The founders of the Ri Ra Irish Pub and Restaurant in Portland plan to open a barbecue restaurant in the city.

Whole Hog will be located at 480 Congress Street – at the corner of Congress and Center, just across from the Time & Temperature Building – and serve “authentic East North Carolina style” barbecue. Ciarán Sheehan, who founded Ri Ra in 1996 with David Kelly, lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. Spencer Brantley, who is the company’s managing partner in Portland and the person who will spearhead the new restaurant, was born and raised in North Carolina and lived there before moving to Portland.

In a letter to the city council, the men wrote: “We will base the menu around barbecue traditions handed down through five generations of Eastern North Carolina pig cooking dating back hundreds of years.”

The target opening date for Whole Hog is mid-November.

The Ri Ra restaurant group owns pubs in eight U.S. cities, including Portland.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.