The pop-up barbecue place that restaurateur Jonny St. Laurent opened at 539 Deering Ave. in Portland in April will become a permanent neighborhood bar and grill, St. Laurent said Tuesday.

St. Laurent and his wife Schyla have been running the temporary barbecue joint at the Woodfords Corner location while waiting for renovations to be completed at their not-yet-open restaurant at 166 Cumberland Ave. The Cumberland Avenue restaurant will be a revival of Uncle Billy’s Southside Bar-B-Que, which was popular in South Portland more than two decades ago.

Jonny St. Laurent

The pop-up space on Deering Avenue, next door to Bayou Kitchen, formerly housed an American bistro call Abilene, which closed in March. St. Laurent said things have been going so well there that he has decided to keep the location. But the menu at the new Uncle Billy’s Bar & Grill, as he plans to call the pop-up-turned restaurant, will change. While St. Laurent will still serve pulled pork, he also plans to offer burgers and Nashville fried chicken, he said. And he will continue to serve local craft spirits and beers, as well as Narragansett on tap. Lunch will continue on weekends, with mimosas and bloody Marys.

The roadwork that had made parking tricky outside the little restaurant is scheduled to be completed Friday at 5 p.m., St. Laurent said.

St. Laurent said the opening of the Cumberland Avenue Uncle Billy’s is getting closer and will feature foods that fans recall from the original South Portland menu – jerk chicken, Texas-style beef brisket, pulled port and barbecued spaghetti.

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