The famous Husk cheeseburger is not going anywhere, and same goes for the fried chicken, pimento cheese and abundantly stocked bar.
But regulars of Husk Greenville, located at 722 S. Main St. downtown, will be in for a whole new dining experience when the restaurant reopens in mid to late November.
After keeping its doors closed for more than six months, Husk Greenville will reopen as Husk Barbeque, a more casual, takeout-friendly spin on the original Husk concept.
David Howard, president of the Neighborhood Dining Group, which owns Husk, said the COVID-19 outbreak gave the restaurant an opportunity to reevaluate the concept of the Greenville location.
“We started to wonder, ‘What if we didn’t do the same business model? What if we did something unique?’” Howard said.
While Husk’s three other locations in Charleston, South Carolina, Nashville, Tennessee, and Savannah, Georgia, have already reopened with relatively minor changes, Howard said Greenville’s location, which wasn’t performing as well, offered a chance to improve the business model for the new circumstances.
“So we came up with a couple of ideas and ended up focusing on barbecue, because we wanted to have a restaurant that was a little more approachable, more appealing to a wider audience, and something that was more fun and at a lower price point,” he said.
The menu, crafted by new executive chef and pitmaster David Jensen, will highlight smoked meats and meats cooked over live-fire embers, along with “reimagined, fresh Southern sides,” Howard said. Jensen, who replaces former executive chef Jon Buck, is a Greenville native who previously served as sous chef and butcher at Husk Charleston.
The final menu for Husk Barbeque is still being tweaked, but diners should expect some traditional barbecue selections, including baby back ribs, house-smoked sausages, brisket and pulled pork, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. To-go boxed lunch deals will also be added to the menu. The restaurant will continue to adhere to its mantra of only using ingredients that are found in the South, but Howard said within those parameters, the style of barbecue will vary.
“We don’t want to pigeonhole ourselves with one particular style,” he said, noting that diners can expect barbecue driven by the source ingredients, whether that be tomato-based, vinegar-based or mustard-based. “Although I will say, I’m personally not a big proponent of meats swimming in sauces. We want you to be able to taste the depth of flavor.”
The interior of the restaurant will see some minor changes. The bar will adjust its seating and expand its offerings to include frozen drink options, while the dining area will add booths and more TVs for live sports. Howard said in the coming months, he expects to add live music or possibly other events on Fridays and Saturdays.
The restaurant will also expand its hours and will be open for lunch through dinner from Tuesday through Sunday.
Howard said they plan to offer off-site catering sometime in the fall after the restaurant opens.