By Maria Cook
The Dairy Queen at 9800 N. Michigan Rd. closed its doors at the end of February, but a new restaurant featuring Cincinnati-style barbeque will soon take its place.
Porkopolis, which has two locations in Arizona, will open its first Midwest location in Carmel. Gavin Hart, the former franchisee of the Dairy Queen, will operate the new establishment, which is expected to open in May.
Hart, who is friends with Matt Hamilton, one of Porkopolis’ two operating partners, decided a barbecue restaurant would work well on Michigan Road. Hamilton agreed, as did Brady Bogen, Porkopolis’s other operating partner and an Ohio native.
“We have Midwest roots,” Bogen said. “You can get your traditional Midwest brisket, smoked ribs, smoked turkey and fried pickles.”
The restaurant’s moniker is derived from an old nickname for the city of Cincinnati. In the 1800s, the city was a hub for hog processing, an industry in which Bogen’s family worked. Bogen said his great-great-grandfather, Peter Bogen, coined the term “Porkopolis,” which Brady Bogen didn’t realize until discovering an article from 1921 in a Cincinnati newspaper.
“I never knew how much bacon I had in my blood,” Bogen said.
In addition to barbeque staples such as brisket, Bogen is excited to introduce Carmel to some of Porkopolis’ unique dishes, such as Redneck Tacos (corn cakes topped with pulled pork, jalapeño coleslaw and Brady’s Sweet & Smokey barbeque sauce) and the Brady Bacon Burger (a ground bacon and beef burger served over coleslaw and bacon strips, topped with pulled pork, pepper jack cheese and barbeque aioli).
“We bring a little bit of the southwest element into it,” Bogen said.