Dampf Good Barbecue smokes its briskets for a dozen or so hours, but its weekend pop-ups barely last 90 minutes.
The popular barbecue pop-up will soon have a more permanent smoke spot. Starting this fall, Dampf will set up a long-term residency at Cary’s Phillips Farm, the first move toward an eventual brick and mortar, owner Nick Dampf said.
“More and more we’re thinking of doing a brick and mortar,” said Nick Dampf, who runs the barbecue operation with his brother Bryce. “I don’t have any restaurant experience. I just liked cooking barbecue, and people told me I should sell it.”
While Dampf’s barbecue love was born in the backyard, his background is in tech, working for years in RTP until last December, when he made the barbecue plunge full-time. Even with years of brisket sellouts, he said he still wants Dampf to grow sustainably.
“This is the progression,” Dampf said. “You start with a tent, move into a trailer and then do your time in a trailer.”
That trailer is a 31-foot-long portable smokehouse, which Dampf plans to set up at Phillips Farm as early at October. Dampf will be open four days a week, slicing brisket market style for lunch and then aiming to switch things up for a dinner service.
“We want to give the impression that this is the restaurant, not a pop-up,” Dampf said. “It’s practically in RTP and can be a really cool kind of escape from the day. We hope the word gets out that we’re an opportunity to get up from the desk and get outdoors and really feel like you disconnect.”
Dinner menus are a landscape the Triangle’s new generation of barbecue joints is still tinkering with. Lawrence Barbecue in RTP runs a lunch and dinner service, often serving up special dinner sandwiches. Raleigh’s Longleaf Swine plans to morph into kind of a late-night diner in the evenings.
Dampf hopes to follow that model, serving things like brisket burgers and pastrami sandwiches, Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches, smoked prime rib and a beef and cheddar croissant. Dampf is also developing a homemade hot dog.
On the beverage side, Nick said Dampf Good will focus on craft sodas instead of beer or alcohol.
Dampf had previously planned to launch its first brick and mortar in Clayton with the construction of the new mini food hall Craften, but Nick said he had left that project.
In Phillips Farm, Dampf said he had explored other locations and projects but found the balance he’s looking for in his barbecue.
“It’s a labor-intensive thing doing barbecue,” Dampf said. “It would kill us to be open seven days a week. We put a big focus on family time.”
Dampf is already doing regular pop-ups at Phillips Farm on Saturdays, but look for expanded hours and a larger menu later this fall.
To follow Dampf Good Barbecue’s progress, check out its Instagram, instagram.com/dampfgoodbbq.
Read the full article here