Nickel's Pit BBQ » About Us
Nickel's Pit BBQ
Watkins Glen, NY
What Is Nickel's Pit BBQ?
Nickel's Pit BBQ is an authentic American BBQ restaurant with an upstate NY edge. Our home is the historic Watkins Glen fire department building, located on N. Franklin St. – the main drag in one of the coolest small towns in America. Authentic “Upstate BBQ,” craft beers, and live music are always on tap at Nickel’s!
What Can I Find On The Menu?
Nickel's does real BBQ with Upstate and Western New York influences. Our menu is homemade and locally sourced. We get our bread from Village Bakery in Montour Falls and our beef, pork, and chicken from Schrader Farms in Romulus, NY. Schrader Farms is a local family farm providing the community with locally grown meat that is superior in quality, tenderness, and flavor. Our original recipe BBQ sauces are produced and bottled by Brooks Bottling in Oneonta. We make just about everything else to bring you the most authentic experience possible.
We offer up a wide variety of house-smoked meats – ribs, chicken, pork, brisket, turkey, and sausage. When paired with a homemade side and a cold beer, life just doesn’t get any better.
What the heck is Upstate BBQ?
Like the people of Upstate NY, Nickel’s Upstate BBQ has influences from all over the place, with a fierce loyalty and pride for home. Our food draws on the vinegar and mustard of the south, the sticky sweetness of the midwest, and most of all, the food mecca that is Buffalo, NY. 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 peppadew mac&cheese, and other unique spins on classic BBQ dishes.
At Nickel’s we celebrate the diversity of our area through our food, but we emphasize the true, amazing connection between farm and chef. We are certified by Pride of NY and Taste NY, and we are proud of our region and its producers. We celebrate not only the ingredients of the region, but the flavors, too. Eat local – eat upstate – eat at Nickel’s.
What Is The Restaurant Space Like?
Our space was formerly the Watkins Glen Fire Department. They moved to a new facility in town, we acquired the building, and the rest is history. 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. The space is open and airy, featuring a street-side patio and outdoor bar. 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 passion, and we definitely 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.
Where can I buy your sauce?
Well for starters, right here on this page. We will ship it directly to you. If you want to avoid the necessary evil of shipping costs, please come see us or visit the Rooster Fish Brewing Tasting Room. Also be on the lookout for the Nickel’s brand at your favorite fine food retailer.
Wait and see.
Read About Us in Mountain Home Magazine!
Family ties and a sense of community drew Nick and Jenna Thayer to settle into their life in the tiny village of Watkins Glen, New York, home to just 1,900 year-round residents. Five years later, they continue to demonstrate their commitment to neighbors, friends and family, launching a second business of their own, and taking on daily operations for two of the most popular businesses in the area—the iconic Wildflower Crooked Rooster Brewpub and Rooster Fish Brewery, both established by Doug Thayer, Nick’s dad.
» Read More