Hometown Bar-B-Que


454 Van Brunt Street


Tuesday to Thursday noon to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday noon to midnight, Sunday noon to 10 p.m. Closed Monday.


Photo by Dominic Perri

When Hurricane Sandy shattered Red Hook, few believed the outsized barbecue restaurant Bill Durney had projected for a cavernous industrial space on Van Brunt Street would ever open its doors. But eleven months later, with the help of indefatigable community hands and nary a cent from the government or insurance, Hometown Bar-B-Que sold its first plate of brisket and cemented its reputation as one of the city's finest smokehouses. Since that day in 2013, the born-and-raised Brooklynite's menu has evolved, but the core vision remains unwavering: Pay homage to the live fire pits and beef traditions of Texas with a New York twist. In Durney's case, that twist often manifests as a synthesis of spices and flavors derived from the multicultural community of his youth — like succulent lamb belly bánh mì, a tribute to Vietnamese grocers; and bacon pastrami tucked into a tender, steamed bao, a teasing nod to his Jewish neighbors. Besides brisket, in-the-know patrons order Korean sticky ribs, which are first smoked and then fried, off the “secret menu." A solid selection of American whiskeys, regular live music, and the now-classic beef ribs capped with the salty-sweet hard-earned bark that's a hallmark of eight to ten hours of smoking convert the steady stream of customers into loyal regulars.