Now that NYC, especially Brooklyn, has officially declared its love for quality BBQ, as proven by the overwhelming success and popularity of places like Briskettown, Mighty Quinn, Fette Sau, and Fletcher’s, it would only make sense to introduce a real honky tonk, family-friendly, BBQ destination restaurant and bar that combines everything Texas-style BBQ is known for.
Welcome to HOMETOWN.
HOMETOWN, located across the street from Fairway and right next door to Brooklyn Crab in Red Hook, was at one point under six feet of water when Hurricane Sandy struck Red Hook back in the fall. Now that things seem to be finally getting back to normal in the Brooklyn neighborhood, HOMETOWN is gearing up for a summer opening that will undoubtedly launch it to quickly become a Red Hook staple and destination spot that will draw New Yorkers as far as the Bronx and the Upper West Side.
Billy Durney, HOMETOWN’s owner and pit master, spent years traveling the world as a body guard to the rich and famous until he decided to move away from the jet-setting life-style and devote his time to family while also turning his attention to his passion for BBQ. After years of studying a variety of BBQ techniques and playing around with restaurant concepts, Billy partnered up with some well-seasoned restauranteurs including Chris Miller (Smith & Mills, Super Linda, Tiny’s) and the idea of HOMETOWN was born.
Last week we were invited to a special friends and family gathering at the nearly-completed HOMETOWN for a tour of the space and got the chance to try Billy’s [absurdly delicious] BBQ while chatting him up about his new restaurant.
How long have you been dreaming about opening your own BBQ place?
HOMETOWN was not a life-long dream, but has become my complete soul. After a wonderful career traveling domestically and internationally in the private protection field and spending large amounts of time away from my family I decided to chase a career in what moved me most outside of protection. And that was BBQ and cooking. BBQ is about family and friends and good times and I think that’s who I am and the message I want to spread. Having said that Hometown was not a life-long dream, the concept itself has evolved over many years of traveling through almost every state in the US and many more countries internationally. My respect for the men and women who stand over fires for 20 plus hours watching their pits closely to create their idea of the perfect BBQ bite humbles me every time I taste their food .
How did you decide on the name HOMETOWN?
Hometown, as a name, was created first for both of my grandmothers. Each of them imigrated here from their respective countries (Norway and Ireland ). After arriving on Ellis Island they found their homes in Red Hook .
Secondly, Chris and I are extremely proud of being New Yorkers. I am born and raised in Brooklyn and Chris in Manhattan. We believe in the old school neighborhood-feel and Red Hook provides an amazing opportunity to be a part of a very special small town place in our “big bad city.”