Amy Jo Kinyon
The creative juices began flowing for Jason Strotheide more than a year ago when he began working on building the smoker that now resides next to the small building at 501 N. Cochran in Charlotte. If all proceeds according to plan, Jason and his wife Melissa will open The Whistlepig BBQ for business during Frontier Days, Sept. 8 through 11.
Traveling by the location, Jason would dream of the possibilities contained in the small brick building and lot.
“I thought it would be an awesome tiny little restaurant,” remarked Jason. “I have a lot ideas for the place, but out of the gate it’s going to be real simple, no frills. Just great food at affordable prices.”
With a health inspection completed and permit issued, the county planning commission will hold a public hearing on Sept. 6 to give final clearance for the business. These final hurdles and a bit more sweat equity are all that stand between Jason and realization of his dream. Searching for a venue around Charlotte for nearly a year, he is excited to have a place to create tasty selections and serve the community. When he is working on the building, interested people often pull in to ask when he’ll open, and share their excitement to try the menu.
An executive chef on the campus of MSU, Jason has been working to revamp the small building in preparation for opening next month. The business will give Jason the chance to let his creative ideas take form. At MSU his menu must meet the needs of hundreds of students and staff who hail from all over the globe and come to the table with a plethora of dietary needs.
“It is a crazy good environment to work in,” said Jason. “You can be as creative as you want to be while meeting the needs of so many and all the bells and whistles are there. Any kind of equipment you could want is there to use.”
He is hoping to bring some of those culinary flavors to Charlotte, while still exploring the palette of diners.
“We are going to give people what they’re expecting, but offer broader flavors as well,” said Jason.
The menu will be grounded in traditional BBQ and southern comfort flavors while offering a taste of the exotic from time to time. Jason is hoping to try out Latin, Caribbean and Middle Eastern flavors in his smokers and is looking forward to exploring more flavors in the future.
The site will feature picnic seating and seasonal hours. Jason is also planning to be available to cater special events, such as New Year’s Eve parties and Super Bowl orders.
For more information, and to keep up do date on the renovation progress, visit The Whistlepig BBQ on Facebook.