August 23, 2016 / The owners of grain. and The Bayou announced today that their coming barbecue restaurant and bar on The ArtsWalk at City Center in Downtown Allentown will be named Queen City BBQ. The new restaurant, which will offer dine-in and carry-out options, will open in September 2016.
Owners Morris Taylor and Cristian Duarte say their latest casual eatery will offer high-quality authentic barbecue smoked on site. They are creating a homey atmosphere, complete with reclaimed barn wood, that will appeal to families as well as to adults seeking a fun bar scene. The new restaurant will seat around 150 and will provide outdoor seating and a fire pit on the ArtsWalk. An indoor/outdoor bar will offer 20 craft beers on tap and several frozen drink specialties. The restaurant’s interior will feature two shuffleboard tables, a jukebox and several TVs.
“We saw an opportunity to create a high-energy place with great food at an affordable price point for the neighborhood and the city,” Taylor said. “We chose the name Queen City BBQ to reflect that this will be a hometown place. We are a local company, and are opening this restaurant to help further the progress of Allentown’s redevelopment. We want to see all of the new and existing businesses succeed downtown. We are in it for Allentown and can’t wait to bring a new concept to market.”
Fred Grant will serve as executive chef at Queen City BBQ. Grant previously worked at Emeril’s Chop House and BAM, both at Sands Bethlehem, before becoming sous chef and later executive chef at the ArtsQuest Center in Bethlehem.
“Our menu will meld traditional barbecue with our Pennsylvania Dutch culinary heritage – think sweet potato rolls and pierogis – to create something that doesn’t exist, our own PA-style barbecue,” said General Manager Jerry Straub. “The food we serve will be just like what we smoke and eat in our own backyards.”
In September 2015, Taylor and Duarte opened grain. in the former Federal Grill space on Hamilton Street in Downtown Allentown, offering American contemporary dishes with culinary flairs from around the world and 24 beers on tap in a polished casual environment. Shortly after opening, grain. was named 2015’s Top Rated New Hot Spot in Pennsylvania by Yelp and Nightclub & Bar magazine.
More about Queen City BBQ in the media:
- “Queen City BBQ to open in Allentown Shula’s space in September, The Morning Call, August 23, 2016