Nickel's Pit BBQ
Ph: 607-210-4227
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Nickel's Pit BBQ

Nickel's Pit BBQ - About Us

Eat in - Take out - Delivery
205-207 N. Franklin St., Watkins Glen, NY

What Is Nickel's Pit BBQ?

Nickel's Pit BBQ is an authentic American BBQ restaurant with an upstate NY edge. We share our home, the historic former Watkins Glen Fire Department, with Rooster Fish Brewing. We serve up the area's best BBQ along with award-winning craft ales, friendly and fast service, live music, and other various all-around awesomeness.

What Can I Find On The Menu?

Nickel's does real BBQ with Western New York influences. Our menu is 100% homemade - yes, 100%. We make our own bread, desserts, sauces, sides, etc. We do it better than anything we could buy - everything is fresh, free of preservatives, and delicious. Our beef, pork, and chicken is from Autumn's Harvest Farm, a local family farm that is animal welfare approved. We use the finest ingredients to bring you the tastiest BBQ possible.

The menu has influences of various American BBQ hotbeds, such as Kansas City and the Carolinas, but this is upstate NY, so we will call our style of BBQ "upstate". Nickel's upstate style BBQ brings you new BBQ treats such as smoked chicken wings (so good they have been described as life altering), the very messy but delicious Buffalo pulled pork, jalapeño pepadew mac&cheese, and other unique spins on classic BBQ dishes.

How Is The Food Prepared?

Our smoker, affectionately referred to as "The Beast," slow-smokes our local meats for up to 16 hours using local cherry and maple wood. Our sides are prepared daily, and your order is assembled in our open kitchen (watch if you like).

What Is The Restaurant Space Like?

Our space was formerly the Watkins Glen Fire Department. They moved out, then we bought the building and rehabbed it. The restaurant is open, industrial, and fun. In the summer, we open up the operational glass garage-style door for an indoor-outdoor dining experience. The restaurant features original brick, exposed ceilings, concrete floors, and wrought iron. A glass wall separates Nickel's from Rooster Fish Brewing's new production facility (BBQ, beer, and a show). Bottom line: it is a damn cool place to eat, drink, hang out, and watch the world go by.


Founder Nicholas Thayer was called "Nickel" as a kid growing up. It stuck. Friends and family still refer to him as Nickel today. You should too.

What Was The Inspiration For Nickel's?

Nickel's Pit BBQ was born in Nickel's mind. Formerly trapped in corporate jail, Nickel spent 250 days a year traveling the US on business trips and fell in love with American BBQ. At some point on a trip to Kansas City, likely covered with BBQ sauce, Nickel decided to tell "the man" to shove off, and rejoined his father's company. A few months later Nickel's Pit BBQ was conceived and construction began. The food is authentic pit BBQ with Western New York influences (Nickel grew up in Buffalo - GO BILLS!), and the decor reflects the fun and simplicity of cooking and eating BBQ, with homage to Watkins Glen and the history of the building.

What Is Your Connection With Rooster Fish Brewing?

What could go better together than BBQ and beer? Rooster Fish Brewing is part of the same company as Nickel's, run by the Thayer family. You won't find a better beer in the region.

OK, Then Tell Me More About That Company

BBQ requires persistence, so we can admire yours. Our company started out as the Watkins Glen stand-by Wildflower Cafe in 1989, founded by Douglas Thayer. That company has grown to include the Crooked Rooster Brewpub, Rooster Fish Brewing, and now Nickel's Pit BBQ, all located in Watkins Glen, NY.

What's Next?

Wait and see.


Nickel's Pit BBQ Watkins Glen