A lot has changed since Hoggy’s first opened in Linworth back in 1991.
To be honest, until I visited Hoggy’s on Bethel Rd. a few weeks ago, I hadn’t stepped foot in the barbecue establishment since about 2006. When I was a kid in the 90s, Hoggy’s had a reputation for serving delicious BBQ. But over the years, that reputation waned.
After a decade of leaning into the catering side of the business, there’s a rebirth happening at Hoggy’s. Kyle Turner, son of Hoggy’s co-founder Mark Turner, is leading the charge in rebuilding the trust that Columbus diners have in the establishment.
“People come in every day, and they’re like, ‘I haven’t had Hoggy’s in years.’ And in my mind, I’m like, ‘Oh, well, thank God, they’re coming back,'” said Turner. “Because part of the clawing back process has been gaining trust.”
These days, everything at Hoggy’s is made from scratch with fresh ingredients, and the changes are apparent from the first bite. From the flavorful sauces to the slow-smoked-for-hours BBQ, there’s a lot of attention to detail, no matter how big or small the menu item is.
The food still has a nostalgic quality to it, but there are also little culinary innovations that make everything feel new and exciting.
Turner didn’t give too many of his cooking secrets away, but when I complimented the unique (and delicious) mac and cheese, he did share that the recipe originally came from his grandmother. Over the years, it had lost some of the elements that made it special, mostly due to cost savings.
Knowing how his grandmother made the mac and cheese, it was one of the things he was adamant about changing, and I’m glad he did because it was a genuine treat to try.
Now that Turner has really leaned into his role, he spends every day making sure that the business is getting better every single day, and that includes taking a hard look at what they’re getting right and wrong and fixing the things that aren’t working.
“We were not in a position where we had a lot of money,” said Turner. “When I started we were losing a lot of money. I’ve had to do a rebuild and the only way I could do that is honesty and good products.”
With only one Hoggy’s location, Turner and the team can focus on creating quality food that customers will love coming back for. Located at 830 Bethel Road, you can swing by Hoggy’s to try it out for yourself every day of the week from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For more info, or to order online, visit hoggys.com.