A Barbecue Paradise
Porkopolis Celebrates Grand Opening of First Indiana Location
Photographer: Ryan Woodall
Porkopolis, 9892 N. Michigan Road, is a full-service barbecue restaurant that has recently opened its doors to a large group of barbecue enthusiasts.
Co-Owner Kim Hart says the Porkopolis chain started when several different elements came together at the same time.
“You could say the stars all aligned, or maybe ‘pigs really do fly,’” Hart says. “Here’s the groundwork in case people didn’t know. (Porkopolis Franchise Co-Owner) Matt Hamilton, and his friend Brady Bogen, owner of Brady’s Sauce, were born in Ohio. In the early 1800s, Peter Bogen, (Brady’s grandfather, of the now famous Brady Bogen lineage), moved his family to Ohio. In the spring of 1830, he opened a meat packing company in Cincinnati.”
The business quickly became successful.
“They became well-known for their hams and other preserved meats,” Hart says. “The level of production exceeded that of many other packers of their time. When the area was the country’s chief hog packing center and also about that time Cincinnati had become the country’s leading center for pork processing, it was Peter Bogen who is recognized for coining the nickname for Cincinnati as ‘Porkopolis.’”
Many years later, Brady Bogen started “Brady’s Sauce,” which is “a combination of Midwestern roots and more than 20 years of living in the Southwest.” Brady’s Sauce is a combination of “the sweetest and most sultry taste around.” It is exclusively served at Porkopolis restaurants, including the newest location right between Zionsville and Carmel.
Hart says that a barbecue’s sauce and spice are the cornerstones for the beginnings of a great barbecue experience.
“The sauce and spice were developed first, and Matt Hamilton, also known as ‘Hammy’, used the sauce and spice rub as the basis for everything on the Porkopolis menu,” Hart says. “Hamilton operated many different bars and restaurants throughout the U.S. before landing in Phoenix, Arizona 16 years ago.”
Hart adds that Porkopolis was started with the idea that barbecue means lots of different things to different people.
“For most people, having a barbecue meant that you would fire up the Weber Grill in the yard and cook burgers, dogs or steaks and chicken,” Hart says. “That is unless you grew up in the Southeast, or Texas or Kansas City. What better way to signify the evolution of a modern-day barbecue restaurant than to recognize the evolution of the pork industry itself? So, ‘Porkopolis’ was born.”
Hart stressed that “whether you enjoy great smoked meats, fresh grilled seafood with Porkopolis’s signature sauce, or a hand-tossed salad, we think Porkopolis will evolve into something delicious.”
Hart has been pleased with the positive reception the new restaurant has received from both Hamilton, Boone and Marion counties.
“They have been very welcoming,” she says.
Hart, who co-owns the Porkopolis franchise with her husband, Gavin, and Matt Hamilton, has a long history in the restaurant business.
“We used to be Dunkin Donuts franchisees, but sold out a few years ago,” Hart says. “We are also BurgerFi franchisees, with our first location in Fort Wayne. We also have the Hoosier Market/Marathon on Michigan Road as well.”
Hart noted that the most popular items on the Porkopolis menu are the Pulled Pork, Two Meat Platters, Porkopolis Quesadilla, Smoked Chicken Wings, Burnt Ends and Fried Pickles.
Hart’s personal favorites are the non-traditional barbecue items: The Smoked Meatloaf, Barbecue Jambalaya and The Redneck Tacos.
Hart believes Porkopolis stands out because of its “ability to blend a traditional barbecue experience, with an upscale casual offering of more than just smoked meats. We are also approachable to all age groups and demographics.”
Porkopolis already has a wide and enthusiastic group of devotees.
“Whether you enjoy great smoked meats, fresh grilled seafood with Porkopolis’ sauce, a made-to-order signature sandwich, or a hand-tossed salad, we think, Porkopolis has evolved into something delicious,” she says.
Porkopolis is located at 9802 N. Michigan Road or you can give them a call at 317-746-6736.