Durk’s Bar-B-Q. Durk’s, like many restaurants in the city, stems from the collaboration of established restaurateurs. It’s the product of Jay Carr and Steve Durkee from The Eddy with Jake Rojas of Tallulah’s Taqueria and Tallulah on Thames contributing as a chef consultant.

Jay had known for quite a while that he wanted to open a barbecue and whiskey bar. “[Providence] doesn’t have an American whiskey bar or a place to get great whiskey cocktails,” he explained. But the timing to open had to be right, and when the space that formerly held Shark Bar and Grill became available, Jay could see potential for the concept he had in mind. Then, everything seemed to fall into place: location, liquor license, interest. He even had it designed by Libby Slader, who had also designed The Eddy, among other notable restaurants around town.

The restaurant itself has warm wood tones throughout, a horseshoe shaped whiskey bar and Edison bulbs strung above. As for the barbecue, Jake Rojas pulled his inspiration from Texas, seeing as he is from El Paso. But he doesn’t limit the menu to Texas-style barbecue: in fact, any type that he likes is fair game. He smokes brisket, pork ribs, pulled pork, pork belly, chicken legs and a Durk’s-only-made sausage combining kielbasa and linguica with
fennel seeds.

As for the sides, think traditional options with elegant touches, like mac and cheese topped with barbecue seasoning or potato salad dolloped with whole grain mustard. Then there’s the house made desserts – yes, this barbecue joint has a pastry chef. Banana pudding, and lemon chess and pecan pie are all on the menu. “I wanted to figure out what the city wanted, needed and didn’t have,” says Jay. “And I wanted to do it well.”

Durk's Bar-B-Q
275 Thayer Street


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