The Blind Pig’s Entrance. Photo By Chloe Parrish.Chloe Parrish
A dim light emerges from the bottom of the stairs. Loud music can be heard from passersby. A hidden restaurant is nestled in the heart of Oxford’s Square.
The Blind Pig has been a Square staple since August of 2007. The restaurant’s calm atmosphere attracts a variety of people, mostly Square employees. But Owner James Moore said there is nothing typical about the regulars.
“I think our base is so broad that we see a bit of every type of person,” he said. “I find it hard to say we have a typical customer.”
The Blind Pig welcomes newcomers. Waitress Deja Samuel said she is passionate about her job.
“Working with people is the most important thing, and The Blind Pig allows me to do that,” she said.
The Blind Pig has many unique features, including a magical door near the bathrooms called The Tardis that is viewable from the hallway. For those who aren’t aware, a Tardis is a time-traveling machine from the “Dr. Who” series. The Tardis appears to be a police box, but when entered, you realize the Tardis is actually bigger on the inside.
“It was originally supposed to be infant of the elevator in the pool room,” Moore said, “but the fire marshal didn’t like that, so I wanted to put it somewhere. So, bam! In the hallway it goes, and it’s just kind of a fun Easter egg for anyone in the know about what it is.”
The menu provides other unique features. Known for their barbecue, The Blind Pig boasts a variety of dishes ranging from quesadillas and nachos to burgers and pulled pork sliders. The most popular dishes are the French Dip and Cosby Killer. The Cosby Killer is “an over-the-top sandwich with everything including potato chips on bread.”
During the day, The Blind Pig is a restaurant. At night, the venue becomes a classic bar with a pool table.
“Our regulars are part of what makes it,” Samuel said. “The feeling you get when walking in The Blind Pig – what you see is what you get.”
At night, patrons experience a new lighting experience with string lights and a disco ball with select songs. Creating a unique environment on the Oxford Square isn’t easy.
“Opening your own place is the aspiration of almost everyone in the industry,” Moore said. “Most everyone wants to work for themselves and not be beholden to anyone else, so I think our motivations are less than unique.”
The Moore brothers’ dreams became reality when they opened at their first location in 2007 in what is now the Round Table building, which was much different than its present appearance. The back patio was non-existent.
“The patio and concrete bar we put in the back is still something of a local legend among the older Square rats and Square workers,” explained Moore.
The Blind Pig created the atmosphere for both locations. High rent prices forced the Moore brothers to seek another building for their restaurant.
Luckily, the building that currently houses The Blink Pig had partially collapsed, forcing the owners to rebuild the structure. The Moore brothers knew this was their opportunity to create a new atmosphere while keeping their same vibe.
After closing for six months, the regulars returned when The Blind Pig reopened. “They were happy to see us return after being closed for six months,” Moore said. “It was a rough ride, but it was fun and seems to have worked out so far.”
The Blind Pig regulars help create the atmosphere. There is not one specific persona, but rather a melting pot of different personalities you will find there.
Moore shared his key to success: “Persistence, growing up broke, opened-minded and willing to break a sweat,” he said. “Most restaurants close in the first two years, and a lot of them in six months.”