LEWISTON — In taking his barbecue on the road to weddings, concerts and other events, Vincent Oden was asked too many times when he was going to open a restaurant.

Next month, the former Margaritas restaurant off Lisbon Street will become The BBQ Pit, Home of Alabama BBQ.

“With my experience in the restaurant business and his experience with cooking authentic Alabama barbecue, we decided to merge the two and open up a restaurant,” business partner Michael Berube said.

Oden has run Alabama BBQ as a mobile cooker for 15 years, calling 415 Sabattus St. its seasonal summer home the past two years. Berube has worked for him organizing Oden’s catering events.

Berube said 838 Lisbon St. works perfectly for the building’s size and for patio and event space outside. Renovations started a month ago.

The BBQ Pit will serve lunch and dinner seven days a week, year-round. An opening is planned for mid-October.

The menu is full-on barbecue: slaw dogs, pulled pork burgers, shepherd’s pie with pulled pork and green beans, brisket, ribs, mac and cheese.

“My style of cooking, my seasoning, my prep, that separates me from everyone,” said Oden, originally from Alabama. “Everything is homemade and it’s all TLC. It’s a little sweet, dry rub. And if you request a kick, I can always add a little kick in it for you as well.”

Berube said plans have been in the works for about a year. They plan to hire 15 to 20 new employees. 

“(At the new restaurant) our food is being cooked off true charcoal and wood so you’re not getting it flavored and then thrown on a gas grill,” Berube said. “It’s exciting to bring new jobs to the area. I don’t know what exactly is out there for help, but we’re going to find out.”

Alabama BBQ’s last pig roast of the season at its soon-to-be former home on Sabattus Street is Friday from 5 to 7 p.m.

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